Fear of Loneliness: Learn to Love Alone Time
Emotions are like the ocean; waves ebb and flow. It’s human nature to avoid things that frighten you, but if you never confront the monster under your bed, you might wake up feeling like a hostage in your own life.
For the extroverts out there, socializing with others naturally brings out the best in you. You love going to parties, dinner with friends, concerts, you name it. But, what happens when you go home? When the music dies down, the chatter comes to a halt, and you are left with only your own thoughts, how does it make you feel? Do you dread going home to a quiet space, or do you welcome the calm? Don’t get us wrong, having a killer social network to navigate life’s adventures with is awesome, but it’s unhealthy for any human to hate being alone with herself. And for some, being alone is TERRIFYING, so how do you overcome that fear?
- First, schedule time to be alone. It doesn’t have to be in long durations at the start. Schedule short dates with yourself, and be very conscious of how you’re feeling during that time. Allow yourself to sit and explore those uncomfortable feelings.
- Next, try to unpack the emotions that keep resurfacing. Maybe you don’t love being alone because your mind starts rifling through struggles you’re currently experiencing. Take note of the recurring thoughts you have, and look for themes to help you identify things you can tackle and things you might need more support to deal with.
- Write down 5-10 things you really love about yourself and try to dig past the surface level. Maybe you dig your dark humor or have an abundance of empathy for those around you. Whatever it is, try taking these traits and brainstorming some things you could do solo to embrace them. If you love that your organized, take an evening alone to clear out your closet. You’ll be harnessing positive energy AND being productive!
There’s no mile marker to prove you’ve gotten over your fear of being alone, but there is a FEELING. You’ll slowly start to notice that time alone helps you regroup and reconnect with yourself. Now, use these same steps to overcome other fears you may have. Allow yourself to experience the fear, dig deep to find the root of that fear, and pivot your actions to create positive outcomes. Throughout this process, remember to be kind to yourself. You’re learning as you go (we all are), and it will probably be uncomfortable at times. Be patient.