Learning to be alone as part of change Learning to be alone as part of change

Fighting loneliness is not always the answer; embracing it can be, however. Learning to be alone can keep unhealthy relationships at bay and help people to be in touch with their true goals.

According to the Nacional Mental Health Institute of Colombia, one of the most common causes of suicide in the world is loneliness. People often assume that personal happiness comes with having a relationship. According to the U.S.-based newspaper, The New York Times, “feeling heard,” “having someone to love,” or “being with people who are happy” are some of the most repeated searches in search engines such as Google.

Enjoy your time alone and in good company

As specialists from the National Mental Health Institute indicate, companionship is not necessarily related to emotional wellbeing and happiness. “By being alone you acquire a special value: you protect yourself from choosing to be in bad relationships and you also get to know your true self better.” Learning how to manage loneliness is therefore an extremely important part of the search for wellbeing.

When someone does not know how to be alone and they have not learned to feel at peace with themselves, they desperately seek the company of others. According to the National Mental Health Institute, by getting to know yourself and enjoying your alone time, you can better choose who you want to spend time with and avoid times of anguish and depression.

There’s also another factor to consider: people try to avoid the pain of being alone. According to Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi in his book Flow: “It’s better to stare at suffering directly in the eyes, acknowledge and respect its presence, and get to work as soon as possible on the things that you truly want to focus on.”

Try taking advantage of the times you spend by yourself. These can be very enriching for your personal growth and to developing your self-esteem.

Related article: Understanding the difference between depression, stress and anxiety