What your fear of being alone is really about and how to get over it

What your fear of being alone is really about and how to get over itMonophobia refers to an acute fear of being alone or having to manage in the absence of a specific person in close proximity. The specific person may be in the same apartment or house or the same room. Some monophobics find it even impossible to use the lavatory if another person is not there in the room with them.

Sure, we may all feel a little lonely from time to time. Monophobia is very different to this though. A monophobic person experiences severe anxiety when he/she is left alone. This condition can be extremely frustrating and socially crippling for the sufferer. The condition may manifest along with symptoms related to other general anxiety disorders.

As with any phobia and as we said earlier, we’re not just taking about a little unease. We’re talking about an extreme and irrational fear. As such, whenever left alone, a monophobic individual may experience extreme anxiety and panic attacks.

Often though, identifying the trigger or cause may be easier said than done. No one need fear being alone though. There are face to face treatment programs and self-help downloads that really do work. There’s one we particularly recommend:

What your fear of being alone is really about and how to get over it

Monophobia – Fear Of Being Alone Symptoms And Treatment Options

Sometimes we all like to have company but it’s impossible to be around others at all times. To most of us that’s no problem. Sometimes being alone is quite nice … that bit of “me time” … I certainly love it occasionally! To anyone suffereing with a fear of being a lone it’s a huge issue though. Just being alone for a short time can set of extreme anxiety and panic.

In addition to the fear of solitude alone, persons suffering from monophobia may experience panic or stress in unfamiliar situations too. Some others may even be afraid of staying away from specific locations or people as they associate these locations and people with familiarity and safety. It is possible to relate the fear of solitude to agoraphobia which reduces self-confidence and the feeling that the individual will be able to carry out the activities alone.

Symptoms of Monophobia – The Fear Of Being Alone

At the core, monophobia may be the fear of solitude or being alone. But in many patients it appears as fear of being without the specific person. As the person suffering from this disorder often depends on one person for comfort and solace, symptoms of this phobia may not show up until a life-changing event. This could be something such as the death of the person providing comfort. When this happens, the sufferer may experience extreme anxiety and even panic attacks.

Monophobia, a social anxiety disorder, shares symptoms with other anxiety disorders. The most severe symptoms experienced by a monophobe may include disorientation, nausea and panic attacks. The symptoms of a minor nature, however, may be indicative of a developing condition. These can include:

  • Muscle tension and soreness.
  • Breathing difficulty.
  • Uncontrollable shaking.
  • Intense fear.
  • Panic attacks.
  • Increased heart rate.
  • Dry mouth.
  • The feeling of an impending disaster.

The symptoms of monophobia generally occur in a monophobic person when the source of comfort is taken away from his/her vicinity.

Monophobia Treatment Options

A person with monophobia cannot be talked out of his/her problem as may be possible with other phobias. The anxiety that the person feels may not be intellectually justified, but the point that it is not dangerous to be alone can be proved only by providing an experience. Therefore, a strategic recovery program that allows the phobic get used to being in solitude for gradually increasing periods of time.

The therapy that is frequently used is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and exposure or systematic desensitization therapy. The reports published by National Institute Mental Health indicate that about 75% of the people who have specific phobias get over their fears through cognitive-behavioral therapy.

What your fear of being alone is really about and how to get over it

In exposure therapy, the sufferer is exposed in a controlled and safe manner to the situation or object that he/she fears. Repeated experiences make the patient realize that the unpleasant situation need not be actually harmful. As the monophobic person becomes desensitized to the fear, he/she does not exhibit panic or anxiety when confronted by the fear.

Relaxation as well as techniques that relieve stress is frequently used to provide support to other treatment methods. Relaxation techniques include specific breathing methods, muscle relaxation training, soothing self-talk or guided mental imagery.

Medication may be prescribed by doctors for treating monophobia, but it important to note that drugs do not help cure monophobia, but they help to temporarily relieve the symptoms.

The Fear of Being Alone – Treatment

There’s not many of us that enjoy being alone on a regular basis but monophobia is more than that … much more! It’s an acute fear of being alone or not having anyone around. Such a fear is life changing and needs to be managed and treated.

Whilst CBT is the most recognised treatment option, hypnotherapy is becoming more and more popular. In simple terms, hypnosis to treat fears and phobias works by re-setting the brain so that it reacts automatically in a rational way. In terms of the fear of being alone this would mean the Monophobic would learn to respond to being alone without fear or anxiety. It works really well.

Better still there is a self-hypnosis program called simply “Overcome Fear Of Being Alone“. At less than $15 it’s remarkably cost effective. It’s an audio download that can be listened to over and over again, in complete discretion at a time and place to suit. Not only that, it comes with a 90 day money back guarantee – no questions asked. We really suggest you check this out:

What your fear of being alone is really about and how to get over it

For effective treatment of anxiety or any general / specific fears and phobias we recommend you CLICK HERE >>> to discover a wealth of resources that will help you overcome all types of phobias, fears, anxiety and panic. Renown as THE best treatments we suggest that you check them out for yourself … it could change your life!

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What your fear of being alone is really about and how to get over it

The fear of going outside, known as agoraphobia, can cause isolation and despair among its sufferers. A person who has a fear of going outside is at risk of negatively affecting personal relationships, career, and mental well-being. The anxiety associated with going outside into the world can cause a person to become withdrawn, isolated, depressed, and even suicidal, so it is important to treat a fear of going outside before these negative effects become too serious. Professional help from a doctor is almost certainly necessary, possibly including medication.

So many different routines, locations, or events can cause agoraphobia that it is sometimes difficult to pinpoint an exact cause. Stress at work can build up and lead to a fear of going outside; a person who associates the source of his or her stress with the outside world may make changes to avoid that world altogether, and since the workplace is such a common cause of stress and anxiety, sometimes the root cause of the fear of going outside starts there. Traumatic events can also trigger agoraphobia, and people who experience such events may become reclusive, eventually leading to agoraphobia.The first step in countering agoraphobia is to recognize where the fear originates, and understanding the root cause.

Abuse or bullying can cause anxiety in some sufferers. This may trigger a fear of being exposed in public, and the sufferer may seek out a safe zone, most likely at home or in a certain room within the home. If the sufferer leaves that safe zone, he or she may experience a panic attack or a sense of extreme discomfort or fear. The sufferer may be worried about his or her own physical well-being, but just as often, he or she worries about being insulted or ridiculed for his or her behavior.

The longer the agoraphobia goes untreated, the more likely it is that the fear will become worse. Such isolation can lead to, or be caused by, personality disorders that must be diagnosed and treated by a professional. A combination of therapy and medication can often lead to successes in overcoming agoraphobia, and treatment should be sought immediately after the first symptoms are recognized. Hypnotherapy has also been used to help treat agoraphobia, though the technique is considered controversial and unproven. Anti-depressants can treat depression, sometimes consequently lessening the severity of agoraphobia.

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Discussion Comments

I have an intense fear of even opening my door, let alone going outside and into the world at all. It has gotten so bad that I avoid looking outside or stepping foot out the door because I’m scared and I get panic attacks when I go to do so when I am forced to via an obligation.

It all started with my sleep schedule and spotty health ruining a lot of things. Every day I would go to bed late or not feel well, the weather would be absolutely fantastic- mild, warm, calm wind. my favorite everything. And I’d feel like I missed out on an awesome, ideal day again by not feeling well, going to bed too late, needing way too much sleep because I have bad fatigue issues. But when I would get a rare good day where I finally felt 100% and totally clear of my grogginess and had tons of energy, good mood, etc., it would suddenly turn on me after a string of missed nice days day after day after day, and it would finally be super terrible out, with gusty winds, cold as heck, just awful. If that happened on any of the days I wasn’t feeling well, I would have felt a lot better and relieved I’m not missing out on anything.

Well, this pattern has continued for 2 years and it has gotten to the point of unmanageable. I can’t go outside and get the result I won’t ever, but instead will do the extreme opposite and what I’m fearing is going to happen will once again be manifested before my eyes. So at this point, it has been so many times that I get severe panic at opening my door and leaving to go outside and go anywhere.

It has ruined my relationship with my boyfriend. And it all just seems so unnecessarily cruel and unfair and that this phobia wouldn’t have developed if this weird horrible clockwork timing didn’t go opposite every. Single. Time. So now the principle of it absolutely freaks me out.

When I feel good and I see a wind storm starting to pick up once again, I get panic attacks. And when I feel like total crap, and I see everything becoming nice, still and beautiful out, I get panic attacks. I can’t believe this could have happened so many times. Basically every day for 2 years. It is too much to handle and it has ruined my life and me as a person completely. It breaks my heart to an indescribable degree. bythewell March 7, 2014

I feel like I have a touch of this sometimes and it really does get worse the more I let it get out of control. I don’t have a regular job so I don’t often have to leave the house except to run errands or see friends. If I don’t schedule that kind of activity regularly, I tend to start dreading it. I don’t really understand why. It just seems to be too hard to step outside or to interact with people.

Of course, when I actually do go outside I enjoy myself and feel fine afterwards. I think it’s just a matter of getting used to the world being one way or another.

And I only feel a very mild anxiety. I have the deepest sympathy for anyone who has full blown agoraphobia. It must be very difficult to overcome. KoiwiGal March 6, 2014

@Fa5t3r – It really depends on the individual person. I certainly don’t think it would be helpful in the treatment of anxiety to make the person feel like they are doing something wrong or that they are doing something on purpose for sympathy or anything like that.

But you also want people to feel responsible for their own lives. Sometimes being tough on themselves is the breakthrough they need in order to go forward. It is a very individual thing and that’s why it should be treated as such. Fa5t3r March 6, 2014

For me, one of the first things I have to do in order to start to feel better about this kind of thing is to forgive myself for being afraid in the first place. I tend to get very annoyed with what I see as a weakness and try to bully myself into doing whatever it is that I’m afraid of. Sometimes this will work but more often it will only make me feel worse and more afraid, so I will be less likely to do what I need to do.

If you are having symptoms of anxiety attacks, you don’t have to feel like you are weak or lazy or anything like that. Forgive yourself.

What your fear of being alone is really about and how to get over it

Most people in the world are afraid of dying, which is not exactly what you would call an irrational fear. However, many people are so afraid of dying that they do not even want to discuss death, which, uncomfortable as this discussion may be, is downright irresponsible. This particular fear causes people to either postpone or outright refuse to make out wills; they do not carry life insurance — and we have all likely had at least one person say, “I don’t like funerals” (as opposed to those who do like funerals?). all out of a fear of the inevitable day when they will no longer be here on earth.

However, in Widowed World, there exists another sort of common fear. It is the:


To those outside Widowed World, that may sound completely absurd; perhaps almost comical. Who on earth would be afraid of life — of getting up every day and going to sleep every night, of going to work or school, of picnics and paying bills; kids’ activities and holidays?


Catapulted into a life that was unexpected, undesired and is perhaps even right now unbearable to say the least, you may find yourself absolutely terrified of life. While necessary, leaving the house for work is nonetheless fraught with fear. Socializing is completely out of the question and even answering the phone gives you cause for pause. What you may not be able to figure out is:


Fear — of the future, of “starting over from scratch”, of being alone — is really a fear of one thing, truly one of the greatest fears of them all:


Everyone has been afraid in their lives at one time or another. Think back to your first day of high school, your first day on a new job (any new job). even your wedding day (admit it, you were nervous). And try watching your child — the person whose diapers you once changed — get behind the wheel of a car and drive off down the street alone for the first time while you stand on the porch waving. with a smile on your face and your heart pounding in your throat.

These and many other typical “life fears” were those that we were able to face and conquer (except for the child-driving-a-car fear. even years later, that one is still tough to get used to). This is because fears like these are a lot more “tangible” than what you are facing right now — an unknown and uncertain future and certainly a life for which you did not willingly sign up.

So how do you combat the fear of the unknown, this “Greatest Fear of All”? How do you triumph over the fear of living that most widowed have experienced at some point during their Healing Journey? How do you move forward, past the fear and into your new life?

The archenemies to fear of the unknown are:


It is difficult for proactivity and fear to coexist in the same space. When you become truly proactive in your Healing Journey by surrounding yourself with the tools that you need — the education that is absolutely integral to your healing, the support that best speaks to you and a community who understands and encourages your processes, you will be propelled forward in a positive way and the fear begins to diminish. When you begin to take control over an area of your life where you may have had virtually no control, your confidence in you specifically and with living in general starts to resurface. When you begin to see the actual fruits of your proactivity — going out and genuinely enjoying yourself, learning or trying something new, making new friends. even something as simple as accomplishing a household task that was once your late spouse’s responsibility — the fear continues to weaken and little by little, eventually disappears.

It is so easy to just tell someone “Don’t be afraid” (and usually the person saying that has not experienced widowhood firsthand and / or has nothing to be afraid of at the moment). Everyone in the widowed community has been afraid at some point. All widowed know the fear of the unknown and at one time or another, have been absolutely paralyzed by that same fear. Understand that it is OK to be afraid, as long as you also understand that this fear does not get to take over and rule your life. While it is true that we cannot control the circumstances that have taken loved ones away, we can certainly control our reactions to loss and chart the course that we want to take in healing after loss — and the fact remains that life is not meant to be feared. Life is meant to be treasured and savored and lived as loudly, largely and lovingly as possible.

Remember one more thing:

The definition of courage isn’t “not being afraid”.

The definition of true courage is being afraid — and holding your head up high, taking a deep breath. and moving forward anyway.

Carole’s latest book, “Happily Even After. ” has won the prestigious Books for a Better Life Award. For more information about Carole Brody Fleet and Widows Wear Stilettos, please visit

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5. The more scared you feel, the scarier things will seem.


  • What Is Fear?
  • Find a therapist to combat fear and anxiety

What your fear of being alone is really about and how to get over it

Fear can be uncomfortable and crippling. But eliminating it would be the equivalent of taking down your home alarm system because it sometimes makes loud and irritating sounds.

Being fearless doesn’t mean eliminating fear. It means knowing how to leverage fear. And to do that, you need to know a few things about what you are dealing with. (Part 1 of this series was about the fears that keep people up at night.)

1. Fear is healthy.

Fear is hardwired in your brain, and for good reason: Neuroscientists have identified distinct networks that run from the depths of the limbic system all the way to the prefrontal cortex and back. When these networks are electrically or chemically stimulated, they produce fear, even in the absence of a fearful stimulus. Feeling fear is neither abnormal nor a sign of weakness: The capacity to be afraid is part of normal brain function. In fact, a lack of fear may be a sign of serious brain damage.

2. Fear comes in many shades.

Fear is an inherently unpleasant experience that can range from mild to paralyzing—from anticipating the results of a medical checkup to hearing news of a deadly terrorist attack. Horrifying events can leave a permanent mark on your brain circuitry, which may require professional help. However, chronic stress, the low-intensity variety of fear expressed as free-floating anxiety, constant worry, and daily insecurity, can quietly but seriously harm your physical and mental health over time.

3. Fear is not as automatic as you think.

Fear is part instinct, part learned, part taught. Some fears are instinctive: Pain, for example, causes fear because of its implications for survival. Other fears are learned: We learn to be afraid of certain people, places, or situations because of negative associations and past experiences. A near-drowning incident, for example, may cause fear each time you get close to a body of water. Other fears are taught: Cultural norms often dictate whether something should be feared or not. Think, for example, about how certain social groups are feared and persecuted because of a societally-created impression that they are dangerous.

4. You don’t need to be in danger to be scared.

Fear is also partly imagined, and so it can arise in the absence of something scary. In fact, because our brains are so efficient, we begin to fear a range of stimuli that are not scary (conditioned fear) or not even present (anticipatory anxiety). We get scared because of what we imagine could happen. Some neuroscientists claim that humans are the most fearful creatures on the planet because of our ability to learn, think, and create fear in our minds. But this low-grade, objectless fear can turn into chronic anxiety about nothing specific, and become debilitating.

5. The more scared you feel, the scarier things will seem.

Through a process called potentiation, your fear response is amplified if you are already in a state of fear. When you are primed for fear, even harmless events seem scary. If you are watching a documentary about venomous spiders, a tickle on your neck caused by, say, a loose thread in your sweater will startle you and make you jump out of your seat in terror. If you are afraid of flying, even the slightest turbulence will push your blood pressure through the roof of the plane. And the more worried you are about your job security, the more you will sweat it when your boss calls you in for even an uneventful meeting.

6. Fear dictates the actions you take.

Actions motivated by fear fall into four types—freeze, fight, flight, or fright. Freeze means you stop what you are doing and focus on the fearful stimulus to decide what to do next (e.g., you read a memo that your company will be laying off people). Next, you choose either fight or flight. You decide whether to deal with the threat directly (tell your boss why you shouldn’t be laid off) or work around it (start looking for another job). When the fear is overwhelming, you experience fright: You neither fight nor flee; in fact, you do nothing—well, you obsess about the layoffs, ruminate, and complain, but you take no action. Being continuously in fright mode can lead to hopelessness and depression.


  • What Is Fear?
  • Find a therapist to combat fear and anxiety

7. The more real the threat, the more heroic your actions.

We react differently to real and imagined threats. Imagined threats cause paralysis. Being scared about all the bad things that may or may not happen in the future makes you worry a lot but take little action. You are stuck in a state of fear, overwhelmed but not knowing what to do. Real threats, on the other hand, cause frenzy. When the threat is imminent and identifiable, you jump to action immediately and without flinching. This is why people are much more likely to change their eating habits after a serious health scare (e.g., a heart attack) than after just reading statistics about the deleterious effect of a diet based on fried foods. If you want to mobilize your troops, you have to put yourself in danger.

Fear can be as much an ally, as it can be an enemy. And fear of fear can keep you locked in a cage of insecurity. How do you overcome it? You learn to leverage it. More about that in Part 3.

How to overcome stage fright is a big concern for many performers, they have to deal with stage fright and are afraid to sing whenever they go on. So you MUST understand; you are NOT alone. Often people have performance anxiety an are terrified to get up and perform in front of others.

What your fear of being alone is really about and how to get over it

What is stage fright?

Stage fright is the entire collection of stories you tell yourself in your brain, whether it be 1 or 1,000 – that culminate into ONE final thought; “What I’m about to do is dangerous.”

Those stories in your brain can be many variations of things like this:

  • I am not confident with my voice
  • What if I blow chunks and people make fun of me?
  • What if I forget the lyrics?
  • What if I can’t hit that high note section in that song?
  • What if my voice cracks or I sound terrible?
  • What if they hate me and want to boo me off the stage?
  • What if I make a fool of myself?
  • What if nobody shows up?

What your fear of being alone is really about and how to get over it

I could list many more reasons for stage fright but it is extremely important to understand that phobias are IN OUR MINDS. Some people are afraid of heights, others are afraid of drowning and so on. Though there may be good reason to be afraid of jumping out of an airplane, performing in front of people is not dangerous.

How does stage fright manifest itself?

What actually “happens” to you when you experience stage fright is different for everyone. With your fear of performing, you may experience things like this:

  • Sweaty palms
  • Dry mouth
  • Unable to speak
  • Increased heart rate
  • Tingling sensation in various parts of your body
  • Stomach ache
  • The shakes
  • Brain race – your brain is processing too much information
  • Feelings of nausea and wanting to throw up
  • Overwhelming desire to sleep

Your brain is EXTREMELY powerful and the more worked up your brain gets, the more it will affect you physically.

How to get over stage fright


The first thing we can do to overcome stage fright is start with something easy. And to be prepared to the point where you are so “ready” you don’t have to “think about it” with an easy song. OVER prepare for what you are actually doing, so when it comes time, it will be UNDER your capabilities. For example; if your goal is to sing Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” in front of the American Idol judges, start by practicing nursery rhymes or party songs. Sing those with all the range that you have and stretch yourself so sing them BEYOND the range necessary to sing “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Then move on to mid level material. After a while, you WILL get to a point where you are over prepared and will be able to sing with confidence.


Repeat your song over and over, embedding it so deep in your mind that it becomes second nature. Repeat your song while multi-tasking other things, like shopping or doing math.


Increasing your exposure is vital to overcoming stage fright. Ask friends and family if you can sing for them, even if it drives them crazy. Let them know that practicing in front of them will help you.

Then take it to the next level, go to a Karaoke Bar or Open Mic Night, or sing a solo at your church, a campfire or street promenade. Performing as much as possible in a relatively safe environment where it doesn’t matter that much is an excellent way to build confidence.

I want you to remember something very important. The audience, your friends and family etc., are not standing there with their arms crossed waiting for you to make a mistake so they can humiliate you. They are in your corner. They are on your team. They are rooting for you. They want you to get over your anxiety. I want you to look at your audience as your friends who WANT to see you succeed. In fact the reason they are there at all is because they are excited to see you succeed. This is an excellent place to start. It may seem almost too simple, but it is the truth. This mental exercise will help you begin overcoming stage fright so you will no longer be afraid to sing. Your fear of performing will start to diminish.


Be light hearted and don’t take it too seriously. Be loose. Don’t care too much. remember: EVERYONE makes mistakes. Even the most seasoned performers.

The “fun part” of performing will kick in automatically once you start to master your technique and your brain is no longer nervous about whether you can or cannot technically sing. You will just do it… and then you’ll have fun because you’ve learned to conquer stage fright!

Fitness Tips

We’ve all been there before – you pump yourself up pre-workout, saying that you’re going to give it 110% today. As you make your way across the gym floor, that confident feeling fades fast when you realize that the only open treadmill is wedged between two runners who are going freakishly fast – like cheetahs in a full sprint – and nearly every strength machine is taken by sweaty people you’d rather avoid. Feelings of insecurity are sinking in.

Hello, gym anxiety: that self-conscious, confidence-vanishing feeling one experiences when faced with an intimidating, embarrassing, or potentially awkward situation at the gym. It often involves feelings of fear of being judged based on one’s fitness level and/or uncertainty involving equipment or classes. You’re not alone. Gym anxiety is universally experienced by many exercisers. It does not discriminate between gender, size, strength, or how fit you are.

What your fear of being alone is really about and how to get over it

Here are six tips for overcoming gym anxiety and making the most of your workout:

Write your workout down before you do it

Plan ahead of time what you want to accomplish during your workout. This way, you will hold yourself accountable to finish what you wrote you would do; there’s no backing out, even if you’re moving at a snail’s pace compared to those marathon trainers.

Focus on your workout

When you’re seriously working hard, you won’t have time to compare yourself to others, or to look around and catch them watching you work your butt off. Concentrate on you, and consistently remind yourself of how great you’re doing. If you are in need of a distraction, plug in those earphones and rock to some motivating music, or catch up on the latest episode of your favorite show.

Talk to the instructor

Trying a new fitness class like Turbo Kick, Pilates, or SoulCycle? It can be tempting to slide into the back row and avoid eye contact with others while you awkwardly attempt to mimic the moves and energy of the ‘pros’ in the class. Stick around after the class and introduce yourself to the instructor. They love to answer questions and help you improve your form or master that sequence of moves you couldn’t quite get down.

Exercise during off-peak hours, or don’t

Peak hours vary on a per-gym basis, so ask the front desk when the gym is generally busiest. Armed with this knowledge, you can decide when the best time for you to exercise is. Going during less-busy times means avoiding (most of) the hardcore fitness junkies. On the other hand, going when the gym is busier allows you to observe and learn how people use certain equipment that you may be wondering about, and can also make you more comfortable around others.

Bring a friend or fitness mentor

When gym anxiety gets the best of you, invite someone you know and trust to work out with you. When you’re with a friend, you feel more relaxed and are able to have fun. Even if a spell of gym anxiety arises, don’t be afraid to face your insecurity – share a laugh about it with a friend, and learn from your experience.

What your fear of being alone is really about and how to get over it

Have confidence

Believe in yourself! You are your only competition; comparing yourself to others isn’t going to get you anywhere. Even if people are looking at you, convince yourself that it’s because they admire your motivation and dedication toward reaching your goals. It’s important to keep in mind that everyone has started out in your shoes at some point or another, so don’t give in to those feelings of insecurity! Keep your goals in mind, and stick with your fitness plans. Go to that exercise class a few more times, and before you know it, you’ll be just as confident as those people in the front row (you may even be joining them up there!).

Updated on February 11, 2021 by Fae Marie Esperas 3 Comments

What your fear of being alone is really about and how to get over it

Are you… currently single but not happy being one?

Are you starting to mope over the fact that most of your friends are in a relationship or are already married? And that some of them are even already starting their own families? That you are being invited as part of a wedding entourage or in children’s birthdays, but that you are never the one standing by lurch or the parent of the child having a birthday blowout? And are you beginning to see your future alone and single… forever?

If your answer to these questions is yes, then don’t fret. Guess what: you’re not alone in this situation.

There’s no point to dread being single forever. And here are 7 ways for you to get past that:

1. Ask yourself, why are you single anyway?
We often think that when we are single, our goal is to find a partner and be in a relationship. But if there’s one thing we avoid, it’s asking ourselves this question: why are we single?

Perhaps you are single because you’ve just come out of a breakup. Maybe you are busy with other priorities such as studies or work, and that you have aspirations to fulfill that do not require a romantic partner. Or maybe, just maybe, you do not feel good about yourself, and you’re like of confidence reflects in the way you present yourself to others.

When you have answered this question, that’s the time when you are able to face your fear of being single forever, as by then you know which direction to take. Your answers will determine whether being single is actually the best situation you are in, or it’s time that you take action to change your life for the better.

2. Focus on your aspirations.
You only live once. That’s a fact. And with life being too short and uncertain, it is a must that you live it in the most fulfilled way possible. Your terms. Your style. Your design. With that said, you don’t have to wallow over being single, just because everybody’s on the relationship bandwagon.

Rather, you may want to focus on your dreams and aspirations. Work towards achieving them, and even going beyond everyone’s expectations. At the end of the day, the only one who can realize your true value is yourself, not anyone else – not even a romantic partner.

If there’s any consolation, you may be bound to be single forever but you get to enjoy every moment of it through a fulfilling career and with the people who value you, wouldn’t that suffice?

3. Would you rather be single forever than be tied to commitments and obligations that come in a relationship?
When you are single, you often imagine being in a relationship that’s filled with sweetness and romance. And that’s normal. However, reality bites and it’s not always loving and romance that makes a relationship work.

A lot of couples stay together because of a promise they made to each other, because it’s what their families and friends want for them, and maybe also because it has become the most convenient setup they are in – even if they know they no longer love each other. Would you want to be in a relationship just because you don’t want to be alone? Or would you rather stay single and fulfilled with what you have become?

4. Stop making a big fuss over things on social media.
Affected by what you see on Facebook? Do you think all Twitter posts about the misery of being single speak to you? Tired of reading stories about being single and not loving it? Well, perhaps you need to take the time off from social media, and stop making a big fuss over the dreaded “single” status.

Among many things, they don’t speak to you. These posts are targeting the general public, not you specifically. Hence, you need not believe or get hurt by what they say. You may want to focus on doing things that increase your self-worth and confidence, as these are the things that truly matter to every individual.

5. True love waits.
This may sound cliché but yes, true love waits. Healthy and lasting relationships involve people who know how to wait for the good things to come. Perhaps you have to learn how to be patient too, and you can make good use of the waiting time by working on the things that bring out the best in you.

Who knows, you may find your true love in the most unexpected occasion – or even in that instance, you feel that you are ready for it to come.

6. Listen to a feel-good playlist.
Music does a lot in making us forget about our worries, including that of being single. So if you are in need of a quick fix in overcoming this fear, then you better have a playlist to keep you upbeat. You may want to for songs that make you feel relaxed and refreshed, tunes that have an energetic vibe that allows you to dance freely and spontaneously.

And yes, avoid the mushy heartbreak lyrics with “bitter about life” stanzas. They will just ruin your mood.

7. Do things that inspire you.
What are the things that inspire you? Some people feel happier when they are outdoors, either hiking or frolicking on the beach. Others meanwhile feel their best when partying with friends, or attending social gatherings where they meet new people. There are also folks who find confidence when acquiring a new skill. And yes, maybe you should do the same too.

The trick is, always to find inspiration, a particular something that allows you to put your best foot forward. This is because when you are inspired, the more solid your moral compass becomes, and the better you become in facing whatever life has in store – without the actual need of being in a relationship.

Cultural and societal pressures may be getting the best of you, as we all are expected to get married and have a family of our own. It’s the circle of life, they say. But you don’t have to follow suit; when you are single, it’s all a matter of perspective. There’s no need to get sad about it, as it only means there’s a lot to do with that unique kind of freedom that you have. Who cares if you end up single forever? It’s your life and you’re in control of it, not anybody else.

The biggest challenge needy people face is figuring out what they need.

“We’re only as needy as our unmet needs.”—John Bowlby, founder of Attachment Theory

Have you ever felt needy? What comes to mind when you hear the word?

Most of us consider it one of the worst possible invectives to hurl at another human being, conjuring stark images of pitiable panic and desperation. We imagine tearful pleas (“give me another chance!”), angry accusations (“you’ve never really cared!”), and late night calls and text messages demanding an immediate response (“where are you?”).

When we’re gripped by the terror of neediness, we feel completely out of control. When we bear witness to it, we feel confused and overwhelmed, wondering if any amount of reassurance will ever be enough. How can we understand these moments? More importantly, how can the needy find relief?

As ill-defined as the experience of neediness seems to be, psychologists have made great strides in unpacking this complex state of mind. One line of research , which emerged from an attempt to better understand depression, sheds a good deal of light on what makes neediness so incredibly painful. Defining neediness, rather inelegantly, as “a generalized, undifferentiated dependence on others and feelings of helplessness and fears of desertion and abandonment,” the investigators discovered that it has an important relationship to depression. The needy often feel hopeless and unhappy. But that’s the least surprising finding in these studies.

You’ll notice that the diffuse, inchoate nature of neediness is woven into its definition. That turns out to be extremely important, because there’s a related factor, connectedness—“a valuing of relationships and sensitivity to the effects of our actions on others”— that has relatively little to do with depression. Both items are part of the same scale, dependency; but neediness, it seems, is the unhealthy version of our craving for contact, marked more by helplessness, fear, and passivity than any clear emotional request. The connected are open about what they want from relationships. The same can’t be said for the needy.

To be sure, the needy want somethinginsatiably, in fact—but short of instant attention and constant reassurance, it isn’t terribly clear to themselves or anyone around them what exactly they’re looking for. This is perhaps the most vexing thing about neediness. It gnaws at us, driving us to chase after contact, advice, signs of love, but none of these actions seem to quell its fury. And now we know why. When researchers put neediness under the microscope, they find overwhelming fear, not need, at its unseemly core. Neediness is the formless shadow of healthy dependency.

Attachment researchers, who also examine needy behavior, have arrived at a similar conclusion. At the heart of attachment theory is the assumption that we all—all of us—have a basic, primal drive to connect. It’s wired into us, after millions of years of evolution, because on our own, we humans are weak, relatively defenseless creatures. That’s why emotional isolation registers in one of the most primitive areas of our brain—the amygdala—as a life-and-death situation (scientists call this the “primal panic”).

The anxiously attached lack any faith that emotional closeness will endure because they were often abandoned or neglected as children, and now, as adults, they frantically attempt to silence the “primal panic” in their brain by doing anything it takes to keep connection. In short, they become needy. (The avoidantly attached shut their dependency needs and feelings off altogether, to escape the pain of having their longings ignored or rejected.)

It’s not need, then, that engenders neediness. It’s fear of our own needs for connection and the possibility that they won’t ever be met. That’s what hurtles us into the abject despair of neediness. The only way to get rid of a need is to satisfy it, and the more anxious we are about having it, the more quickly we want it met. Overcoming neediness therefore demands that we disentangle the need from the fear, and there a number of ways to do this:

  1. Breathe. If you recognize that fear is the problem, not loneliness or a desire for contact, you can escape the suffocating grasp of the neediness by using stressmanagement skills. Go for a run, meditate, do diaphragmatic breathing—all of these will reduce your anxiety, along with your impulse to act out of neediness.
  2. Get connected. The researchers discovered a healthy version of dependency, one that involves a valuing of relationships. It’s not just more active, it’s more direct. Make clear requests. Neediness is all about blindly reaching when you don’t even know what you’re reaching for. Connectedness is about effectively depending on others.
  3. Practice emotional mindfulness. Rather than acting on what you think you need, sit down and write about the feelings you’re having. Are you afraid of being alone? What’s it like to simply focus on that without trying to flee it by seeking contact? Instead of trying to get rid of the feeling, try to understand it. Not only does that make it easier for you to recognize and express your needs more clearly, it teaches you how to tolerate them.
  4. Take stock of your relationships. Needy people often attract dates or friends who reinforce their neediness— people who crave connection, just like everybody else, but seem loathe to express the desire (they’re often avoidant). If your fear is the phone will stop ringing if you don’t call, ask yourself, am I the one who always seeks contact or reassurance? Am I OK with that?
  5. Make room for your needs. When we hate or fear our needs, it only makes them more intense because we’re tempted to hide or disguise them. That not only makes them confusing for others, but harder to satisfy. How you express your needs—whether for closeness, reassurance, contact, or love—will change dramatically once you start taking them seriously because you’ll have a far better understanding of what they are and where they come from.

When all is said and done, the key to overcoming neediness is to respect your needs for connection instead of fearing them. When you do, the chaos of neediness gives way to the clarity of intimacy. And everyone’s happier for it.

A version of this article previously appeared in the Huffington Post

Mind-Body Medical Group

What your fear of being alone is really about and how to get over it

What your fear of being alone is really about and how to get over it

Many people, especially men, don’t like to admit that they feel anxious. But in reality, everyone’s life has nail-biting moments. The demand to meet deadlines and quotas at work can trigger stress, and under stress, the brain triggers the release of stress hormones that induce two reactions: to fight back or to run away. Therefore, we are chemically designed with courage and fear intertwined. Anxiety is a biological option in everyone, from warriors to wallflowers.

The first step to getting control of your anxiety is to admit that there is nothing abnormal about feeling anxious; the issue is how much stress you experience and when you experience it. There are three states of anxiety to consider.

Intermittent and Temporary

This is the normal biological state, when something makes us anxious for a few minutes or hours before the feeling passes. Our bodies are designed to handle these anxious spells automatically. The system gets taxed, however, when a deeply anxious event occurs such as losing your job or fighting on the battlefield.

Anxiety Overload

When an event is too stressful, the brain is overwhelmed. Returning to normal balance becomes more problematic. People who have been out of work for a long time can tip into depression and soldiers in combat develop PTSD.

Chronic Low-level Anxiety

Also known as free-floating anxiety, this is a persistent experience of fear or trepidation, which sometimes builds into panic attacks, where no triggering event can be spotted. The severity varies with the person. Some people have anxious personalities, having turned chronic worry into a settled habit. Others feel anxious during a difficult time of life such as being pregnant or attending college.

Looking at these three options, temporary anxiety can be distressing, but takes care of itself. Anxiety overload requires professional medical and psychological treatment. Chronic anxiety sits on the fence. Sometimes self-care helps a great deal, while at other times millions of sufferers pop a tranquilizer prescribed by the doctor. The drawback of this quick fix is that it only lessens symptoms without addressing what is causing the anxiety.

Self-care is the best option for anyone who feels mild to moderate anxiety, whether a specific event caused it or not. Here are the major steps in self-care that anyone can take.

7 Steps to Managing Anxiety

1. Admit to yourself that you are anxious and tell those close to you that it is happening.

2. Seek out a friend or family member who has gone through anxiety and dealt with it successfully. Make this person your confidant and source of empathy.

3. Don’t pretend that you aren’t anxious; pushing the feeling down will only make it stronger. Anxiety seeks relief and won’t rest until it gets some.

4. Get regular sleep that lasts 8 to 9 hours. This can be difficult, because anxious thoughts tend to increase at bedtime. Meditation and relaxation exercises can help here. Try a natural sleep aid if your anxiety causes insomnia that leaves you exhausted during the day. Or if that doesn’t work, you may want to try an over-the-counter sleep aid. Make sure to begin with half a tablet and take it sparingly rather than turning it into a crutch and into part of your regular nighttime ritual.

5. Seriously deal with stress in your life. Anxiety is too high a price to pay for living under constant pressure. For most people, anxiety is a sign that their stress response is overloaded. Try to make time every day to be alone and quiet, to meditate, and to walk outside in nature.

6. Avoid alcohol and tobacco. People use these to help them stop worrying and feeling nervous. Ultimately, both substances contribute to the problem rather than solving it.

7. Make mental relaxation a major goal, and use a wide range of possible tactics, including developing a hobby, meditation, and silent retreats. Experience a quiet mind as your normal default state.

Once you have begun to gain a handle on your anxiety, there is a mantra you can use to combat the fact that fear feels so convincing. This is the main problem for most people who can’t get past worry, nervousness, and trepidation; they believe the message their anxiety is sending. In their heads, they get thoughts like “This will turn out badly,” “Something terrible is about to happen,” and “I’ll never be able to handle this.” Actors who suffer from stage fright get all of these thoughts, only to walk onstage, and give great performances.

That’s because fear isn’t telling you the truth; it is only convincing you. The two are not the same. So when you have an anxious thought, use the mantra “I don’t really know this is true.” The truth is that right now you are okay. In other words, substitute the rationality of being okay in the present moment for the anxious feeling you are having about the past or future. In this way, you cultivate a new way for your brain to cope with difficult situations. Where it is now accustomed to believing in signals of fear, which are mindless, you can train it to look at each situation realistically in the present. All of these tactics have helped countless people to counter their anxiety, and they can help you, too.