## Solitude vs Loneliness – How Are They Different?
I’ll start with this: I hate being lonely, but I love being in solitude.

Let’s make this clear, loneliness and solitude are not the same thing.

Loneliness is a complex and usually unpleasant emotional response to isolation.

Usually brought about through a lack of connectedness with other members of society.

Solitude is the art of knowing how to handle oneself whilst being alone.

It is the emotion of feeling happy and fulfilled in a state of self-awareness.

Which Is Better?

Solitude – without a shadow of a doubt.

Being in solitude can make you more productive when you’re partaking in engrossing work.

I see it as a form of self-enlightenment, because you feel like you’ve awakened a sixth-sense, you become so aware of your surroundings, that you actually begin to appreciate them more.

You begin to work more fervently, with more speed and efficiency, reaching the coveted state of flow.

Loneliness is the complete opposite.

When someone feels extremely lonely, they also feel ‘left out’, or ostracised from society and the world at large.

This can lead to extreme mental complications such as low self-esteem, depression and anxiety.

This becomes even more evident, if the events that led to an individual’s feeling of loneliness were wholly negative, such as bullying and torment.

Changing Loneliness into Solitude

However, on the contrary, the feeling of loneliness has the potential to turn into solitude with the aid of two things:

  • Time
  • Purpose

Both of these variables are very important key components to changing loneliness into solitude.

So yes, I believe that loneliness can be a gift or a curse – It all depends on the way people interpret and respond to the events in their lives which coincide with this feeling.

I used to suffer from extreme bouts of loneliness, resulting in low self-esteem and anxiety.

I’ll be honest with you, loneliness truly sucks.

Luckily for me I found a way out, but I wouldn’t ever change my experiences for the world – because they have made me who I am today, and I’m grateful for that.

I found my purpose and calling in life.

If it weren’t for the loneliness and self-deprecation I had back then, I can assure you, the balanced life academy wouldn’t exist today.

Finding my purpose in life, with time had a remarkable effect on me.

My confidence and self-esteem soared, as I began doing at least one very important thing each and every day that will propel me towards my goals.

Challenges and Rewards of Solitude

The challenges of being lonely were more difficult than I could’ve imagined.

However, the reward I received through solitude made it worth going through.

I believe that through solitude is where most people can develop a strong sense of love for themselves.

Continued suffering through loneliness changes into solitude when you begin teaching your body and mind exactly what you want from it.

Your mind will start treating your environment and lack of social interaction as a ‘new-normal’, and will instead provide you with the strength to see out even the toughest of days.