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The Art of Being Alone

The functions of art

Art has a few amazing functions and works as a distinct negotiating capability between individuals (including those who have never met and still have the power enhance each other’s lives).

Art also has the power to create and foster intimacy, to heal wounds, and to emphasize that not all wounds need to be healed and not all scars are ugly.

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The Art of Being Alone

The Art of Being Alone

https://fs.blog/2020/06/being-alone/

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Key Ideas

Loneliness is a perception issue

Loneliness has more to do with our perceptions than how much company we have: it is just as possible to feel very lonely surrounded by people as it is to be content with little social contact.

Olivia Laing

Olivia Laing

“Loneliness, longing, does not mean one has failed but simply that one is alive.”

Dealing with loneliness through creativity

One way people have always dealt with loneliness is through creativity. By metamorphosing their reality into art, lonely people throughout history have managed to interchange the sense of community relationships could foster with their creative outputs.

The artist Edward Hopper (1882–1967) is known for his paintings of American cityscapes inhabited by closed-off figures who seem to embody a vision of modern loneliness.

The functions of art

Art has a few amazing functions and works as a distinct negotiating capability between individuals (including those who have never met and still have the power enhance each other’s lives).

Art also has the power to create and foster intimacy, to heal wounds, and to emphasize that not all wounds need to be healed and not all scars are ugly.

Finding inspiration in loneliness

When we face loneliness in our lives, we should not always rush to overcome it by surrounding ourselves with people.

We ca embrace our loneliness by turning to the art of others who felt the same feeling of loneliness as we do and find inspiration in their art. We can use them to move forward with our own creative pursuits which can help us work through difficult, and lonely, times.

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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
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Loneliness

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Why we become lonely

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  • Experiencing the break down of a relationship.

  • Comparing yourself to the apparently ‘happy’ lives of others - seeing only their positives and ignoring the negatives.

  • Not having as much social contact.
  • Losing someone close to you.

Internal Loneliness: 

  • You may find it difficult to like yourself or feel others do not like you.

  • Experiencing low self-confidence.

Mental Health Conditions:

  • Experiencing a mental health condition can contribute to feelings of loneliness.

  • Social contact may be difficult and create high levels of anxiety.

  • You may find yourself unconsciously or consciously avoiding meeting people.

Practical ways of managing loneliness
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  • Do regular physical activity.
  • Join a club, group or voluntary organization.

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Major changes can create a sense of loneliness, even if they're positive. You might be leaving a job or starting a new job, ending a relationship or embarking on a new relationship, getting married, getting divorced, [or] starting a family.

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The evolutionary theory of loneliness

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The mental health charity Mind cites two main factors that can cause loneliness: 
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Speak to someone
  • Talk to friends and family.
  • Join a club or socialize through hobbies or interests. It is a good way to meet new people and increase social interactions. 
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Detecting Loneliness
Detecting Loneliness
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Loneliness is subjective

It's possible to be completely isolated and feel invigorated.

It is also possible to be surrounded by a crowd or be accompanied by close friends and feel lonely.

Research on loneliness findings
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Loneliness Is a State of Mind

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Causes
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Make small talk

Have quick, non-threatening conversations throughout the day: make small talk with your barista, the cashier at the grocery store, anyone you encounter who seems receptive.

Think of them as stretching a muscle: not the same as a full workout, but beneficial nonetheless. When you’re lonely, you go inward, and just stretching that little bit can kick-start a process that helps you feel better.

Find a state of flow

Do something you find totally engaging, to the point you lose track of time.

That activity doesn’t have to be mentally engaging or intellectually rigorous. Maybe it’s reading, running, or cleaning. If you’re truly immersed in what you’re doing, no matter what it is, you won’t have the mental space to be consumed by loneliness.

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