The importance of being alone

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  4. The Power of Solitude and Why Being Alone Is Important

Creativity flourishes in solitude.

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At the same time, solitude provides you with the perfect opportunity to be with yourself and truly understand who you are. Gaining this deeper understanding of yourself will help you in all facets of your life. And not only for yourself, but for others as well. The better you know yourself, the better you are able to be a partner, friend, and person in all other relationships.

A great part of solitude is that it also gives you a chance to relax and recover from your day to day stresses. Over time, this can beat us down: break your will, your inspiration, and your beliefs.

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Getting away from it all allows you to break the cycle and recover from your typical routine. Having this space will make it all the more easier to be ready to get back to the grind when you return. They do this because it really does work. When you have a clearly defined task that requires focused attention, being in solitude is the best way to achieve your goals.

In these situations your full attention can go to the task at hand. It sounds great, but making it happen may be a bit more difficult. There are two main approaches to take that can help you find solitude.

Why Being Alone Is Key To Self-Improvement

This is exactly what it sounds like. You pretty much need to shut yourself off from the rest of the world, when the opportunity arises. Here are some examples. A major part of this is turning off the technology. While we naturally have moments of solitude throughout a day, they are often consumed by technology. So for this to truly work, you have to remove it from the equation. Turn off the phone or laptop or iPad or TV or whatever you may have and just be. The second approach, which is not only more fun, but also more beneficial, is to get away from it all.

Instead of shutting yourself off from everyone, just put some distance between you and them. Take a road trip, go on vacation, take a hike, go up to the mountains, or camp by the lake. You might accomplish these things and you might not, but the real value is in the practice not the outcome. In reality, you can find solitude anywhere, you just have to make the extra effort to do so. By paying attention and making the most of the lulls in your day, you can find solitude daily.

And just a word of warning. The goal is not to be in solitude all the time either. So try and take some time for yourself and be alone. The participants in the research were asked about a wide range of activities and told to note the ones that made them feel most rested. Being bored and alone shuts off the parts of the brain that promote heightened awareness, which can help lower stress, says research from the University of Rochester.

Being Alone vs Being Lonely - What's the Difference?

It may seem counterintuitive, but being alone can actually help fight depression. Studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign found that people who spend more time alone have lower risk of depression.

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  • Most people get antsy or nervous when tasked with being alone for a long amount of time. In fact, a study from the University of Virginia showed that most people would rather shock themselves than spend time alone with their thoughts! But confronting uncomfortable situations, like pushing yourself to sit through extended periods of solitude, has been shown to increase mental strength. Want to get happy? Set aside time off for some alone says research published in the British Journal of Psychology.

    And for more on finding positive feelings, here are 50 Most Genius Happiness Hacks.

    20 Reasons Spending Time Alone Is Essential for Your Health | Best Life

    Taking time to hang out in isolation can have the character-building complement of boosting empathy, says a study conducted at Harvard University. Researchers found that sessions in solitude helped feel and better understand the experiences and plights of others, allowing them to delve deeper into compassion with real sincerity. The myriad of improvements that can arise from being alone—better creativity, stronger relationships, less stress—all snowball together to make your entire life a better one.

    Getting in touch with your true thoughts, which are much easier to access while in seclusion, will give you a much fuller and fulfilled existence. Indulging in alone time with no distractions and demands on attention allows your brain to clear itself and focus on resting and unwinding the multiple threads that make up your daily life.

    Constantly being around people is a good way to feel exhilarated for the super extroverted, but it can also feel incredibly draining, no matter your personality type. Being alone allows you to regain your emotional bearings and recharge your energy stores. When you are surrounded by other people for a large part of your day, relying on them for advice, opinions, and assistance can lull you into a kind of emotional dependency that can keep you from being self-reliant.

    If you want to feel independent in your life, you need to have the assurance that being self-confident can bring. Sometimes when grappling with a particularly thorny problem at work, or trying to figure out a way to solve a quandary in your personal life, the constant din of other incoming information from other people or digital devices can keep the solution at bay.

    Taking time to be alone and let your brain mull over the problem with no other distractions can reveal the answer. Distractions and interruptions are constantly being thrown at you during the day, from the daily barrage of emails to requests from co-workers. When you set aside some serious alone time it can help cut out the majority of those disturbances, allowing you to better concentrate on a problem or work task.

    The improved concentration that solitude can give you will then often translate into your productivity being boosted. The ability to focus intently on a project when holed up all by yourself will permit greater gains and better insights. Studies have shown that brain power can be bumped up by passing time by yourself, but checking out of society for a spell can also sharpen memory.

    The Power of Solitude and Why Being Alone Is Important

    Research out of Harvard found that when people are attempting to complete a task that they know is all on their shoulders, they will remember key details better than those who worked collaboratively. Group think—the phenomenon of people in a group allowing their opinions to turn toward a consensus—is real. Being alone gives you that break and allows deeper thoughts that probe your core being.

    The continuous churning of thoughts pinging through your brain that just are solely focused on simple everyday responsibilities can be overwhelming sometimes. Being able to consistently set allot some time to being alone can help your brain brush aside the barrage of baloney and let you think deeply. Being forced into conversations and meetings and other group activities can often make it hard for people to step back and recognize details.