When was the last time you spent any time alone with yourself? And no, being alone with your smartphone doesn’t count.
Did you know that we now spend up to 18 hours a day staring at a screen of some sort…
It seems like we can go for weeks without ever having to actually be alone with you and your thoughts. If you’re not careful, you can spend your ‘alone time’ chatting away to your friends on Whatsapp. Maybe you even end up talking to strangers.
*Hello Tinder*.. chatting with matches you never plan on actually meeting…
Why You Should Spend Time Alone
Hang on though, do you even NEED to spend any time alone? What benefits are there of spending precious time in solitude?
About a year ago (when I first published this article actually), I started to spend time alone with myself. I started carving out time to be in solitude, away from friends and family. And most importantly, away from my smartphone.
It could be a short walk in nature, exercising or reading my book in a coffee shop.
It didn’t matter what you were doing, but it had to be alone, peaceful and something you enjoyed. Pretty soon, you notice the benefits.
You learned more about who you are. You discover your purpose in life (or lack of). It turns out that I like being alone. Spending time alone led to me making peace with my desire to travel and be a digital nomad.
Do you need even more reasons why you should spend time with you? Then I’ll shut up and let you read in peace; 8 benefits of spending time alone.
8 Benefits Of Spending Time Alone
1. Solitude gives you the chance to discover who you are.
When you’re always spending time in a group, it’s easy to not make your own decisions. You’re more likely to go along with what the group is doing or thinking.
This can mean doing things which you wouldn’t always want to do if it was up to you.
Being alone means you can learn your own likes, opinions and tastes. Imagine that….actually getting to know yourself!
2. Being alone with yourself gives you time to think.
Spending time in solitude lets you reflect on your life. Truly reflect. you move past the superficial ‘What shall I have for dinner’ chatter in your head.
It allows you to enter the ‘What do I want out of life?’ thoughts. Try turning your phone on airplane mode. Or, deep breath, try leaving your phone at home.
Doing this means that you will have no choice but to listen to the thoughts in your head. You know, those same thoughts you’ve been running away from. It’s time to say Hello to them.
3. You develop your gut instinct.
Hands up if you are constantly asking the advice and opinions of others. If you can’t seem to make any decision by yourself. And if you can’t find a friend or friendly Tinder stranger to help you make important life decisions. Do you turn to Google?
On Quora you will find millennials asking strangers on the internet for life advice.
- What degree should they study at university?
- Should they break up with their boyfriend?
- What should they eat for dinner?
Why are we incapable of making our own decisions? Because we have no idea who we are anymore.
Social media has brainwashed us. It’s time for you to develop your intuition.
That funny feeling in your stomach you get sometimes? That’s your gut. LISTEN TO IT. Spending time with you, will force you to listen to yourself and develop your intuition.
4. You’ll feel happier.
Spending time alone is a form of self-care. And research shows that people who regularly indulge in self-care experience less anxiety.
When you have some alone time, you get to focus on your own desires and wishes. You don’t take others’ needs into account — only your own. Your self-esteem will increase.
5. Time spent alone will help you figure out life.
It took me until this year to understand the concept of knowing oneself.
Time alone spent being pensive, perhaps even journalling, you will notice a shift in yourself. You will start to form a well-rounded idea of who you are and what drives you.
Perhaps you might even consider a change in career?
6. It gives you a chance to follow through on those ‘I’ll think about’ moments.
How many times have you brushed a decision to the side with a quick ‘I’ll think about it later?’ If you’re anything like me, then too many.
Quiet time provides an opportunity to think about your goals, your progress, and the changes you want to make in your life.
7. Spending time alone helps you become less needy.
You will learn that you don’t need to have someone by your side 24/7 in order to feel happy. You are ENOUGH, just as you are. Your self-esteem will improve.
A peaceful coffee in the park can be a happy hour well spent. It might feel weird at first. You might think everyone is staring at you.
Remember, everyone is too busy in their own world to be thinking about you! Learn to love your own company and being alone.
8. It’s way easier to get that perfect selfie without any pesky distractions 😉
The benefits of spending time alone will culminate in a happier, more confident version of you. Sounds pretty sweet, right? A woman who trusts her decisions because she’s learned to listen to her gut.