The concept of being alone can be a frightening one to many people.
We like to surround ourselves with friends, family, and social media accounts so that even when we are alone we really aren’t.
Some people avoid being alone for a variety of reasons.
Some people don’t like the silence and it makes them uncomfortable.
Some people feel more invigorated and energized when they are with or around others.
Some people don’t like where their thoughts may stray, so they purposefully avoid taking alone time.
Still, some people enjoy being alone but with technology and social media, they aren’t actually getting quality alone time.
Making an effort to unplug and step away for a little time alone is more beneficial than you may think.
Spending some time alone each week has many wellness advantages. Being alone can be unnerving, but it can also be very healthy for us and therapeutic.
Spending time alone doesn’t mean living alone or isolating yourself permanently, it simply means making the effort to spend a few hours a week without anyone else or any social media/ electronic communication distractions.
Getting some alone time can be as easy as excusing yourself to an empty room to read a book, or go to a movie by yourself.
You can take a walk outside, or spend time working on a hobby in a solitary space.
Alone time doesn’t have to be silent, either.
You can learn to play an instrument, or blast your music as loud as you want with a pair of headphones.
The key to getting solid, healthy alone time is to unplug from communicating and interacting with others for a little while (with the exception of emergency phone calls or obligations.)
People who make an effort to spend time alone are smarter and stronger. Here are 5 reasons why:
1. Increased productivity.
Spending time alone, and unplugged, gives you time to process.
There’s a lot going on in our lives and in the world at every single moment.
Taking the time to get away and not have any distractions gives you time to process everything going on.
When you have time to process, you have time to organize your thoughts, feelings, and responses.
Being able to take time alone to process all of this also gives you time to problem solve and create productive solutions—regardless whether those solutions require action or not.
Spending time alone teaches you to rely more upon yourself for the basics than upon someone else.
This can be as simple as learning to care for yourself when you are sick, cooking your own dinner, or maintaining your own household.
Living alone is not a requirement, but using alone time to learn how to do these tasks will strengthen your independence, as well as your reliability and ability to assist others.
People who spend time alone have more time to self-reflect.
This provides the opportunity to figure out who you are, and who you want to be.
This increases self-confidence as well as self-awareness.
When you have the time to self-reflect, you have the time to acknowledge your flaws and short comings as well as strategize ways to improve or change them if you feel so inclined.
This also increases your accountability because if you are self-aware, then you are able to identify and accept responsibility for your own actions. Good and bad.
4. Improved concentration.
Spending time alone increases your ability to focus on a single task or project.
Being alone and unplugged from social media and electronic communications (such as texting or email) for a few hours eliminates many distractions that prevent us from being able to focus and complete a given task.
Spending time alone strengthens your concentration and improves your productivity.
5. Improved relationships.
It seems contradictory that spending time alone can actually improve your relationships with others, but it’s true.
Taking time to be by yourself gives you the space to figure out who you are and what you want your life to be.
Having the time to consider this, will also give you the time to look closely at the people you surround yourself with.
Maybe you find you’re ready to move in a new direction and following the same routine with the same friends is no longer valuable for you.
Instead of just going through the motions and ignoring how these outdated habits are holding you back, taking the time to look at yourself and your life will help you construct better relationships and routines that are more suitable to your life as it evolves.
Taking time to yourself can also give you time to evaluate what you are giving and getting from these friendships or relationships.
After a few hours alone, you might realize you have more to give and contribute, or that the relationship isn’t very nurturing and doesn’t add value to your life.
Not only does it help build better friendships, but taking time for yourself improves long-term relationships and partnerships as well.
Your spouse or family unit is more difficult to alter than your friendships and social circles;
you can’t just stop being with your family like you can stop going to poker night or for drinks at the bar.
What being alone offers for these relationships is a break.
You should want to spend time with your family and/or partners, but too much time all the time can start to feel like a burden.
Taking a few hours for yourself can give you the space to recharge and find your individuality again.
After a few hours of alone time, you will feel renewed, strengthened, and more appreciative of your family and partner because you took time to care for yourself and pursue your own interests or hobbies.
Feeling strengthened and empowered as an individual means that you have more to offer to a partnership and/or family because you are now a centered and steady force in the relationship.
Making the effort to spend a few hours alone each week—away from others and unplugged from electronic communications—will add to your overall wellness.
You will have increased productivity, concentration, self-awareness, and stronger relationships. Recharge, strengthen, and get smarter with some time by yourself.