Society equates being alone with being lonely, although these two states are very different. There is an important difference between being alone and being lonely. There is nothing wrong with being alone and there are easy solutions to be social, if one begins to feel lonely. Society tells singles that because they are single that they are lonely.
Merriam Webster’s Dictionary defines alone as being “without anyone or anything else” and being “without people that you know or that usually are with you.” It is appropriate to be alone in some circumstances to focus on work or to have solitude. Singles should be confident going out to places and going to events alone. This may be for drinks or going out for dinner alone. In fact, individuals are making reservations for restaurants on OpenTable to go out and dine alone which has been found to healthy for one’s mind. Consider spending more time in solitude and time being alone. There is an important difference between being alone and being lonely that the West has forgotten.
Loneliness is an emotional state. Merriam Webster’s Dictionary defines lonely as being “sad from being apart from other people” and “causing sad feelings that come from being apart from other people.” Loneliness is unhealthy because humans are social animals. Some of the health consequences of loneliness and social isolation are increased risk of coronary complications and of having a stroke. If you are feeling lonely or have isolated yourself from others, it may be wise to see a doctor to check for depression. Loneliness and depression often come as a bad couple. However, about seven and eleven percent of individuals suffer from depression and the heavy feeling of self-isolation that depression places on people. Being social is critical to the being human, but loneliness and depression fight against the social reality of human existence.
Single people should never feel ashamed of spending time alone. It is important to make time for oneself. Be confident when you are alone and enjoy the time to yourself. In contrast, loneliness and social isolation are unhealthy and may lead to depression. Loneliness, social isolation, and depression are varying degrees of emotional and psychological symptoms that can ultimately affect your long-term health. The next time that someone comments to you about you being single and alone tell them that being alone is healthy while loneliness is unhealthy.
There is an important difference between loneliness and being alone that society neglects. It is important to spend time alone, but being lonely can be problematic. If you are alone, do not listen society’s message that you need to be in a romantic relationship to be normal. Spend time alone is a way to clear your mind and to rejuvenate yourself. Embrace being alone and the health benefits that have been found with solitude.