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Loneliness and being alone- two states of being that seem related but are actually completely different. Have you ever been to a gathering with a group of people you know and still felt alone? Have you ever been by yourself but felt completely fulfilled and content, maybe doing something that you love? Most people have experienced both of these states and have a good idea of the difference between the two. It is totally healthy to be alone from time to time - we all need some special "me time" to relax, be ourselves, and do the things we love. For some of us however, feeling lonely can be a very debilitating state and can lead to negative thoughts and feelings. Here we will look into both ways of being and explore how to make the most of being by oneself.

Feeling Lonely - The Latest Study

A recent survey conducted by the BBC involving 55,000 people showed that feeling lonely is an affliction that affects people of all age groups. For example, 41% of those aged 16-24 felt lonely despite the wealth of options for meeting people or connecting with them online. Some that the BBC spoke to described being lonely as a ‘void’, a ‘feeling of emptiness’, ‘a deep ache’, of simply not having anyone to talk to and share the burden of problems or the joy of good news. The survey also showed that chronic loneliness not only affected people psychologically but had an impact on people’s wellbeing and health. Interestingly though, the survey also showed that 83% of respondents said they liked being on their own. This shows a clear distinction between being oneself and the isolating feeling of being lonely.

The Social Media Factor

social media influence- people together but alone

Despite the increased connectedness of people via email and social media, feeling lonely is turning into a key issue that a large number of people are facing. Ever since the internet became mainstream, and particularly with the more recent explosion in social media use, critics at The Wisdom Post have spoken about the evolution of people glued to their mobile phone, shunning traditional face to face interactions with people. Mobile phone use is without a doubt on the rise and because of this trend-change, research by Psychology Today now claims that vast social media use may be harming people psychologically. Specifically, those who feel more isolated, lonely, and negative after using social media.

Benefits of Being Alone


There is a wide range of benefits of simply being on your own when not experiencing feelings of being lonely. Being on one's own gives people the chance to unwind, focus on your needs, and work on personal feelings and thoughts. For many, particularly those that can identify themselves as introverts, being on one's own can be one of their favourite parts of the day for these very reasons. It gives people the chance to really prioritise themselves, work on goals and self-improvement, or simply relax, unwind, and simply enjoy life.

Retreats a Way to Spend Time Alone?

woman meditating alone

Retreats provide the perfect environment for really experiencing the full benefits of spending time alone. They provide a safe and relaxing space where participants can forget their worries, cares, and responsibilities for a while and focus solely on themselves and enjoying their time. A good retreat will have everything needed for participants to take the time to refocus and then return to their lives rejuvenated and better equipped to deal with its demands and issues.


It should be clear now that there are distinct differences between being alone, which can be a healthy, normal, and beneficial experience, and loneliness, which is an isolating and negative state to be in.

Balance Holidays provides bespoke wellbeing holidays that can encourage and educate you on determining and enhancing your wellness. Our forest bathing retreats are designed for those who would like to embrace a deeper connection with nature, either on their own or with others.