Whether you’re a social butterfly, a recluse, or somewhere in between, everyone can benefit from some alone time every once in a while. Unfortunately, solitude is often viewed negatively.
Anyone who spends the majority of their time alone is labeled as anti-social or maybe even depressed. But time alone is not equal to loneliness.
Loneliness happens where there is a feeling of isolation or a lack of connection. It doesn’t always mean being physically alone and can occur even when you’re around people all day long.
On the other hand, you can be on your own most of the time and still have healthy social connections, and never feel like you’re really alone. The thought of spending time alone may seem pointless or even uncomfortable to some people, but it’s actually extremely beneficial to your overall wellbeing.
Here are a few reasons why you should prioritize spending more time with yourself!
Number 1 — Allow Your Brain To Rest And Recharge
Taking care of your brain is just as important as taking care of your body. It takes a lot of mental energy to navigate other people’s personalities and opinions.
Any kind of social interaction can be exhausting after a while. Constantly tending to other’s wants and needs, and being “on” all the time can wear you down both mentally and emotionally. Your brain can only take so much social interaction.
Time spent alone allows you to recharge — and it allows your brain to refocus and slow down for a bit — so the next time you go out and face the challenges of daily life, you’ll be more prepared.
Number 2 — Improve Relationships
You can only be supportive of others after taking care of yourself first. It may sound selfish, but setting aside some alone time to focus on yourself and your own needs, is really just basic self-care — and it’s the only way you can be effective in showing up for others.
Having some “me-time” and disconnecting from other people for a little while will also help you to better appreciate the time you spend with those who are most important to you. After all, absence makes the heart grow fonder.
Number 3 — Increase Self-Awareness
Solitude allows you to just be with your thoughts and focus on yourself. It gives you a chance to think about who you really are and what you want for yourself.
Have you ever really considered your strengths, weaknesses, goals, and aspirations in detail?
Do you know what makes you tick and what brings you happiness?
Being self-aware is a very beneficial and attractive trait. It’s one of the key implements of living your life to its fullest extent. Knowing what you want makes it easier for you to go out and get it.
Also, it’s much easier to get through life’s challenges if you know where you’re going and what you’re capable of. And once you know and accept yourself, you can better appreciate the differences in others.
Self-awareness can deepen your compassion, and it’s an integral part of mental and emotional maturity.
Number 4 — Make Your Own Rules
When you’re alone, you’re in charge, and you get to make all the rules. You do not have to worry about stepping on someone else’s toes or catering to others. You get to enjoy yourself — you can indulge in your hobbies and interests, and do what you want.
Being alone gives you a sort of freedom you just can’t get anywhere else — and there’s no need to compromise — or please anyone, but you.
Number 5 — Get In Touch With Your Emotions
Constantly adjusting your personality and reactions to manage other people’s emotions can lead you to lose touch with yours. Some people even welcome this distraction to avoid having to deal with their own emotions — especially if they are negative.
Social media works in a similar way — it’s another escape that most of us seek out to get away from negative thoughts and feelings we don’t want to deal with.
Although it might be unpleasant, it is imperative to spend time alone — to sort out the ‘not-so-pleasant’ feelings, and to stay emotionally and mentally healthy.
Number 6 — Be More Productive
Teamwork is a recurring theme in most modern workplaces. Constant communication is encouraged — since it improves efficiency and can lead to more innovative ideas.
Research shows, however, that working alone every now and then can enhance productivity. A clear head leads to better concentration, which might not be accomplished during group work.
In fact, a recent study suggests that most people actually work better when they’re able to spend time alone and take breaks away from the group.
Number 7 — Enhance Creativity
Creatives of all types — from artists to musicians and writers — have been known to seek solitude before creating their most significant pieces of work.
There’s even scientific evidence that links solitude with greater bursts of creativity.
Neuroscientists have discovered that the best ideas often come when the mind is allowed to wander. Without all the external distractions, your mind can wander freely and create original thoughts and ideas.
In essence, alone time gives you a fresh perspective, which can lead to creative breakthroughs.
Number 8 — Time To Reflect
Everything seems so fast-paced nowadays. Being always in motion means there’s usually not enough time to stop and reflect on the events of the day. But even just five minutes of ‘alone time’ can give you a chance to slow down and look inward.
Processing your thoughts and experiences is necessary in order to stay grounded and positive. Self-reflection helps with this, once you find a few minutes for yourself. You can even write down your thoughts in a journal.
And while it may seem easy and much simpler just to go through the motions of daily life and to drift off into monotony, taking time out allows you to redirect yourself, and focus on your goals and purpose.
Number 9 — Become More Independent
Spending more time with yourself will begin to shift your mindset. After a while, you’ll start to enjoy the solitude and realize that you don’t always ‘need’ to be around others to enjoy yourself.
External validation becomes less important, and you’ll find that you can make confident decisions based on your own instincts. Becoming an independent person means you don’t need to look to others for fulfillment.
You can still enjoy socializing — and you won’t suddenly stop needing human contact; but you’ll find those social interactions will happen because you want them to, not because you need them to.
Number 10 — No Need To Impress
Whether we want to admit it or not, we tend to invest a lot of time and energy trying to impress others.
We want to be liked, and we try to show the best version of ourselves — be it around friends and family, coworkers, or on social media.
When you’re alone, you can relax and just be yourself — without any judgment. Taking the time to understand the person you are, also helps you to be more authentic around others — instead of trying to be someone you’re not.
This will allow you to form much deeper and more meaningful connections. Alone time should be a priority for everyone. Merely putting your phone down for a few minutes or taking a quick break to refocus, can have an incredible impact.
Time spent by yourself ‘to just enjoy your own company’ is never wasted — it is time spent strengthening your mental and emotional health, and your relationship with yourself — which is the most important one you’ll ever have!
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