Loneliness is not the same thing as solitude. Solitude is defined as being alone by choice and either desiring or being at ease with it. Loneliness implies a sense of dissatisfaction, a desire to be more connected to others. By lowering the immune system, raising the risk of sadness and anxiety, and distorting our views, loneliness can have a negative impact on our mental, emotional, and physical health.

Even if they have friends and activities, many people are lonely. Having hundreds or thousands of “friends” on social networking sites isn’t the same as having someone with whom you can watch a movie or go out for coffee.

One of the loneliest situations is being in a mass of people with whom you do not feel connected, or being with a life partner/friend with whom you do not feel connected.

Ways to accept loneliness and love yourself

1. Accept and embrace your emotions

Don’t dismiss your feelings. Allow yourself to feel lonely, as you should with all feelings. When loneliness strikes, pay attention to how you feel. Allow yourself to experience the physical and emotional associations, and cry if necessary.

2. Make a mental shift

If you think to yourself, “I’m lonely” or “I feel all alone,” you probably have a negative connotation with these sentiments. They may lead you to fall down into a rabbit hole of negative thinking, such as doubting your own worth, feeling less valuable, or feeling emotionally or physically exhausted. Consider adjusting your mindset and adopt the idea of having solitude rather than labeling your experience as “lonely.” Accept the gift of solitude as a relaxing and rejuvenating experience. You’ll be able to handle the times when it’s just you if you learn to value your alone time.

3. Self-compassion

Recognize that loneliness is a universal sensation that strikes everyone at some point in their lives. Loneliness is a natural aspect of life. Allow yourself to reach out to others and ask for help by practicing compassion toward yourself.

4. Make use of it to gain a deeper understanding of yourself

Make the most of your time by starting a journal, meditating, and reading literature that interests you.

Enjoy the times alone you have, knowing that they will not stay forever. Take advantage of the opportunity to try something new. This can assist you in getting a better understanding of yourself.

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