At the very heart of it we are all alone. We come into this world alone and we die alone. There is no getting away from the fundamental experience of being alone at crucial times of our lives. The existential writers tell this story of humanity so well. However, some people thrive on this while others feel terror at the thought. Much depends on how we were responded to as babies. The capacity we learnt for self-soothing and the capacity to manage and contain our emotional states are all influenced by how we were responded to in the first two years of life. And then there are other factors in the mix like trauma, upbringing and personality. There used to be such a sense of shame in ‘feeling dependent’ and many people still do anything to avoid this feeling because of the vulnerability which it brings up. If only we could tolerate it and know how normal it is! Of course we’re dependent! We are wired for connection. We need to be attached to others in an emotional way to feel secure. But good relationships require a capacity to be independent and inter-dependent. Otherwise we may end up co-dependent!
Because the fear of being alone can be so primal I recommend psychotherapy if this is your situation. There is nothing better than learning in a safe and therapeutic space how to be secure in yourself and to take care of your own needs in a way that inspires confidence and trust in yourself. In this way psychotherapy makes up for the deficiencies of our early attachment experiences.
Now you know how normal this fear can be and how you can transform it with appropriate professional help.
However, on top of that here are 7 tips to assist you to develop the capacity to be OK with being alone:
1. Practice mindfulness: breathing and meditation improves your capacity to be with your own experience, just as it is.
2. Practice gratitude by keeping a journal: write 5 things each day which make you grateful, this increases your sense of well-being and enhances your resilience.
3. Do things each day which nurture you and contribute to your happiness: take a walk, take a bath, watch a sunset, play with a pet.
4. Increase your skill base: learn a new hobby or join a group, a gym or a club. This increases your sense of connection with others in your community and can reduce the sense of aloneness.
5. Spend time on giving to your community: you will take the focus of yourself so much and meet others at the same time. Do volunteer work with others who have less than you do.
6. Work out what your purpose in life is and put energy and time into developing that, as well as giving back to others this enhances your sense of self.
7. Connect with something bigger than you, be it spiritual or religious, having a sense that you are part of something bigger enhances well being and connection.
Read the rest of the tips/article here.