Spending time alone is good for you

spending time alone, woman with hair in bun sitting on dock, leaning back

There are typically two types of people when it comes to the topic of being alone: those who love it and those who don’t. Sometimes, people transition from one type to the other. Perhaps when you were younger, you always wanted to be surrounded by family or friends. Now, as you get older, you’re learning to enjoy your own company more. Spending time alone is beneficial in several ways. There’s also the question of how you spend your time alone. Do you sleep? Read? Exercise? Do you pray or engage your creative skills? Maybe you do a little of each.

If the idea of spending time alone makes you uncomfortable, you might want to explore the idea to understand why. It’s to become comfortable in your own presence without having anyone else around. Among many benefits to spending solitary time on a regular basis are the three items mentioned in the following list:

  • It provides space, time and opportunity to tap into your creative self.
  • Alone time enables self-exploration.
  • Being alone is often restful, which helps conserve energy for the next social occasion.

Spending time alone helps tap into your creative skills

spending time alone, woman with long brown hair and glasses, sitting by creek, reading book, white dress

Humans are social creatures. However, when you’re alone, you don’t have to interact or serve the needs of others. Even nonchalant, daily interaction with other people influences your thoughts, words and actions, whether you realize it or not. Being alone enables you to explore your own mind and being in a private, more intimate way without intrusion. Studies show that being alone actually prompts changes in the brain that open the gateways for creative thinking.

Think of the most creative people you know, whether in person or someone you have read about, such as a famous author, painter, musician or entrepreneur. Chances are, these people spend an ample amount of time alone. Researchers say that feeling socially isolated or lonely sparks activity in the brain where imaginative thoughts take place. It’s like your brain senses that you’re lonely and tries to come up with ways to fill the void.

Get to know yourself better by spending time alone

Asian woman sitting in grass, reaching up

Like most adults in the modern world, you probably “wear many hats.” In addition to working a full-time job or running your own company, maybe you’re  someone’s spouse or parent as well. The duties of your everyday, ordinary life no doubt keep you busy — so busy, in fact, that you rarely have time to consider your own needs or desires in life. This is another reason that spending time alone is good for your mental, emotional and physical health. It provides the perfect setting for self-exploration. Whether you let your mind wander or create a specific list of topics you want to think about in your alone time, when you’re by yourself, you’re free to expand your thoughts.

Is there an issue or person you’ve been struggling with? Self-analysis might lead you to a solution or, at least, a way to improve your circumstances. How well do you really know yourself? What are you real interests (not the things you do because they are other people’s interests)? What are you innermost needs? Spending time alone is a valuable tool for personal growth and development. It can a lot of fun, too! You might want to try some of these activities or these!

Interacting with others will be less stressful when you purposely withdrawal from time to time

spending time alone, man wearing glasses, plaid shirt, drinking from coffee mug, cat nearby

A sociologist named Eric Klineberg has stated that adults who live alone often have more active social lives than those who share their households with others. It may be that spending time alone allows you to rest your mind and body or — the opposite — to engage yourself in ways you’re often unable to do in a social setting or workplace. The point is that giving yourself time to think, to do what you want to do, to rest and to rejuvenate your spirit with no input from another person helps you build energy in your mind, body and spirit. When you have more energy, you may be less stressed when you go back to interacting with other people.

If you’re not used to spending time alone, it can be a bit unsettling at first. You might feel disconnected or awkward. It’s also possible that being alone might stimulate negative thoughts. If this happens to you, don’t give up. Try scheduling time to be alone for several months before you determine if it is beneficial or not. You might just find that you start to enjoy your own company and, perhaps, even look forward to it!

 

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