The more we indulge in others’ lives instead of our own, the more we compare ourselves to others and the less likely we are to feel happy and secure about our own life.
Under normal circumstances, our society often encourages contact with others and being social, having a busy work life, and joining group activities. People view having a busy schedule as having life “put together.” We rarely think of the benefits of spending time alone.
It is no secret that the benefits of social connectivity are plentiful and linked to better physical immunity and improved stress resilience. While so many of us prioritize staying busy and socially connected for the related benefits, the benefits of spending time alone are often neglected or equated with loneliness.
Too much solitude can be bad, but too little solitude may actually be equally damaging. Constant contact can be harmful, discouraging at times, and should be looked at critically.
It is important to remember that being alone does not mean being lonely. There is a difference between being socially isolated and enjoying your own company.
Loneliness is subjective. It is the feeling of being disconnected, abandoned, or isolated despite wanting social connections, where being alone is a state of solitude that you choose for yourself between regular social interactions.
By doing activities you love at your own pace and in your own way, you can learn more about yourself and reflect on your experiences.
Indulging in activities by yourself without the distractions, opinions, or influences of other people can be very beneficial to your growth as a person.
Reduced pressure and stress
We live in a fast, hectic world. Stress is sometimes caused by too many activities, too much contact with others, and too much pressure on how we use our time to stay productive.
Alone time is important because it helps you rest your body and mind. Resting does not necessarily have to mean sleeping–you can always indulge in personal activities that help you gear down such as meditation or stretching.
Spending time alone can help your decision making by letting you refocus and think clearly without distractions. This can allow you to come up with effective plans to manage stressful events.
Enjoying time spent alone increases self-esteem by helping you discover that you are enough. Others do not have to play a big part in your ability to find confidence and happiness in your own life.
Indulging in activities you enjoy alone is amazing because you are under no pressure to perform particularly well and show off how accomplished you are.
A chance to get to know yourself
Doing too many activities, going to too many places, and meeting too many people, you might not have enough time to really process what lies ahead. Being surrounded by others might affect your own ideas and passions.
Alone time is important for self-development. It helps you develop a clear understanding of who you are and gives you the opportunity to make your own decisions without worrying about what other people are thinking.
While alone you can ask yourself questions that you only have the answers to: What would you like to achieve? How can you go about it? What do you love and enjoy?
It is the perfect opportunity to ponder what makes your life most worth living, to explore the possibilities for your life, and to determine what makes you happy.
Having a better understanding of how you truly feel about different elements of your life can help you discover more of your abilities, passions, and interests, as well as your dislikes.
Reduction in social anxiety / FOMO
The fear of missing out (FOMO) is a form of social anxiety referring to the feeling or perception that other people are having more fun or experiencing better things than you are. It is the sense that you are missing out on better or more important activities, and distracts you from appreciating life in the moment.
This fear of missing out has become more visible as technology has evolved and social media has become the center of everyone’s attention.
This type of social anxiety can lead to prioritizing social connection and can create a deep sense of envy, damaging self-esteem. It is often aggravated by social media sites such as Instagram and Facebook.
Having more connections with the outside world and less connection with yourself can lead to doubting your life and your priorities, seeking to achieve more while trying to balance a productive, vigorous life and maintaining mental health.
Spending more time with yourself helps you to get to know yourself more and cultivates a great sense of self-awareness, which helps in dealing with your problems and thoughts head-on.
Switching off your phone and taking time away from social media can help you refocus and concentrate on what really matters, which is not what you have or what you are doing, but what you are and what you seek to be.
Being under lockdown amid the coronavirus pandemic can be a relief to those who suffer from FOMO, seeing everyone confined at their respective homes. This can be an opportunity to use that free time at hand to spend productive hours with yourself and slowly step away from the fear of missing out.
Boost in productivity
Spending time on your own will allow you to get more tasks done than you might in the company of others. After you accomplish what you need to do with no one to distract you, you will feel less stressed, satisfied with a job well done, and experience less weight on your mind.
Studies show that people who spend time surrounded by other people accomplish fewer tasks throughout the day. Group work might improve collaboration and innovation, but it can also be distracting.
As much as you might love and enjoy spending time with others, when you need to get things done more efficiently, you may want to consider a little solitude instead. This will allow you to simply focus on one task at a time without distractions.
More time for hobbies and interests
Spending time with yourself will allow you to check in on what matters to you the most and what you like doing. It frees up your time so you can do what you want, when you want, devoting your time and attention to hobbies that are meaningful to you.
Spending time with your favorite group of friends can be great, but if it leads to a compromise of hanging out or using your free time to recharge or practice your hobby, it can result in your own interests falling to the side.
The freedom of alone time not only gives you the opportunity to focus on your own interests. It also helps you to indulge in activities you love without the fear of being judged by others.
You might want to try a new hobby or two or learn a new skill. You will have time to explore yourself which can open up new opportunities for interests you might have never considered before.
Boost in creativity
When spending time alone, you allow fewer distractions to get in the way of your thoughts. This can lead you to be centered and focused, having a clear mind, and able to come up with the best ideas.
A lack of outside influence can unleash your unique sense of creativity, allowing your brain a chance to explore and expand.
“Without great solitude, no serious work is possible,” said Picasso. Many artists and authors admit that they seek isolation and spending time by themselves to work. It gives them the space they need to ponder and wander.
Working alone can encourage innovation without social pressure. Quiet time with the self gives your imagination the freedom to explore your abilities and interests. It can be a rewarding experience, and you may even come up with amazing ideas that will change your life.
As more and more countries come out of lockdown, being more productive and active might sound appealing. Nevertheless, this shift can also serve as the perfect opportunity to rethink how you want to spend your time and balance your social life and alone time to help you in the long run.