Why Spending Time Alone Is Important

In the age of social media, we can literally spend all of our waking hours in contact or communication with people.

It’s because of that, we’re spending less time alone, and missing out on a number of key benefits to our well-being.

It’s important for all of us to make time for ourselves to think, reflect, and unwind from the stresses of the world around us.

Here are four reasons why you should spend more time by yourself.

Assortment of items on a bed

1. Being alone gives you greater mental wellness

A study conducted on first-year students found that those who valued and enjoyed alone time displayed greater psychological well-being.

I can remember in my college days I always enjoyed getting back to my apartment after a long day on campus.

Perhaps as a result, that was how I was able to manage through the ups and downs of my time in school.

If you’re not someone who normally enjoys being alone, brainstorm ways you can make your time more enjoyable.

It makes sense that if we’re able to feel good all by ourselves, that makes us mentally stronger in life.

Additionally, when we’re more well in our mind, that makes us better able to serve others.

We can be kinder, friendlier, and more helpful to people, creating better relationships in our lives.

2. Alone time helps re-establish your values

Another finding from the previous study mentioned was that alone time helped the students be able to re-establish their values.

When you’re around other people, you can’t really think too much about what really matters to you.

Time around other people means you have to spend part of your thinking considering other people’s needs and desires.

But when you’re alone, within the silence of solitude you’re able to think deeper about your own needs and desires.

Being alone has always been helpful to me in getting back to the foundation of my true desires in life.

3. Being alone can make you more creative

Psychology researchers found that when people choose to socialize less and be alone more, they usually tend to be more creative.

I think about some of the great musical artists of our time that usually seemed to be more introverted.

For myself, when I’ve been alone with my guitar, I’ve been able to come up with some music that I thought was really creative.

Taking time alone can gives us a chance to explore our creative outlets and as a result, have more joy in life.

4. You’re more productive when alone

It’s been my experience that whenever I’m by myself, I tend to get more done than I would around other people.

When you think about it, having other people around you while doing your work can be a little distracting.

Someone may decide to start up a conversation with you, or you may decide to start up a conversation with them.

The next time you really need to get some work, try being alone and seeing how much you get done by yourself.

You might get your work done much faster than you imagined.

Alone time increases with age

The Pew Research Center found that as we get older, we usually end up spending more time alone.

People in their 70s averaged three hours more alone time daily than people in their 40s and 50s. In fact, those older than 60 spend half their waking hours alone.

Eventually, most of us we’ll have to get used to being alone. Becoming comfortable with it now will make it easier for you later.

Tips for enjoying your alone time more

1. Find something new to learn

One thing I can find enjoyment doing when I’m alone is taking time to learn some new things.

I can recall times I spent hours reading up on things I wanted to learn more about.

It might be safe to say that the majority of us have something we’re curious about in this world.

Even if it may seem silly to others, it’s still interesting to you. Spend some of your time alone looking up information on the things you’re most curious about.

2. Enjoy one of your creative outlets

There are a number of different creative activities you could spend time enjoying when you’re alone.

You could do creative writing, drawing, painting, singing, dancing, playing music, and many other things.

Do any activity that you know you really enjoy or try different ones until you find one you like.

Enjoying creative activities has been proven to be a boost to our well-being.

3. Just relax

In our modern world, we can spend too much time constantly on-the-go. Constantly scrolling through our phones and feeling like we constantly have to be doing something.

Let your alone time be your moment where you can take a breath and just relax yourself for a minute.

You can take time to do some meditation or start writing in a journal daily. Do something that helps you to unwind and let go of the stress you’ve endured in your day.

If you need more ideas of what to do alone, here’s a list of 30 ideas for how to use your alone time.

Final thoughts on being alone

It’s perhaps just as beneficial to embrace solitude as it is to socialize with others.

The science shows us that we have a lot to gain by choosing to make time to be by ourselves.

Do what you can to give yourself the alone time you need in life.

In the words of Tamim Ansary, “We need solitude, because when we’re alone, we’re free from obligations, we don’t need to put on a show, and we can hear our own thoughts.”

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