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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/

fs.blog

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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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Loneliness

Loneliness can be defined as a complex and unpleasant emotional response to isolation or lack of companionship. 

It can be either transient or chronic, and typically includes

Loneliness is damaging

Lonely people eat and drink more, and exercise and sleep less. They are at higher risk of developing psychological problems such as alcoholism, depression, and psychosis, and physical problems such as infection, cancer, and cardiovascular disease.

Loneliness vs Solitude

Loneliness is the pain of being alone and is damaging. Solitude is the joy of being alone and is empowering.

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Loneliness

Being lonely can mean not feeling part of the world despite having a great deal of social contact with others, or being in a relationship.

Loneliness can have a significant impact on ...

Why we become lonely

Personal Circumstances:

  • 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

  • Reconnect with the world around you - Making the most out of social contact
  • Spend meaningful time alone - this will develop your ability to manage time spent on your own.
  • Do regular physical activity.
  • Join a club, group or voluntary organization.

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The epidemic of loneliness

The elderly are lonely. Teens are lonely. People in cities and rural areas are lonely to such an extent that it is considered a public health issue.

One report found that nearly half of r...

Practice small talk

Talk to people you encounter throughout your day. When you enter a coffee shop, make a simple comment about the weather to make impersonal interactions a bit more friendly.

If you practice this small talk in a variety of situations, it's easier to start a conversation with people you want to get to know better.

Get comfortable

Many people desire any company because they don't like the discomfort when they are alone.

Learn to enjoy your own company. Start by reading, watching TED Talks that will make you think, or start a gratitude journal.

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