Whether you're fresh out of a breakup or have a long-standing discomfort with solo time, the fear of being alone is a real thing. For many of us, alone time is seen as a negative act, and people who relish in silence are often perceived as abnormal.
But, there are many upsides to alone time. One Harvard University study shows people who spend time alone have more accurate memories. Another study shows while extreme isolation is far from healthy, a bit of solitude can help improve mood and focus.
In fact, some of the happiest and most successful people intentionally spend some amount of time by themselves.
I get it; it's not easy. For some, the very idea of spending time alone is enough to send them into a spiral of anxiety and depression. There's no perfect solution to overcoming these fears, but here are a few options to make your alone time a little more tolerable.
Value your own opinion.
It's not always easy to listen to yourself when you have so many outside influences drowning out the sound of your mind and heart. And when you do get a moment of silence to really listen to what you have to say, it may be easy to second guess that opinion.
Spending time alone allows us all to develop trust in ourselves. When you trust yourself, you become more confident and do things you wouldn't have felt capable of before.
Get a hobby.
When you spend a majority of the time entertaining others, you can often forget how to enjoy your alone time. Starting a new hobby forces your mind to get comfortable with entertaining yourself again.
Just do it.
Being alone often sparks anxiety in individuals. The key to overcoming that stress is to gradually expose yourself to it. It's not always easy, and it's definitely not comfortable. But eventually, the fear will subside.
Citations: How Being Alone Helps Your Brain (CBS News), The power of lonely (Boston.com), 7 Amazing Things That Happen When You Spend Time Alone (Entrepreneur), Overcoming Fear: The Only Way Out is Through (Psychology Today)