The Benefits of Being Comfortable in Your Own Company
For many of us, spending time alone can be a daunting experience. Society doesn’t help us with this either; being alone can often carry a social stigma, implying isolation, or being on the outside.
This perceived sense of aloneness implies that being alone is an imposed state where a person is not socially engaged in the way that is somehow expected. Sometimes it can even imply that there is something wrong or defective with a person who chooses to spend time alone.
Social media exacerbates this problem and gives us the illusion that we are all connected. Clicking “like” is the abbreviated form of saying, “I hear you and I agree”. Comments serve as conversation as if we had really interacted with that person in real time.
For me, I believe that most of us know that our constant focus on communicating via social media deprives us of having real human interaction. Even more importantly, this kind of communication may keep us from having meaningful experiences with ourselves.
Let me just clarify at this point that I am not promoting the state of being “lonely”. Loneliness is a big problem in our society, in particular with the ageing population. I am simply trying to raise awareness of being comfortable in your own company, that spending time alone is just as important as spending time with others, you need a balance of both.
The Benefits of Spending Time Alone
Solitude can increase productivity
Although so many offices have started creating open floor plans so everyone can communicate more easily, studies show being surrounded by people kills productivity. People perform better when they have a little privacy. I get a lot more done when I am alone.
Solitude can spark creativity
There’s a reason a lot of authors or artists want to go to a cabin in the woods or a private studio to work. Being alone with your thoughts gives your brain a chance to wander, which can help you become more creative. I seem to be most creative when I am riding my motorbike! Thoughts and ideas pop into my head at random.
Being alone can help you build mental strength
We’re social creatures and it’s important for us to have strong connections with other people. But, solitude may be just as important. Studies show the ability to tolerate alone time has been linked to increased happiness, better life satisfaction, and improved stress management. People who enjoy alone time experience less depression.
Being alone gives you an opportunity to plan and organise your life
Most people spend a lot of time planning weddings and vacations but never plan how to get the most out of life. Spending time alone can give you a chance to ensure there’s a purpose to all of your hustling and bustling. Quiet space provides an opportunity think about your goals, your progress, and changes you want to make in your life. I have recently got into the habit of writing down my short term, medium term and long-term goals. I highly recommend you try this!
Solitude helps you know yourself
Being alone helps you become more comfortable in your own skin. When you’re by yourself, you can make choices without outside influences. And that will help you develop more insight into who you are as a person. Travelling alone has had a profound benefit on my self-confidence and life experience.
How to Incorporate Alone Time
One of my favourite ways to incorporate ‘me time’ is to go on a walk. You are killing two birds with one stone – improving your mental health by connecting with nature and spending time alone at the same time. Learn how to plan a day’s hike.
Start a new exercise program
Reconnect with yourself on a physical level. Start a new exercise program that will help you get into shape, feel good about your body, and even reap the numerous benefits of endorphins. Setting yourself some good health and fitness goals can be a great way to start.
- Develop a pre and post sleep routine
Not only will this incorporate some daily alone time, but it will also drastically improve the quality of your sleep, which in my opinion, is the single most powerful thing you can do for your overall physical and mental health. Need something to get you started? Check out my pre-sleep routine.
- Develop a skill or passionIs there something you’ve always wanted to do but keep putting it off? What’s wrong with trying it now? When you’re happy to spend time alone, you no longer have to consider other people’s plans. Choose to do something different that will be a challenge for you. It doesn’t matter what it is. It just needs to be something that you’re passionate about.
If you have never tried travelling alone, the idea probably sounds terrifying. But, I believe that it is something that everyone should try at least once for so many reasons. Travelling alone has made a huge positive impact on my life.
It’s ok to spend time on your own
Being comfortable in our own company may seem like a trivial skill but it’s one that surprisingly few people can do. Social expectations and the Social Media culture of the modern world even go as far as to make being alone seem like a bad thing, but it really isn’t. There are times for being social and times for being alone and being comfortable with either of those scenarios can have a hugely positive effect on so many aspects of your life.