The Kenyan Nomad

The Kenyan Nomad

Friday, September 12, 2014

8 Great Benefits of Time Alone

I know that at this point, it might be almost obvious to some that being alone does not mean being lonely. Unfortunately, I think that there are still so many people in the world who do not realise the extensive benefits that can be achieved by spending time alone, perhaps due to fear of loneliness. So I thought I'd go ahead and share my opinion on this matter, an opinion that has been formed after personal observation, and lots of reading.

Now, I'm not saying that people should be completely alone all the time. People are wonderful to be around, and I certainly find this to be true. I'm saying that there are numerous benefits that can be derived from learning to be alone in your own company, be it for a couple minutes a day, an hour or two on the weekend, a holiday taken alone once a year (or a wonderful combination of all of the above). I'm also not saying that alone time needs to be you shut up in a dark room all by yourself doing nothing at all. You can be alone in a cafe, while reading a book, working on a painting, and doing numerous other fun things. I know that there have been numerous posts, some much more scientific than the one I am writing, about the benefits of time alone. To avoid redundancy, I'm going to talk only about benefits that I have personally experienced.

1) Being alone can teach you a lot about yourself. When being alone becomes a healthy habit, introspection occurs. Being aware of your own thoughts and emotions can make you much happier and more fulfilled; leading to better relationships with others.

2) Being alone can actually be healthy. One of the things that I do best when I'm not surrounded by other people is meditation. I'm not an expert at it, but I do try and indulge once in a while. I don't need to go into the health benefits of meditation, but I promise that this can do wonders for your mental and even physical health.

3) Being alone gives you the time to explore hobbies that are uniquely your own and can help cultivate your creativity. This could mean taking a holiday to a place that you've always wanted to visit but your family hates, or learning to make something that your friends are not as interested in, or something uniquely your own. I have written a lot when I am around other people, but I find I write more (and often better) when alone. Sure, my inspiration may come at times when I am with others, but the expression is finer in solitude.

4) Being alone may help you to become a deeper thinker. By yourself, you may have the opportunity to do numerous things like read and think about things you may not talk about often with family and friends.

5) Being alone gives you a break from people. And this can be a great benefit to you AND to others. Spending time alone can help refresh you, and learn to deal with stress in ways that do not impact those around you. I've found that no matter how much two (or more) people love each other, if they spend all their time together, tension is bound to occur every once in a while. Be it a slow simmer or a huge fight, I honestly think that this tension could be reduced or even eliminated if people knew when they needed to take some time to themselves.

6) Strangely enough, being alone makes me appreciate actual time with people, and by this I mean that when I am with a group, I try to use my phone as little as possible. (Now, I'm not the best at doing this all the time, but I'm learning).

7) Being alone can increase your confidence. Some alone time can help you get better in touch with your strengths and your weaknesses, and help you grow as a person.

8) Finally (just because I need tea now and can't think more), being alone can actually be FUN! Try it. You're not so bad, I promise!

If you aren't happy with yourself, and do not appreciate yourself, then how can you expect others to do so? If you learn to love and appreciate the time with yourself, it'll be much easier to love and appreciate yourself, and this leads to a much happier way of living!

Have a happy day, won't you?

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