Spending time alone in our context means an act of willingly separating yourself from the hustle and distractions of life and the environment into a place where you can be alone with your thoughts.
Some people naturally find this exciting while others, the most of the society, dread being alone. This is majorly caused by the popular belief in cultures that being alone is negative, being confused with loneliness.
Being alone is not loneliness. Loneliness is a feeling of lack of connection with the environment. It does not necessarily occur in the absence of people.
A person can be lonely amidst a crowd. Just like a new student would feel although they are among many other students. One can have several relationships, but if those relationships do not satisfy the person’s expectation from them, loneliness may result.
Spending time alone, however, can be beneficial. This does not mean that every time spent alone is beneficial (as there can be some unhealthy isolations), but there are vital benefits that every individual needs, that can’t be gotten through any other means apart from spending time alone.
Times When Spending Time Can Be Beneficial
1. It is voluntary
2. You also maintain positive relationships
3. You can return to social groups when desired
When You Are Forced Into Solitude
At such times, you’re not in a graveyard; you can still make something beautiful out of it. You can become intentional about it and seek for productive activities to engage in.
You don’t have to be frustrated anytime life pushes you into solitary. Studies have shown that creativity is better enhanced when an individual is alone as against group thinking.
Physical health, not just emotional health, also can be improved in moments spent alone (medically proven). It’s just about knowing the right combinations.
Social Implications of Spending Time Alone
1. It helps you know yourself truly:
Knowledge of self is important to having healthy relationships. You must know yourself and what your desires and dislikes are for you to be able to determine what quality of people you need in your life.
2. It helps you develop self-awareness and empathy:
Self-awareness is being conscious of your most likely behaviours and the mindsets that control them.
Empathy is a very important factor in building healthy and strong relationships, but it cannot be fully developed until you step back into some time alone with yourself to be able to bring into picture all the diverse motions within you.
The bubbling times with friends do not avail you the opportunity of truly recognising what is happening within you because you are most likely on the receiving end– hearing or reacting to what the other person is saying, or trying to say what fits the communication.
But time alone brings you to your own uninfluenced self.
3. It helps you calm your emotions:
Emotions like anger, excitement and timidity easily becloud us when among others. When these emotions remain, we mostly don’t make rational decisions. As the popular saying goes, the heart does not think; it knows nothing.
When you have calmed off your emotions, you can get a fresh release of quietness and a kind of rational strength to take decisions that will help the relationship at the long run.
4. It helps us cherish our time together even more:
We sometimes take for granted or get overwhelmed by relationships that are always with us, but taking out time to be on our own gives us an anticipation or excitement towards meeting the person(s) again.
Spending time alone, unlike what we have believed, is not a social problem. It can, on the other hand, produce social benefits of better and more satisfying relationships. It gives us time to know ourselves better, room to build empathy, avenue to calm off emotions and misses that make us cherish time together more. Spending time alone can, however, be detrimental if it is sponsored by loneliness.
Olusegun Iyejare is career coach and certified counsellor. He helps entrepreneurs balance mental wellbeing and entrepreneurial success. Think about maximizing your potential or living a fulfilling life and Olusegun is your go to person.