8 Reasons Being Alone Is Good For You

8 Reasons Being Alone Is Good For You

In a world where spending time alone is often mistaken for loneliness and social isolation, not many people would often consider how helpful it is to take the time to clear their heads once in a while. While there are people who truly suffer full-blown monophobia, others just have a social aversion to being alone. They’re afraid of not having a bubbling circle of friends around at all times, afraid of going to the club or movies alone because they would just be a “pitiful sight,” afraid of traveling or vacationing alone because having someone by their side is good for the mind and social image.

While spending time with the people we love is essential to our wellbeing, we can’t emphasize enough the importance of alone time. Taking the time to be by yourself, reflect on your life, and sort out your thoughts is necessary for personal growth and development. People are afraid of the misconception that being alone can cause a person to spiral into depression or anxiety. These mental health issues arise mostly from full-blown loneliness, not a voluntary act to healthily isolate oneself and catch a breather. [1]

If you’re constantly cramming your schedule with activities that never give you a moment to be alone, it might be time to reevaluate your lifestyle. There’s always so much more you could discover and about yourself and how your mind works when you take the time to search it without any distractions. 

You don’t have to sit in a dark corner and wear a pensive look to spend time alone. Start by refraining from calling your friends or siblings at least one day in the week when you want to hang out. It’s not social murder to go to the mall alone. At least you’d have a chance to make choices without external opinions. You could go to the bowling alley by yourself and enjoy several rounds without anyone else’s judgment or perspective about how you should have handled the ball.

Here are 8 solid reasons why you need to be alone sometimes. [2]

1. It reduces stress and anxiety

Engaging in countless activities longer than you should is like a vehicle running on a vaporized gasoline. It will bump and hump until it comes to a total stop. Alone time helps you reduce the risk of burnout from anxiety or stress. Give yourself enough time to do something you love, relax, and take a nourishing break to improve your mental and physical health.

“Like a battery, your brain needs time to recharge,” said LaTasha Perkins, a D.C. based family physician.  “Some of this occurs during sleep, but conscious rest is necessary for the psychological reduction of bad stress.” [3]

2. It clears the mind

Spending time alone is necessary for revitalizing the body and clearing the mind of constant chatter from our lives. It allows you the opportunity to focus, think more clearly, and process some thoughts and information that may have been relegated to the back of mind — a sort of mental detoxification. You’ll feel lighter and less burdened when you’ve taken the time to sort out the clutter in your head. 

3. It builds confidence and encourages independence

While we all deserve to have people to walk through the journey of life with, clinging incessantly to them might make us lose sight of our individuality. We need to be able to hold our own when these special people are not available. If you spend so much time in the company of your friends, you might have a hard time readjusting if for some reason, the circle breaks up. 

Most people who can’t be alone often deal with confidence issues. Walking, eating, or drinking in a public place alone is just too difficult. Taking the time to push beyond the mental cages, little by little, is a great way to build your confidence and boost your self-esteem. You’d become more independent of external support, evolving into an individual who can aspire beyond horizons previously limited by the fear of having to explore them alone.

4. Establishing priorities

It’s not always going to be easy to set your priorities straight when you never give yourself enough time to think about them. Also, when you’re always in the company of others, their priorities tend to interfere with yours and subtle competitions would be sparked. Time alone allows you to objectively decide what is important to you and which activity supersedes the other every day.

5. It strengthens relationships

This may not make a lot of sense, but people who observe their alone time are actually paving the way for their relationships with others to thrive and flourish. Time alone helps us to understand ourselves better, straighten out our values, analyze our interactions with others, and figure out the things we often do wrong. 

6. It enhances creativity

Light-bulb moments are usually experienced when a person allows their mind to wander beyond the visible horizons. Creativity occurs on a spectrum and everyone has a bit of it in them — you just have to let it kick in. That prototype you’re designing, that business idea, that handcraft you didn’t know you could stretch to such incredible extremes; your alone time is the best time to be inspired.

7. It boosts productivity

This is one of the most obvious reasons why being alone is good for you. You’d focus and concentrate better on your work and activities when you’re not surrounded by people at all times. Also, taking the time to clear your head and relax improves your productivity when you return to work. It’s a win-win situation for you.

8. It keeps you happy and energized

Your alone time is not a pensive period to be moody and gloomy. Actually, you’d find how revitalizing it is to relax and enjoy your own company once in a while. Focus on channeling positive energy into your life and dispensing the negativity.

It’s not a crime to take a vacation alone or go to the movies and laugh or cry to yourself. Your friends may be surprised or even hurt at first, but you don’t owe anyone your entire self. Clear your schedule early, go home, sit by the window with a book, and read to your heart’s content. You need it, and more importantly, you deserve it. 

References

  1. “Dealing With Depression and Loneliness.” Everyday Health. Madeline R. Vann, MPH. August 5, 2012
  2. 10 Reasons Why Being Alone Is Awesome.HuffPost. Kelly Fitzgerald. June 23, 2015.
  3. 6 Reasons You Should Spend More Time Alone.Psychology Today. Sherrie Bourg Carter Psy.D.January 31, 2012
  4. “What is autophobia?” Healthline. Timothy J. Legg, PhD, PsyD, CRNP, ACRN, CPH.October 12, 2017
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