Humans are hard-wired for company. People, as a rule, prefer to be in groups or pairs. They feel safer and happier. In fact, for many people, being alone is one of the worst things they can imagine.

Solitude has a bad rap in modern society. Maybe you associate being alone with being lonely, abandoned, unloved or unlovable. If you fear being alone and avoid it at all costs, you’re missing out on the opportunities solitude can offer. Being alone, for at least some of the time, is part of the life experience. If you fear being alone, here are five things you can do to make solitude a little less daunting:

1. Learn to be Ok with Being Alone
Being alone need not mean loneliness. There are lots of things you can enjoy by yourself, from taking a class to chillaxing on the sofa.

2. Don’t Get Caught Up in Social- Media
Social -media can be a real trap, as it gives the illusion of connection. Virtual company is no substitute for being with people in real life. It also stops you from going out and meeting people, because you’re stuck in the online bubble. Social media also presents a false idea that everyone is happy and has hundreds of friends – except you.

3. Get Out and Meet People
If you’re feeling lonely, the best thing you can do is close your computer, put your phone away and go out. Reach out to friends or colleagues. Join a local sporting club, gym or church. Just make sure you get out of the house and connect with people.

4. Help Someone in Need
Sometimes, the best thing you can do to help yourself is to help someone else. The other person will benefit from your support, and helping others takes the focus off your own troubles and stops you brooding. There’s scientific evidence that proves that helping others is good for your health. It lowers your blood pressure, strengthens your immune system and floods your body with positive hormones.

5. Don’t Put Up with Bad Relationships
Fear of being alone is one of the most common reasons why people stay in bad relationships. And that’s a terrible act of self-sabotage. Placing company, no matter how toxic, above your own happiness, is a terrible thing to do to yourself. Even worse, company doesn’t mean you won’t feel lonely if you’re with the wrong person. If this is you, get some support, even professional help to see how you can make better decisions and take back control of your life.