I wouldn’t say that I’ve been a loner all my life. However, I highly enjoy having some alone time almost daily. Even if just for an hour or two, it has been very important for me to personally spend some alone time. It has to be on a consistent basis. For me my focus is high. During this alone time, I can talk and listen to God….this keeps me grounded, happy, and on the right track. Significantly enough, spending alone time has aided in me loving and appreciating myself more. Some people can go for a walk or listen to music and feel that they are deeply in touch with themselves. Others cannot.
Can you recall the last time you were alone with your thoughts, without music, friends, social media or family to distract you? Or does the thought of being stuck with your thoughts terrify you? A recent story in the Atlantic examined solitude and found choosing to be alone can boost health, if it happens in the right context. “Solitude can be restorative,” Brent Crane wrote. “Yet, because the study of solitude as a positive force is new, it’s hard to speak in precise scientific terms about it: We don’t know what the ideal amount is, for instance, or even if there is one. Most likely, such measures are different for everybody.”
In today's constantly connected world, finding solitude has become a lost art. In fact, Western culture tends to equate a desire for solitude with people who are lonely, sad, or have antisocial tendencies. But seeking solitude can actually be quite healthy. In fact, there are many physical and psychological benefits to spending time alone. Inserting a little solitude into your overfilled schedule isn’t a waste of time, however. The busier you are, the more likely you are to benefit from some quiet time. There are a multitude of studies that tout the benefits of solitude. Here are just a few science-backed reasons for spending time alone:
1. Alone time increases empathy – when you hang with a certain group or people…or your main people. You develop a we vs. them mentality. When you spend alone time, it can aid you in developing empathy for people outside of your normal circle
2. Solitude increases productivity – putting it simply, being alone aids people in performing better…rather an assignment for work, school, or personal.
3. Solitude sparks creativity - Being alone with your thoughts gives your brain a chance to wander, which can help you become more creative. This is why artistic people tend to be along at home or some other location when they are busy creating
4. Being alone can help you build mental strength - Studies show the ability to tolerate alone time has been linked to increased happiness, better life satisfaction, and improved stress management. People who enjoy alone time experience less depression.
5. Solitude may reduce behavior problems in kids - research shows kids who learn to by themselves are better behaved than other children. Be a good role model and teach solitary skills early.
6. Being alone gives you an opportunity to plan your life - Spending time alone can give you a chance to ensure there’s a purpose to all of your hustling and bustling. Quiet space provides an opportunity think about your goals and your progress.
7. Solitude helps you know yourself - Being alone helps you become more comfortable in your own skin. When you’re by yourself, you can make choices without outside influences
Constantly being "on" doesn't give your brain a chance to rest and replenish itself. Being by yourself with no distractions gives you the chance to clear your mind, focus, and think more clearly. It's an opportunity to revitalize your mind and body at the same time. When you remove as many distractions and interruptions as you can from your day, you are better able to concentrate, which will help you get more work done in a shorter amount of time. When you're a part of a group, you're more likely to go along with what the group is doing or thinking, which isn't always the actions you would take or the decisions you would make if you were on your own.