Why are people so incredibly against being alone? We all seem to be afraid of it. We make friends who usually aren’t worth having. We date people we shouldn’t be dating. We spend our time and money running away from being on our lonesome.
Loneliness is not something to aim for, but being alone doesn’t necessarily mean being lonely. In fact, spending more time with ourselves, without being surrounded by people, and without virtually surrounding ourselves via all those social networking platforms, we can find solace in the company that matters most: the relationship we have with ourselves.
Here are 15 benefits of spending time alone:
1. Introduces You To A Simple Life
A simple life is a beautiful life. In this day and age, we often find ourselves overwhelmed with things we want to do, ought to do, need to do and are avoiding doing. We all have so much going on in our lives, but to what end? It’s as if we are all running some sort of race, a race with no real finish other than death. People are aiming for a happy life somewhere down the line when the point of life is being happy throughout the ride.
2. Allows You To Keep Your Mind Clear
I’m sure I’m not the only person who finds himself mentally overwhelmed. Our minds are capable of storing massive amounts of information. However, you can’t simply collect information. You need to organize it. Our minds have a filing system that, in part, works on its own, but it requires slowing down and removing yourself from the constant flow of new information. You can’t process and file simultaneously. We don’t come equipped with dual processors.
3. Helps Maintain A More Accurate Perception
More stable would probably be a better way to put it. Our perceptions are flexible; they change as we accumulate new experiences. But when we are constantly interacting with others and constantly processing new information, it makes getting a grasp on reality rather tricky. It’s not so much that you don’t have a clear perception of your reality; it’s that you don’t take enough time to explore the reality you’ve created. Removing yourself from the world allows you to reacquaint yourself with the way you see the world.
4. You Will Learn Things About Yourself That You Couldn’t Otherwise
By understanding the way you perceive the world, you gain insight into you as an individual. You will have more time to consciously roam around in your mind, to notice the way you think, notice the way your thoughts interact with the physical world, and notice how you judge both the outside world and yourself.
We think all the time, but it's not often that we look at our thoughts from the outside looking in. We are more often than not caught up in thought, failing to differentiate our formulated thoughts from ourselves, the thinkers. Spend more time alone to develop the ability to differentiate yourself from all those thoughts flying about in your head. You two aren’t one in the same.
5. Relieves Anxiety
Because we don’t differentiate between ourselves and our thoughts, anxiety quickly builds. If we are overwhelmed by all the thoughts we’re having, not being able to slow them down because we feel they are a part of us, we begin to feel heavy and sluggish. If the thoughts are negative, they end up affecting us profoundly. Spending more time on your lonesome will allow you the opportunity to set your mind straight and rid yourself of unnecessary negative thoughts, alleviating your anxiety.
6. Forces You To Become Less Dependent On Others
Most people don’t like being alone because they feel the need to be social, to interact with others. This is a part of human nature. However, the amount of social interaction we require to remain sane is nowhere near the amount most of us experience on a daily basis. Moreover, the amount necessary is much less than the amount we feel we need.
The fact is, most of us are dependent on others for our happiness. We use them as distractions. Distractions from what? From ourselves. But why do you feel the need to keep you away from you?
7. Your Life Becomes More Efficient
We spend a lot of time in our lives, excuse my French, dicking around. We do things for the sake of doing them. We "hang out." We "chill." We find ways of filling up our days in order not to have time to do nothing – because doing nothing is bad. But the fact is, you can’t do nothing; it’s physically impossible. You are a living thing and are always doing something.
More than that, you are a human being. Our minds aren’t capable of doing absolutely nothing. Try doing nothing and you’ll notice that you’re still doing something. Becoming comfortable with being alone removes a lot of excess waste from your life because you come to realize it as being useless.
8. You Slow Down
Life isn’t a race. If it were, then you should be trying to avoid the finish line, not get there sooner. Taking the time to slow down and enjoy the little things -- the air around you, the chair you are sitting in, the way your tongue feels pressed against your teeth -- will bring you greater joy than you ever thought possible. Being alive should be enough to make you happy. If it doesn’t, you need to slow down and remove yourself from distractions.
9. You Remove Yourself From Unnecessary Information
Just 10 years ago, we weren’t exposed to nearly as much information as we are now. Looking back 50 years, the difference is colossal. Human beings are not yet used to being fed so much information; processing all this information can become difficult – mostly because the majority of it is useless to us. Humans developed their cognitive abilities as a means of surviving.
But knowing that Sarah is eating a cheeseburger via Instagram or that Justin Bieber may get deported via Twitter does not relate to our personal happiness. It’s all information that doesn’t make the least bit difference to our personal lives, to our well-being. Unplugging from this constant stream of information is incredibly relieving.
10. You’ll Come To Accept That You’re Enough To Make Yourself Happy
The only way to achieve sustainable happiness is to be happy with the bare minimum. Why? Maintaining anything requires constants and the only thing you can never lose and never have to worry about losing is you. You will always have you. You can lose everything else, but you can’t lose you. Learn to be happy with just yourself and everything else positive that comes your way will only be a very pleasant surprise.
11. You’ll Save Money
It turns out that being alone is a lot cheaper than spending time with others. Alone, you can literally just sit or close your eyes and do close to nothing, just thinking and imagining. Now imagine trying to convince your friends to come over and do the same. Not going to happen. You’re going to have to spend money one way or another. Socializing always comes at a price, while being alone only costs you on occasion.
12. Get Introduced To Your Weaknesses
People seem to be afraid of being alone and getting to know themselves because they are afraid of what they’ll find. Their egos don’t like their minds doing the digging because they will surely find soft spots. We all have our weaknesses. You can choose to ignore them or you can understand them and learn how to position yourself in a way where you either work on them or avoid having to expose them.
13. Allows You To Set Your Priorities Straight
Society convinces us that we want a lot of things we really don’t want. It’s the competitive nature of man that has us reaching for the stars when, in reality, the ground under our feet is more than enough. There’s nothing wrong with aiming high -- I sure as hell do -- but make sure that what you’re aiming for is something you actually want, not something you want because others want it as well.
If you don’t really want something, but are aiming for it, anyway, you are only setting yourself up for disappointment. If you don’t get it, you’ll be disappointed with not getting it, and if you do get it, you’ll be disappointed that it wasn’t what you thought it’d be. Get your priorities straight and you’ll have less disappointment in your life.
14. Allows You To Stay More Focused
We aren’t meant to just be focusing on tasks. We are also meant to focus on ourselves. Very few living creatures are capable of understanding themselves as individuals -- most simply act without understanding that they exist. For whatever reason, our culture emphasizes constant action and little reflection. Spend some time focusing on yourself and your thoughts and less on actions. There’s no point of constantly going after achievements if you lose sight of who you are as a living being.
15. Makes You Accept That You’re Alone In This Life – And Makes You Okay With It
We are born alone and we die alone. What few come to realize is that the majority of our lives we actually spend alone. We spend a lot of our lives trying not to be alone, true, but in reality, we are alone the entire time. That’s okay. In fact, it’s wonderful. You are you and just you. You are unique. You are one of a kind. You don’t need anyone else to make you better because you are amazing just the way you are. You’re simply choosing to ignore that fact.
Spend more time with yourself and only yourself, and soon you will realize that as truth.