Loneliness Can Teach You About You

By | June 13, 2019

To a certain extent, loneliness can be helpful to us. We tend to associate loneliness with solitude and sadness. But, when we are lonely, although we can feel sad, it’s a time to reflect on the things that we want. You’re feeling lonely for a reason. Human beings are social animals. We crave interactions and social connection. But, when we’re by ourselves we sometimes feel sad because there’s an absence of that connection.

When I’m lonely, sometimes I’ll cry. Other times, I will watch Netflix and sometimes I’ll write in a journal or blog. I’ll bet you’re wondering if I’m lonely now, while I’m writing this. I’m not, but that wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility.

Loneliness can help get us in touch with our true selves and what’s missing. When I’m alone and feeling lonely in particular, it highlights what I need to work on. I don’t like the expression “working on myself,” but I am working on issues that are problematic for me, which reminds me my therapist asked me to make a list of those. I should get on that today.

The next time you’re lonely, break out a journal and start writing about your feelings. It’ll help you work out your emotional state and you’ll be able to organize your thoughts. For me, because I a few anxiety disorders, I often become wrapped up in my thoughts and it’s hard to tease out my feelings from my thoughts. I find that when I write with pen and paper, I’m better able to articulate and understand how I feel.

Now, that doesn’t need to be the case for some people. Maybe it’s time to meditate or take a walk. When you’re lonely, being around people is sometimes fulfilling. Even if the people are strangers, it doesn’t matter. You can take a walk to your local coffee shop or corner store (if you live in NYC) and talk to people. I love meeting new people and making new connections. See loneliness as a signal that something needs to shift in that moment.

I’m generally an active person, unless I feel depressed or panicky. Getting out there and meeting new people is something that brings me joy. Especially if those people are able to teach me new things. Meeting people who are rude or mean isn’t fun.

Loneliness isn’t neccesarily a “bad” thing. It can feel uncomfortable, but it doesn’t have to. Use it as a self-reflective time to see things clearly and be with you. Sometimes honestly I do feel weird being alone. Particularly when I’m depressed. If you’re feeling badly, being alone isn’t the best idea. Try to reach out to a friend or a therapist/mental health professional to help guide you through those feelings of isolation. There’s help out there!

You don’t have to sit with those feelings. You are not alone even if you are at this moment. How do you feel when you’re alone. Do you like it or is it uncomfortable?

This post was previously published on www.huffpost.com and is republished here with permission from the author.

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