Do you like being alone? If you do, people close to you might call you an introvert.
However, this isn’t strictly true; a lot of extroverts like their space as well. After all, it can be energetically exhausting flitting from appointment to a social gathering, engaging as many people as you can along the way.
And for some introverts, they just enjoy peace, quiet, and time to reflect. So why do so many people perpetuate some stigmas about being alone? More importantly, why do other people avoid being alone?
Is it really so bad to like being by yourself?
Solitude and Loneliness
If someone you know spends a lot of time by themselves, you might describe them as “lonely”. However, this is the most important distinction to make about alone time.
Loneliness is not about your physical proximity to other people. Artists and songwriters have long bemoaned feeling “lonely in a crowd”. Therefore, we should always be careful about applying a melancholic state of mind to people who just want solo time to recharge.
Spending time alone in solitude is healthy. Psychologists suggest that through spending more time alone, you can:
⦁ Increase productivity
⦁ Give the brain a rest
⦁ Process thoughts and emotions
⦁ Reason out and solve problems
So, the next time someone makes you feel as though it’s abnormal to spend time alone each day, share these benefits. Recommend that they get more alone time themselves.
How to Enjoy Time Alone
For some, being all alone can make them anxious. They can feel as though they’re missing out on something, they crave stimulation, or may even be really bored. They simply don’t know how to enjoy being alone.
That’s okay! It’s easy to get into the habit with these solo activities.
1. Mindful hobbies.
People who like being alone rarely spend all of their alone time sitting still, doing nothing. They have special activities they like to do by themselves. Some can be done on the couch, and some include sunshine and nature. Read all about them in our post on hobbies that promote mindfulness.
2. Mindful eating.
One thing people tend to do together a lot is to eat. Truthfully, this is the biggest barrier to the gift of mindful eating. Stop subconsciously mirroring the dietary habits of others, and gain a new and healthier appreciation for food. Cook something special just for you, and see how it feels to fully experience it on your own.
There’s no better time to meditate than when you’re all alone, with no extraneous noise or distractions. If you’re not used to it, and it’s just too quiet, bring out your singing bowl. This is actually the best way for active people to slowly adjust to being alone since it only requires 10-20 minutes of your time.
4. Let loose.
Do you sometimes feel like you’re wearing a mask out in public? Whether you’re fixated on being the life of the party, or the perpetually composed voice of reason, being alone is your chance to let it all fall away. Turn your music up! Sing, dance, cry, whatever kind of release you need. There’s no one watching.
How do you spend your alone time, and what do you get out of it? Share your helpful ideas in the comments.