4 Proven Benefits of Alone Time
I can honestly say with no shame that I am a loner. I grew up an only child and would often pass on social affairs for the solitude of my own room. When I was younger, I feared that this might be a problem and lead to my downfall. However, I began to see the many benefits of spending large amounts of time alone. Now, I can embrace my alone time without shame or fear of missing out. It’s important to note that alone time doesn’t always mean being locked in your room with a book and phone on silent. Alone time can be spent in public environments as well. I usually chose to eat lunch and dinner alone during the days and would even go for walks by myself around town. Also, my level of alone time might not be what you are looking for, but find an amount of time that you feel comfortable with. So with that being said, here are 4 ways that I personally saw myself benefit from the proper use of alone time!
Destroy the Fear of Loneliness
There seems to be a failure of distinction between the idea of being alone and feeling lonely. As my choice of words indicate; being alone is a state of being and feeling lonely is a state of feeling. Therefore, it is perfectly possible for someone to be alone and feel loved, occupied, and accepted. The more that you make an active choice to be by yourself, the more you will shred the fear and illusion of loneliness. I’ve noticed that many of the people who are fearful of feeling lonely surround themselves with a myriad of people and distractions. Their alone time comes as a second rate consequence of not being able to find something better to do. Once you make time for yourself, you begin to release the negative associations that being alone can bring.
In my experiences, a powerful thing happens when you are alone. You begin to unveil the layers of who you truly are. In the comfort of your own space, the only judge and jury is yourself. It becomes immensely easier to express yourself in such a tolerant environment. Also, there is no one around to dictate what you can and cannot do. If you feel like sitting in silence for 30 minutes you can do that. If you want to jump around and yell, go for it. If you need to let out some long hidden tears, now is the time. What’s powerful about this is, if done enough, you begin to exhibit this private self to the public world. You’ve been alone enough to where you are no longer able to hide true expression of that self which comes out when alone. And alas, the actualization of authenticity. It is now your job to be comfortable in that expression of authenticity.
The second half of this benefit lies in introspection. When you are left alone with your mind, it is inevitable that you will begin to question the very essence of whom you are. Why am I here? What is my purpose? Why am I afraid of xyz? And once questions are asked, the process of finding those answers is birthed. The more you begin to practice this, the deeper you will dig. I spent the last two years doing this in excess, and the amount of knowledge and truth I discovered about myself was mind blowing. It shocked me how little I knew about me, when I am me. How can the be’er not know the being? But oh how we have so much to learn. My word of encouragement is to not be afraid of yourself. It can be easy to hide from the demons and confusion which lies within your mind, but until you won’t be able to move past those struggles until you confront them.
Time to Think
This benefit links directly to the my last point discussing introspection. When you are left alone with your mind, an endless world of questions present themselves. Many of the greatest minds, philosophies, art, and businesses were cultivated in isolation. You begin to look at the world and yourself from your own lens, not that lens of someone else. Now it is inevitable to be free of external influence in your thinking. The very foundation of your thought stems from what you’ve been taught and exposed to. However, this is the closest you can get before the process of unlearning.
I feel that I must first inform you that in order to truly expand the bounds of your thinking, you must rid yourself of distraction. It might be fun to binge watch your favorite reality TV show, but each decision you make will have consequences elsewhere. When formulating a new business idea, it probably isn’t the best idea to be gossiping with your friend via text message at the same time. There are countless distractions thrown our way in these times, especially with the use of internet, but it is our duty to stay focused.
Listen to Your Inner Voice
When silence ensues, your inner voice presents itself. Once you silence the distractions, the voices of others, and calm your mind, you begin to find that reassuring voice within that speaks truth. This can be difficult to explain, but when it speaks you know it. Many people call this feeling intuition. Once you know the sound of your inner voice, you will then know how to hear its voice when you are not alone. One way to recognize this voice is in the way it presents itself. We are all the familiar with the process of formulating thought from our own subjective point of view. Well this inner voice will seem to come instantaneously in a more objective manner. It seems to speak truth without needing reasoning. There are many labels for this voice: gut feeling, intuition, God, spirit guide, higher self, and more. I won’t be delving into which of these labels are correct, as it us up to you to develop and hold onto your own system of beliefs. Regardless, it is still important to find this voice.
This is just a few of the benefits I’ve encountered over the years. Alone time is a beautiful thing when used properly. So, now it is time for a challenge. If you are someone who is used to always being surrounded by people and distractions, I challenge you to take an additional hour out of each day to dedicate to yourself. Separate yourself from other individuals and try to rid of as many distractions as possible. Now, just see what happens in that time. If you are someone whom already is alone a good amount of time, work on utilizing that time in more productive ways. This can include reading, meditation and introspection, formulating a new business venture, or anything else that you might feel to be productive. This might not be easy at first, but if done, I’m sure you will notice some changes in your life.
If you’ve experienced any other benefits along your journey of alone time, feel free to share it in the comments below so that others might learn from it!