17th Feb 2016
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Why spending time alone is good for you
Woman alone at a park relaxes and enjoys the solitude

We could all do with spending a little more time alone. Spending time by yourself is a wonderful way to have a break from a culture that emphasises staying connected and building up your database of ‘friends’. So, sometimes all you need is to close yourself off from the world and enjoy your own company, for your wellbeing. Here are five great reasons.

1. You clear your mind

Taking time to be alone with your thoughts goes a long way in helping you recharge. If we’re constantly surrounded by distractions – family and friends, work, the internet – we’re not giving our minds the chance to rest.

It’s helpful to look inwardly and check in with yourself from time to time. Ask yourself: How do you feel today? What would make you feel contented? Or try reading a book, taking a walk or doing a puzzle.

2. You get to choose

When you’re by yourself, you control the reins. If you want to run a bath and read for an hour, you can. If you want to go shopping and take your time browsing every shop, you can do that too.

You’re allowed to be selfish with your alone time – especially if you feel like you’re stretching yourself thinly across too many people on other days. It’s your time and you’re allowed to do as you wish with it – without feeling guilty. Work on your hobbies, have a long, luxurious lunch out, or spend the whole day watching your favourite TV show.

3. You increase your productivity  

Switching off from daily distractions and interruptions helps you to work more efficiently.  Sometimes, all you need to get the job done is to turn off the TV, shut down your phone and focus on a single task until it’s finished.  This will give you a larger sense of accomplishment and productivity. When your mind can fixate on one task, you’re likely to concentrate better, learn more and repeat the process next time around.

4. You feel independent

Being alone gives you a strong sense of being capable. You can take care of and entertain yourself – you aren’t relying on friends or your partner to keep you company. Spending time alone means feeling comfortable going out for lunch by yourself or spending time at home watching a movie, baking or doing work in the garden. It’s therapeutic to know that you don’t need others to accomplish daily tasks.

5. Your relationships improve

How many times have you walked away from an argument to be alone and returned with a clearer perspective? Time alone helps us think through problems and gain a clearer understanding of our feelings and those of others. If you’re spending time by yourself and gaining a better idea of who you are and what you want, you’ll make better decisions when you’re with others – and appreciate them more.  

Do you make sure to give yourself alone time? What things do you like to do by yourself?





    COMMENTS

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    Franky
    23rd Feb 2016
    5:46pm
    I agree with all the points made. A balance is needed between being extrovert and introvert. In the bigger picture some ancient philosophies talk of different stages in life. The Vedanta divides the stages of life into four periods: 1-25 the student, a time where we learn and experience, thereby establishing our likes and dislikes and also learn of our limitations and what we are good at. 25-50 is the householder stage. This is a time of having a family and career, creating and building a solid foundation in the outer world. 50-75 is the hermit stage, a time where we start to pull back from the outer worldly responsibilities and re-assess life. The questions asked here are 'what is it all for?, what is the purpose of life? what am I going to do with the rest of my life? what is really important to me now?' This is also a time where many downshift and simplify life again. It's also a time where we start to pass on our wisdom learned to the younger ones. 75-100 is the time to renounce, a time to look back, accept life as it is and was, and become at peace.
    In our society we don't seem to value the last two stages of life which both imply much more 'alone' time. Alone can also be seen as all one....
    food for thought.


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