Over 50 life

Perfecting the Art of Being Alone

Updated October 30, 2023



How to Perfect the Art of Being Alone

You know the feeling when you’re alone with your thoughts and no distractions or conversation? A bit weird at first right?

It can feel a little disorienting to be on your own if you’re used to having constant companionship.

But the art of being alone is a skill you can learn and get better at with practice. So don’t worry, you got this.

Feeling alone happens in our thoughts. It’s almost like a judgement we make about ourselves. “This doesn’t feel right.”

The secret to feeling OK about being on your own is to change your thoughts.

Being alone isn’t a bad thing unless we think it is and we have the power to change those thoughts.

Now that we’ve been through a pandemic and most of us have spent far more time on our own than we thought possible, what does it mean? Too often what bothers us about being alone is feeling we have no choice over it, and the pandemic and lockdowns confirmed that. We didn’t choose to be on our own, it felt like it was forced upon us.

The same can be true of a relationship ending that you didn’t choose.

But even in extreme circumstances we still get to choose how to feel about being on our own.

Let’s think about why it can seem difficult to be alone.

What we think being alone means.

  • We’re alone because we have no one to be with.
  • We’re alone because we’re not worthy of companionship.
  • We’re alone and we’ll always be alone.

What’s the reality of being alone?

Switch your thoughts around to we’re alone because we’ve chosen to be alone.

  • Being alone doesn’t mean we can’t get or keep a friend or lover.
  • Being alone says absolutely nothing about who we are.
  • Being alone is a choice and sometimes the best choice.
  • Being alone gives us headspace.
  • Being alone isn’t the same as being lonely. (Lonely is also based on thoughts too)

All you need to do is change your perception of what it means to be alone.

Positive Aspects of Being Alone

Let’s stop and reframe what it means being on your own. Stop focusing on what you think it means. If you can take away the social stigma you put on yourself, you may actually enjoy your own company!

“I have not lived as a woman. I have lived as a man. I’ve just done what I damn well wanted to, and I’ve made enough money to support myself, and ain’t afraid of being alone.” 
― Katharine Hepburn

  • Being on your own means you’ve made a choice. You could choose to be around other people. Which means if you choose to be on your own, you value your own company.
  • Being OK on your own makes all relationships stronger. It doesn’t mean we don’t need others. It just means we’re content to be in our own company too. We’re not with someone just out of need.
  • Being OK on your own means you’re self confident. Most relationships work better when people feel confident about who they are. You want to be with someone who enjoys your company, not who is just afraid of being on their own!

How Do I Enjoy Being Alone?

How do I enjoy being alone? Think of being alone as having quality time with your BFF. Each time you panic a little at the thought of being by yourself, just talk back to yourself. Tell yourself all is well, you’re safe and you’re actually having a good time!

It’s what we tell ourselves about being alone that causes fear and anxiety.

Look I know it’s not easy to stop feeling alone. Chances are your mind shift won’t happen overnight.

If you’re an introvert being comfortable on your own will probably be a lot easier than if you’re extroverted. When you’re an extrovert and thrive on company, not having people around to boost your mood is tough. But it’s possible to train yourself to feel more at ease with practice.

If doubtful thoughts or worries creep in when you’re on your own, remind yourself you’ve chosen this and it’s going to be OK. It’s temporary until you decide to change it.  Change the conversation in your head to be more supportive and less critical.

“I’m alone for now and enjoying my own company. I’m adding up all the benefits of being on my own that I’m happy to explore for now. If I decide to seek company I’ll do it with intention and not out of fear. I know I’m perfect as I am and being alone doesn’t change that.”

When you start to enjoy your own company, you’ve perfected the art of being alone. Well done!

Find reasons for gratitude every day to boost your positive mood goals.




About Author

With over 30 years in a creative role in advertising and publishing, and a lifetime of journeys between the US and UK, I've created Hipoverfifty for you. I hope my journey and perspective will guide you on yours.