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Do You Spend Enough Time Alone?

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I love to be alone.  This may sound absurd, but for me, being alone is somewhat therapeutic.  On one hand, you could chalk this up to the fact that I am an only child.  Many only children are very comfortable being alone and are happy doing things by themselves.  Or, you might think it is because I am an introvert (Although I have very extroverted moments, I am indeed an introvert at heart).  Whatever the case may be, when I don’t have enough time for myself, I feel drained, antsy and over stimulated.  As a result, alone time becomes very important.

It doesn’t matter what I do when I am alone, as long as I get my ‘me time’ fix.  I might shop.  I might write.  I might take a run.  I might take a bath.  I might even just veg out in front of the TV.  Whatever the activity, it gives me the time I need to get away from others and to let myself recharge.

Being alone isn’t a statement about your relationships.  Although I believe that relationships with others are a very important aspect to life and to our happiness, spending time alone is also extremely beneficial to our mental health and happiness. Here is why:

  1. Self Discovery: Spending time alone gives you the ability to discover things about yourself and to get a real understanding of who you are.  We have grown to appreciate the art of getting to know others, but in reality, it is even more important to get to know ourselves, our preferences, our likes and dislikes without other people’s influences.
  2. Higher Sense of Independence and Increased Self-Esteem: Being alone and getting comfortable with being alone gives you a higher sense of independence.  Relying on yourself to make choices and decisions increases your self confidence, which then permeates other aspects of your life, including the times you are in the presence of others.
  3. No Need to Compromise: Often, we compromise when we are in the presence of others.  We usually work with one another to reach agreement on everything, from what we will have for dinner to what TV show to watch.  Spending time alone allows you to indulge yourself with the things you want to do and the things you love, without any negotiation.
  4. Rejuvenation for Your Soul: Getting away from others allows you to decompress and relax.  It gives you a break from the have tos and allows you to focus on the want tos.  It lets you address your own needs as opposed to everyone elses and gives you the opportunity to rejuvenate and push the ‘restart’ button.
  5. A Fresh Perspective: Time alone gives you the opportunity to clear your mind and to weed through a lot of thoughts.  This allows you to get to the heart of what YOU really think as opposed to being told or influenced by others and their opinions.  It gives you time to reflect on what is important in your life and how you feel about every day situations that need to be addressed.
  6. Higher Appreciation for Those You Love: Giving yourself the ability to be alone allows you to have a greater appreciation for the time you spend with others.  If you never have time for yourself, you’ll wish you did.  It is important to find some balance in this; but once you do, you’ll enjoy your relationships even more.

If you find that spending time alone is challenging, try to start with a small ‘dosage’ each day…even if it is for only 5 minutes.  Each day, try to amp it up by a minute or so until you get to an hour.  After practicing being alone, you will find it comes more naturally in time.

Do you like to spend time alone?  What benefits have you seen from ‘you time’?

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Posted in Brett's Blog, Mind-Body Tagged with: , ,
  • Rachel

    Great blog post. I agree with getting regular doses of me-time. I really like the way Brett broke it down into individual benefits, too. I find that my me-time does allow me to get to the heart of what I think and what I feel instead of what I’m being told by others or how I’m being influenced by others. Really enjoyed this.

  • pfi5

    I do enjoy being alone, but im afraid iv been dong this all the time,I seem to hav cut ties wih other people. what shall I do? ©

  • http://www.heartfailuresolutions.com/happiness/how-can-spring-cleaning-improve-your-emotional-health Carrie Tucker

    Great post, thanks. Alone time is great, but even when you have a toddler 24/7 for weeks on end, just finding time to spend a few minutes in quiet stillness will do the trick, even if you aren’t “alone”

    When my teenagers were little I used to stay up late to get alone time. Now at 44, I am just too wore out to stay up late for any reason! LOL! But I do crave quiet stillness!

    Many blessings,
    Carrie

  • lee

    My husband and I just bought a second home in Fl.I’m here he’s still working up north.after raising kids, caring for grandchildren, I love living alone.;I miss my husband and we value our time when we are together. after 43yrs, its added a freshness to our relationship..probably wouldn’t have survived when we were 40 but at 60some..we like it..

  • Kaya Cassan

    Thank you. I intermingle with many people and feel I take on their energy and it drains me. My goal is to take one day a week to myself. -Kaya Cassan

  • hazel

    i always wanted my me-time on a long-long trip…wherein i feel that all of my problems are taken away by the wind. you are correct on that point that when your alone you have more time to discover yourself..just don’t forget how to laugh or be too proud to cry for its by doing both that we live to its fullest..

  • Rizzia

    At 31, I really can relate to the topic and statements uttered in this article. It is very helpful to people who live their solitary. Kindly continue this and Thank you for this kind of topic!

    I Have been living alone for 14 yrs. Being alone made me more independent, trust worthy, broad minded, impartial in dealing with people&circumstances. Specially with the proffession I have.

    Affirming that it is lonely, sad some of the time, but at least i hold my time to do anything without hesitation and permission from anyone.

    When I am sad and feeling the solitary depression, I eat anything at any time, I take a walk, watch movie, travel, or drive around, then get home at any time.. It is so very relaxing when at home alone and quiet after a whole day of mingling with children and adult, and reflecting before going to sleep the good memories of each day. And learning to teach my self to forgive but not forget in order not to commit the same mistake I made each day… Coz the less mistake I make, the less pain, i give to my mind&soul, the less pain I have, is the more happiness&accomplishment of being alone..

    Being alone is not a life to pity, but a kind of life to be admired. For if it is hard to raise and support a family, it is concurring in raising a oneself without anyone or without a family beside you.

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