Being alone and being lonely are sometimes mistakenly confused. What is the distinction between being alone and being lonely? Being lonely is state of mind, while being alone is a physical state. Some can be alone and feel content, while others can feel alone in a crowd of people.
Being alone is easy to identify. Being alone is when you are by yourself, in solitude, without company. The remedy to aloneness is rather easy as well; socializing with others. Alone time can have many benefits. Time alone allows you to develop independence, get in tune with your thoughts, and focus on self interests. People who who find contentment in being alone report happiness, fulfillment, and psychological health.
Loneliness is an mental state of wanting more social interaction than currently available. It is subjective and unique to each person, which makes it harder to spot and treat. Someone who is lonely can appear to have a wide range of emotions that may mask their internal state. Can you experience loneliness when you are with others? The answer is yes. In some cases, social situations, can increase feelings of loneliness. Loneliness is experienced on a continuum. Some feel lonely every once in awhile, while others experience persistence feelings of loneliness. Chronic feelings of loneliness can lead to increased risk of high stress levels, depression, and even suicide.
Those dealing with chronic feelings of loneliness, are less likely to ask for help because of increased social isolation. For those suffering, there is good news: Feeling lonely is not a defect and will not last forever. Increased social activity, group therapy, and emotional sharing with a confidante are common treatments that can decrease feelings of loneliness. Those suffering with chronic loneliness may feel lonely, but its important that they know they are not alone.Shawne Poplar