Matters of the Mind: From loneliness to solitude, a journey worth trying

Written by Dr Shwetambara Sabharwal
| Mumbai |

November 21, 2020 10:20:59 am


loneliness, loneliness coronavirus, solitude, matters of the mind, pandemic anxiety, dr shwetambara sabharwal, well-being, indian express lifestyleIf we are able to encourage ourselves to discover, embrace and even select solitude, we are able to save ourselves from many psychological and social stressors, with or with out individuals, with or with out the pandemic.
(Photo: Getty Images/Thinkstock)
With the onset of the world pandemic, social distancing turned a obligatory precautionary step in containing its unfold — the months establishing emotions of loneliness and isolation in lots of.

While the feeling of loneliness is just not new and existed inside us and our houses nicely earlier than Covid occasions, the previous few months have introduced forth an vital dialogue to the fore.

How can we deal with loneliness? It was by no means thought of a well being concern, however is now broadly accepted and a often reported detrimental emotion in counselling classes.

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Multiple circumstances of anxiousness, isolation and emotions of despair, complaints about not having the ability to endure the distance from family and friends, have had Covid-positive sufferers breaking down in necessary isolation, making us flip our heads in the direction of the stigmatised, the judged, and the mocked.

From ‘time out’ in childhood, being locked up in bogs, to prolonged punishments of solitary confinements in jails for people who find themselves worse than others, loneliness is ingrained in our heads as a critical ‘punishment’. Socially, we simply choose and generously label individuals as ‘loners’, ‘weird’, ‘shy’, ‘unfriendly’, ‘unconfident’, ‘not fun-loving’ or such, typically creating deep cracks in individuals’s self-concepts.

Movies, social media and promoting contribute closely to this defective understanding of loneliness.

Just like happiness, disappointment or hopelessness, loneliness is a feeling, elicited inside us, by our personal ideas. Between the set off/stimulus of being by oneself and our emotions/responses, there’s a very highly effective area that we sadly fill with beforehand heard, seen, learnt or widespread perception. This leads us to the conclusion: ‘I am no good if I am alone’, and that ‘there must be something wrong with me’.

It is time to take a wiser have a look at loneliness.
It is time we study to rework loneliness into solitude.

While being alone is a state of absence of anybody round us, loneliness is a detrimental feeling, marked by a sense of isolation, as if one thing is missing or lacking.

People might really feel lonely even once they’re at a get together with acquainted individuals. Then there are others who can spend time alone with out feeling lonely.

Solitude, on the different hand, is a state of being alone, with out feeling lonely. It is a optimistic, transformational, constructive, inventive and an efficient state to have interaction with oneself.
loneliness, loneliness coronavirus, solitude, matters of the mind, pandemic anxiety, dr shwetambara sabharwal, well-being, indian express lifestyle While being alone is a state of absence of anybody round us, loneliness is a detrimental feeling, marked by a sense of isolation, as if one thing is missing or lacking. (Photo: Getty Images/Thinkstock)
Altering the notion and affiliation of ‘being alone’ with loneliness, disappointment and distress, to ‘being alone’ and truly having fun with the solitude, wants motivation, conviction and follow.

If we are able to encourage ourselves to discover, embrace and even select solitude, we are able to save ourselves from many psychological and social stressors, with or with out individuals, with or with out the pandemic.

Solitude gives time and alternative to ask vital questions, construct an genuine self-concept, ponder, develop and study. It helps with self-discovery, growing resilience, directing our minds to calm and rest, relaxation and restoration.

I’m not glorifying being alone. Of course, it is necessary to be with individuals, take pleasure in significant relationships, join and bond with others. So many of our joys are tied to {our relationships}.

But being depending on individuals for happiness, self-worth, to really feel full, safe and particular, can put on us out and, actually, go away us feeling extra lonely and anxious.

My try right here is to carve a instrument for you to use, in these moments if you find yourself by your self, to awaken, really feel fulfilled, full and entire inside your self, unbiased of the presence of people, nevertheless, valued by us.

Solitude, like wholesome consuming, train, meditation and satisfactory sleep, can show to be a vital part for our well-being.

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You would possibly quip at a therapist itemizing out virtues of being alone, however only for the sake of exploration, select it, schedule it, practise it and use it to change your journey.

The expertise of solitude will assist us higher perceive ourselves, change the widespread blind perception that loneliness is a private failure or an insufferable expertise.

Building solitude into our every day life may also help scale back our emotions of loneliness, as a result of we gained’t be such unhealthy firm in spite of everything to ourselves anymore.

I typically reminisce about my internship days — dinners on my own, lengthy after pals had eaten with their households. I typically welled up whereas chewing, my mouth too dry to swallow. I conspicuously keep in mind remodeling a lonely meal into scrumptious solitude. Those moments of solitude turned priceless early classes for an aspiring psychologist.

Take a second to problem your perceptions of loneliness, discover your wants and need for contact, constant presence of individuals round you, the intrusive web, addictive social media, the crutch of fixed dialogue or dialog with another person. Include and schedule soothing soulful silent solitude into your every day routine. That is your invaluable ‘present moment’, your ‘powerful now’, with you being your good friend, the place you possibly can hear your voice, develop, determine and dare to dream, study enlightening classes, be compassionate and actually simply be you.

(The writer is a Mumbai-based psychologist and psychotherapist)

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