“The greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to oneself.” ― Michel de Montaigne
We spend most of our days in constant contact with other people.
Technology has made us available to others at all times, so even our “alone time” is interrupted by communication from friends and family. While maintaining strong bonds with others is important for our physical and emotional health, there is also something to be gained from the ability to sit alone from time to time.
Here are some healthy benefits from being able to take some time to yourself:
- You gain a refreshed perspective.
When we are frequently hearing the opinions and thoughts of others, it’s easy for us to lose track of our own. It’s even more difficult for those who are especially good listeners, as they become sources of comfort for friends struggling with negative or pessimistic ideas. We can become wrapped up in the problems of other people’s lives, that we forget to consider what we need to be doing for ourselves.
- It gives you creative inspiration.
Our interactions with others can be a great source of material for art, writing, and other creative endeavors. On the other hand, taking the time to be alone and listen to our own thoughts can stimulate other types of powerful ideas. Some of the greatest works of art and literature manifested after long periods of solitude.
- It serves as a filter for what truly matters.
Most of us don’t realize how much we do out of pure obligation to other people. By taking a step back, we are allowing ourselves to take a deeper look at what is actually adding fulfillment to our lives. We can then make our commitments and promises with more intention and authenticity.
- It will improve your concentration.
Spending time alone gives you the freedom to think without any distractions. We might think we are talented multi-taskers, however once we spend the time in a distraction-less environment, we realize how much of our attention is lost to external stimulation.
- It can counteract feelings of loneliness.
Being alone doesn’t seem like a very sound cure for loneliness, but hear me out. When we are trying to avoid feelings of loneliness, our natural instinct is to surround ourselves with people. Although a sense of community and friendship is essential to our happiness, feelings of loneliness can actually stem from a lack of relationship with our own self. Unless you can truly master the art of spending time alone, it won’t matter how many friends you have.
Nothing can substitute the powerful bond you have with yourself.