Who says being alone is a bad thing? In our society and modern way of life, we’re always obsessing over business connections and being social. But that pursuit is an oftentimes stress inducing one that leaves are used physically, mentally, and spiritually drained. Many claim that being alone is a bad thing, but why? Contrary to this commonplace belief, solitude is a great way to grow and fortify oneself in preparation for the world outside our doors.
Most of productive creative thought happens when we’re alone. Being alone with one’s thoughts is a great way to sort through ideas and think outside the box. Reflection is a key process for thinking creatively. Too often when we are surrounded by others we unknowingly get forced into groupthink habits. At work have you ever been forced into a group of 4 or 5 people and asked to brainstorm ideas for work? Many managers think this is a good idea because of the number of ideas presented, however the actual quality of the ideas and suggestions are relatively low. The pressure to think of something good but not too good or too simple overrides the creative thinking process. Solitude allows for one to relax and look at the topic from all angles in a stress free environment.
All day you’re calling, texting, signing, and speed walking–it’s important to take a break from that to recharge and re-evaluate. And no getting home late and collapsing on your bed in fatigue is not proper recharging. It’s about taking the conscious effort to set time aside for yourself. The phone, internet, demanding job, or 5 page paper will still be there when you get back. Finding peace for a few minutes or a few hours provides a dramatic improvement in the way we see the world and those in it.
This goes hand in hand with the last 2 points, but deserves to be discussed separately. By taking time to think and reflect on our personal lives, we open up an honest discourse with ourselves. Too often we allow ourselves to sit in denial or ignorance simply because there’s no time to worry about it all. But if you aren’t careful, this could lead to mental stresses and ultimately break downs. By taking time to think about your life, your family, your friends, and the environment you’re in you get a better handle on it all.
Spirituality and Meditation
No matter your beliefs, it’s important to take yourself out of the worldly elements for a while and truly meditate and think about things. Too often we go through a routine and feel we have to believe certain things or act certain ways because that is what we were taught. But simply taking time to think independently can do wonders to both strengthen and reconstruct our spiritual views. It provides a way we can be honest with ourselves about what we believe to be true or false, right or wrong. No one’s experience of life is the same and likewise no one has the exact same views on spirituality. Don’t allow yourself to just be under a generic umbrella category without thinking about your own personal thoughts and beliefs in relation to it.
It may seem to be the opposite but it’s true. By being alone, we are able to focus on ourselves and build up or esteem. Too often when we go out there will be a poster of a model or a successful guy climbing out of his Aventador labrogini. By comparing with others we lose ourselves and belittle ourselves. By taking time to connect with your thoughts and feelings, you remove part of that insecurity and anxiety which many people suffer through daily.
Memory and Concentration
Many can attest to the benefits of studying and working alone. It allows for you to be productive with minor white noise from those surrounding you. Concentration and memory are things many people struggle with (especially those in the ADD generation of today) but intended solitude helps create a productive mindset that promotes these important skills.
Remember, being alone is not a negative thing. It’s a way to grow comfortable in one’s own skin (something even adults struggle with). It might seem daunting and intimidating to do something new or experience something in a new way, but that’s how people grow (and we never really stop growing in some aspects). Alone is very different from lonely. Solitude means coming to terms with oneself in an honest way that transfers into the rest of your life. Going to lunch alone, shopping alone, swimming alone, going to dinner alone, dancing alone: these don’t have to be bad things! The experience of life is not defined by those around us but by each individual for themselves. So take a breath and separate yourself for a while and I promise you won’t miss the noise.