Nine Tips to Help You Come to Terms with Being Alone

You may be afraid of being alone; although, it can help you grow as a person and get to know yourself better.
Nine Tips to Help You Come to Terms with Being Alone
Bernardo Peña

Written and verified by the psychologist Bernardo Peña.

Last update: 27 May, 2022

People are born, grow, develop and die alone but it’s possible to live with solitude in a positive way. As Mexican writer Octavio Paz once said, “Solitude is the most profound fact of the human condition. Humans are the only beings who know they’re alone.”  

Moments of solitude are necessary to take distance from events and from the rest of the people you interact with. Also to see inside yourself, reflect, improve and move forward. In short, solitude is essential to achieve get to know yourself better.

Being in harmony is a real source of happiness. However, the vast majority of people have been afraid of being alone at some point in their lives.

Undoubtedly, this fear is also justified, since humans are, first and foremost, social beings. Hence, interpersonal relationships are vital to the mental health of any individual.

However, why is it that solitude is seen as terrifying for some people and enjoyable for others? The answer is both personal and cultural in nature. However, it’s always possible to re-educate ourselves to take advantage of being alone and feel good.

Being alone means you can do lots of things

We’d like to share with you some tips that may help you transform the moments when you’re alone into an enriching experience.

A woman looking out the window because she's alone.

1. Recognize your fears

Sometimes, it takes a lot out of us to realize that being alone negatively affects us because we use different escapes to ignore our feelings.

Each person is different. Hence, there are no recipes for recognizing fears. On the contrary, it’s up to the individual to identify the origin of their anxieties.

There’s no doubt that doing so would put you in a better position not just to achieve your goals, but also to feel better about yourself. By the same token, you’ll be a fuller person and potentially make others happier.

2. Listen to your body

Without a doubt, your body transmits and registers every emotion that you feel on a daily basis. When you find yourself alone, try to close your eyes for a few minutes, breathe deeply and listen to your body to figure out where this fear of alone is coming from.

3. Declutter your thoughts

Throughout the day, you receive a lot of information through various forms of communication, your friends, co-workers, and family that you can’t even process.

Unconsciously, all of this information and world view is passed through our mind. Therefore, it’s necessary to spend time alone so you can listen to yourself.

It is what some call “listening to the inner voice”. Well, together with personal decluttering, this is the most effective way to discard what could affect you.

4. Reinvent yourself

You can do yoga if you're alone.

When you’re alone, it is normal that boredom can make you feel anything from nostalgic to overwhelmed. To avoid this, try to do fun activities outside of your usual routine, like learning a new sport. Read about topics you don’t know anything about, learn a new language or listen to a different genre of music.

Learning a new language could be another of those personal goals. Although it often involves a relationship with other people such as a teacher or classmates, today there are many resources to do it on a self-taught basis.

5. Write down your priorities

By writing things down everything that you should do and want to do throughout the month, whether on paper or digitally, you give yourself the opportunity to read them during your alone time. This will make it easier to get rid of those restless thoughts and feelings.

Doing this can highlight which of these needs are a priority for you and which might be the priority of someone else. Remember: the most important person in your life is you.

6. Seek professional help

Taking care of your mental health is vital for feeling harmonious and tranquil with the world and with yourself in any situation. In order to do this, it’s important to know the origin and the causes of your fears.

It isn’t all on you, though. You can do this through the help of other people, therapy, or other alternatives that can help you to live a more peaceful life and accept loneliness. There are professionals for these types of things.

For sure, they’ll guide you about the therapy that best suits you. They may also be able to provide you with information about other alternatives to help you overcome your anxieties.

7. Being alone helps you grow

Socializing is normal among human beings. There is nothing wrong with making friends and living with other people. However, the fear of being alone usually starts with a dependence on addiction to those around you.

Spending time alone is; therefore, not only desirable but healthy. Acquiring this habit allows for an emotional balance within you that’s necessary for you to be happy. 

By doing this, you can understand the root of this dependence that’s keeping you from living a life with mental autonomy, freedom, and health. Little by little, you let go of your need to get other people’s approval

A woman OK being alone.
Meditation and relaxation activities can be a good counterpart to regulate TV addiction.

8. Question yourself and don’t be afraid of being alone

Disconnecting yourself from the outside world can be extremely beneficial for connecting with yourself. It will allow you to listen attentively to your thoughts, feelings, and emotions, and find your strengths.

It’s healthy to ask yourself and question yourself in these moments if you’re happy with yourself. Or if you would like to change something about your life or if you would like to give yourself new goals.

9. Solitude strengthens your personal autonomy

When you have some time alone, allow yourself to enjoy your passions, this will have an extremely positive impact on your self-confidence. Do you write, read, paint, sculpt, run, swim or dance? Take advantage of that moment when no one sees you and let out the joyful passion within you! You’ll release tensions, endorphins and you’ll feel much better.

You can also choose to discover new passions and skills. Are you interested in watercolor painting but have never tried it before? That moment of solitude you have might be the perfect opportunity to give it a try. What if I don’t do it well? Give yourself some time and, if you’re not happy, move on to another activity that brings you happiness.

Being alone can help you learn to love yourself

The moments of solitude where you allow yourself to accept, love, and reconcile with yourself, are the ones that can lead you more easily to self-love. They also help you to learn about yourself, beyond what you don’t like, thus helping you let go of everything that doesn’t add up.

Now, are you ready to start looking at those lonely moments with better eyes?

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Ibarra, H. (2004). Working identity: Unconventional strategies for reinventing your career. Harvard Business Press.
  • Marc, E. (2011). Guide pratique des psychothérapies. Retz.
  • Paz, O., & Santí, E. M. (1993). El laberinto de la soledad (Vol. 346). Madrid: Cátedra.
  • Salerno, S. (2005). SHAM: How the self-help movement made America helpless. Crown.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.