Loneliness gets a bad reputation in life, I think. We’re encouraged to seek stimulation 24/7, and rolling solo is often frowned upon. But as we all know, it’s entirely possible to feel lonely even when you’re in a room full of friends — what is that feeling really saying? Maybe you needed a night in, or maybe you’re a bit more introverted and need time on your own to recharge. Either way, being lonely isn’t a bad thing for plenty of reasons.

Everyone feels lonely sometimes.

The whole gist of feeling lonely is that you feel alone, and yet every single person has this experience, so that sort of takes away it’s validity to a certain extent.

You have time to feel some stuff.

When we’re on the go and surrounded by people all the time, it’s easy to push down feelings that we don’t want to deal with. When we suddenly stop and all the feelings start flowing, it means we probably have something to process.

It’s always temporary.

It’s fine to feel lonely today, because in two days you’re going to be overstimulated and wishing for some solitude — and you’ll forget this feeling, anyway.

Solitude can enhance creativity.

Been meaning to make a vision board or pen your first hit screenplay? Feeling alone might help, because solitude has been shown to increase concentration and creativity levels.

It’s a chance to breathe.

How much alone time do you really get? With work, technology, and busy social lives, we’re not disconnected as much as we think we are. Use a moment of loneliness to just relax into the solitude while it’s there.

It can motivate you.

Feeling lonely blows to do something about it. Call your dad, ask that girl at the gym to get coffee with you, Facebook message that cute guy from work… the options are endless.

You’re on your own schedule.

Maybe you prefer grocery shopping with a cute guy by your side, but don’t you also sort of enjoy being able to do whatever you want, whenever you want?

Sometimes we have to feel pain in order to grow.

So what if we have a lonely hole in our life? The fact that it’s there means it can be filled again, and we can learn so much from processing our feelings as we do so.

It can toughen you up.

Yes, it’s true that some people seem to have more than you, like your cousin who married her high school sweetheart and has four adoring children and two rescue dogs. There are also people who have less than you. Keep your perspective. (You don’t even want a dog, anyway.)

It opens your heart.

At least you’re not in denial and locking your heart away in a cage. If you’re feeling lonely, you’re already on the path to letting different feelings in.

It can make you rethink what you’re doing.

If you don’t want to be lonely, you can probably come up with some alternative ways of living that sound a little more appealing.

It’s a good reminder to amp up your self-love.

As necessary as other humans are in our lives, we can’t get anywhere with their love as fuel unless we love ourselves first. And the more we love and treat ourselves right, the less lonely we’ll feel anyway, because we realize what awesome company we actually are.

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