Why Having Time Alone Is Important

by Rebecca Taylor

I have always been a solitary person. As a kid, I loved to spend time alone, often preferring to sit on my bunk bed getting stuck into a good book over going out to parties. Being a socially anxious child did make it easier to allow myself to be alone. I also often find that being around people for too long can be extremely overwhelming. I need that time alone just as much as any other person not living with social anxiety does. Having time alone is very important – here are five reasons why you need to be by yourself at times to live your life to the full potential and feel your happiest.

1. Unwind

One thing I have really learnt over the past year is how important it is to unwind daily. Without unwinding we would just feel stress so much more which increases our blood pressure. High blood pressure can lead to headaches, muscle tension and weakened immune system. Enabling yourself relax means you will be resetting your mind and body for the next day. Some people find it so hard to wind down but it truly is important for your health and mental state. Start making it a daily habit – you will soon be reaping the benefits.

When letting yourself wind down for the day, you can do anything. This could be reading a book, watching a TV show or any other enjoyable hobby – even simply just sitting and doing nothing. It doesn’t have to be for long, just as long as you are fitting it in to your daily schedule.

2. Reflect

Sometimes problems arise and we feel stuck and unsure what to do. By being alone, we are able to reflect on any problems and think logically about all of the possible solutions and which one is best to choose. When we are with other people, sometimes we cannot see things straight or we are likely to be persuaded to see their view of the situation. What we value influences everything we do, whether we realise it or not. Being aware of this can help us to think deeply about it and act in positive ways whilst stepping away can break the thought pattern when we are too easily influenced by other people’s views and opinions.

3. Discover and get to know yourself 

At times, we can feel unhappy due to feeling out of touch with ourselves. We are so busy with daily tasks and helping others that we leave no time for ourselves to do what we really want to do. We can forget about our own importance. Whether it’s big or small, just take the time each day to do something you actually enjoy. I can guarantee you will feel much happier that you have taken the time to do something for yourself.

It has been proven that spending time alone can really help you discover yourself more by learning how to actually be alone and in your own company. Also by doing activities you enjoy and trying new things you are recognising your own strengths, weaknesses and finding out what you love to do. It also allows you to fully focus on yourself only, with no distractions.

4. It allows you to think deeply

Deep thinking can ultimately change the way you think, feel and behave. It enables you to search for more purpose and opportunities for deeper living. Even Buddha said it – “What you think, you become”.

Sometimes it’s like we forget how to think. We do everything on auto- pilot mode and do not think in depth about what we have to do or how we feel. We just do the task or feel what we feel without questioning it. By thinking deeply, it allows us to realise that often there is more than one way of thinking and more solutions to problems. Go find a quiet space without distractions, perhaps in nature and simply listen to your thoughts. Encourage yourself at this time to think deeply.

5. Increase productivity

Not surprisingly, being alone whilst doing tasks increases productivity and improves concentration.  When we are surrounded by people we get easily distracted and often forget what we are doing. Also we do not complete a task to the best of our ability. Being alone without a doubt means you will get more done. So if you can, go to quiet space or go into another room and focus on what you have to get done. You are more than likely to complete the task within no time. When working alone, you also allow yourself to work at your own speed and you look deeply for the answers yourself. When others are around we can almost feel enticed to ask others for answers and reassurance. Being on your own can help combat this by trusting yourself.

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