tolerate being alone

There are so many different reasons people may hate being alone. For one person, boredom creeps in and she doesn’t know how to entertain herself. For another, negative thoughts intrude and he thinks about all of his regrets when he’s not busy and occupied. Someone else feels deep, depressing loneliness when she’s alone. 

Whatever the reason, here are five ways to learn how to be alone, even if you hate it:

  1. Discover New Hobbies and Interests
    If being alone leaves you feeling bored out of your mind, explore and discover new hobbies and interests that can be done alone. You may find you love knitting, gardening, painting, or meditating. Once you find that new interest that totally excites you, you might even look forward to being alone!
  2. Take a Hiatus from Social Media
    If you tend to feel lonely, one of the worst things you can do when you’re feeling lonely is hop on social media and passively scroll through and look at other people’s “fabulous” lives. You’re going to give yourself a bad case of FOMO, which just feeds into your feelings of loneliness. Instead, take an intentional break from social media if you have to be alone and engage in a fun activity instead.
  3. Practice Mindfulness
    If you struggle with being alone because you tend to rehash all your past mistakes, try practicing mindfulness. Being mindful means that you are fully present and experience the moment with clarity and balance. Instead of being swept away by your feelings or ignoring your feelings, live in the moment without judgment. 
  4. Create a Rich Life for Yourself
    People who have a rich, fulfilling life usually don’t mind spending downtime by themselves. This is because being alone doesn’t hold any specific negative meaning. Being alone doesn’t mean you have no friends, you’re a loser, or trigger poor self-esteem. When you have a fulfilling life, you go into alone time with a strong sense of self and accomplishment. And, you are more likely to embrace the alone time because it’s a chance to be still and quiet before getting back to your awesome life.
  5. Consider Seeing a Therapist
    If you can’t stand being alone with your thoughts, considering seeing a therapist. Therapy is not just for people with mental health struggles. Therapy is safe space to begin untangling that mess of thoughts you’ve been avoiding at all cost. Avoidance isn’t doing you any good. So instead of struggling to handle those difficult thoughts and feelings by yourself, do it in the safety of a therapeutic relationship.

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Interested in seeing a therapist to help you handle all those things you’ve been avoiding? Contact Dr. Crystal I. Lee for a free 20 minute consultation to see how she can help.