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How to be alone: the difference between loneliness and solitude | The JotForm Blog

https://www.jotform.com/blog/loneliness-vs-solitude/

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How to be alone: the difference between loneliness and solitude | The JotForm Blog
Since the late 1980s, scientists have been tracking a whale across the Pacific Ocean. It sings at a sonic frequency higher than any other species of whale: at 52 Hertz, just above the lowest note on a tuba. The whale calls out; no one answers. It's been nicknamed the loneliest animal in the world...

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Difference between solitude and loneliness

We use the two terms interchangeably because we’ve been conditioned to think of them as the same state.

Loneliness is being alone — and not liking it. It’s a feeling. Solitude is being alone — and content. It’s a choice. If you can master solitude, you’ll never feel lonely again.

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Connected but alone

From the telegram to the phone to the mobile to the internet, all major cultural inventions have served the same purpose: to bring us closer together.

Today, we’ve reached peak hyper-connectivity. We can cross oceans at the touch of the button, speak to someone, anywhere, 24/7. And yet, statistics report that we’ve never felt so lonely. The technologies connecting us are isolating us.

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The truth about loneliness

You can be surrounded by people, at a party, or in the office, and still feel lonely to your core.

And you can be alone, millions of miles away from any human contact, and still feel joyfully connected to the world.

It’s less about our circumstances, more about how we react to them.

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Fearing solitude

Our fear of solitude is really fear of boredom.

We want to be entertained, constantly. The alternative — introspection — intimidates us. And so, we drown out our discomfort with distractions. But that doesn’t mean the discomfort will go away.

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Connected yet lonely

We’re told happiness comes from within. And yet, we’re never taught how to be alone with ourselves. 

We celebrate self-esteem. But we stigmatize spending time with ourselves.

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The joy of being alone

Real solitude is almost impossible to experience in the modern world. And for some, this makes it the ultimate privilege.

Some people know they can harness times of stillness to find answers to questions, solutions to problems.

Solitude deprives you. It stretches you. It illuminates. And this breeds creativity.

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How to utilize solitude

The only way to overcome solitude is to face it. Ease yourself in, with 10 minutes, then 20, then 30, of solitude a day, or week, or month.

There’s great power in doing nothing at all. But when you find strength — rather than fear — in solitude, you will live a far richer life: with others, and with ourselves.

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The paradox of Technologies

Technologies connecting us are actually isolating us. From the telegram to the phone to the mobile to the internet, all major cultural inventions have served the purpose of bringing us closer toget...

Loneliness

It doesn’t  depend on external factors. It’s largely unrelated to what’s going on around us. It’s less about our circumstances and more about how we react to them.

Fear of solitude=fear of boredom

We’re scared of where boredom will take us. We want to be entertained, constantly. The alternative,  introspection , intimidate us. And so, we drown out our discomfort with distractions.

2 more ideas

Loneliness Is a State of Mind

Loneliness, according to many experts, is not necessarily about being alone. Instead, if you feel alone and isolated, then that is how loneliness plays into your state of mind....

Causes

  • Loneliness is strongly connected to genetics. 
  • Situational variables, such as physical isolation, moving to a new location, divorce and the death of someone significant in a person's life can also lead to feelings of loneliness. 
  • Loneliness can be a symptom of a psychological disorder such as depression.
  • Loneliness can also be attributed to internal factors such as low self-esteem.

Health Risks Associated With Loneliness

Loneliness has a wide range of negative effects on both physical and mental health, including:

  • Depression and suicide
  • Cardiovascular disease and stroke
  • Increased stress levels
  • Decreased memory and learning
  • Antisocial behavior
  • Poor decision-making
  • Alcoholism and drug abuse
  • The progression of Alzheimer's disease
  • Altered brain function

Being alone during a pandemic

Being alone and, therefore, forced to face our own thoughts, can prove rather disturbing. People need other people to feel well: being sociable is not anymore just a skill to develop, it is a mere ...

Enforced solitude and its advantages

The current pandemic has us facing one of our biggest fears: staying alone, dealing with our own emotions and thoughts. However, this situation has also a great deal of advantages. While in self-isolation, we can use this time to improve ourselves by discovering new hobbies or just developing skills we have already gathered, cultivating our mind through reading. In fewer words, we finally have the time to learn how to deal with ourselves. And this is always a good thing.

The wonders of a clear sense of purpose during isolation

As difficult as it may seem, self-isolation has its benefits. When spending your time alone, the key to handle this situation is to find a purpose in your suffering. In other words, focus on why your suffering is doing good to others as well as to yourself. Furthermore, the fact that you stick to a certain routine or that
everybody is doing the same thing provides you not only with a meaning, but also with a sense of belonging.