Now more than ever has solitude become an unavoidable occurrence in many lives around the globe. With the state of the pandemic and quarantine, many of us are forced to experience time with just ourselves. Many people avoid being stuck with themselves and others believe that it will make them lonely. It’s important to note that solitude is not synonymous with loneliness. There is a distinct difference. Loneliness is the negative feeling that arises when you feel dissociated from others. It is a sense of feeling isolated from everyone else. Loneliness is a state of wishing for social interaction, whereas solitude is an intentional act of withdrawing from social interactions. Solitude is being alone without feeling lonely.
There are several studies that show why a solitary lifestyle can help you become the best version of yourself. Here are a few reasons to spend some time alone, away from people and distractions.
Solitude helps you get to know yourself.
When you’re by yourself, you make choices without outside influences. You can choose how to spend your time without worrying about anyone else’s feelings. Making choices on your own will help you develop better insight into who you are as a person.
Being alone will help you grow more comfortable in your skin as well. The more you know yourself, the better equipped you’ll be to be your authentic self when others are around.
Alone time could improve your relationships.
Spending time with friends, family and colleagues contributes to a “we vs. them” mentality. Although unintentional, you’ll see people who don’t fit into your inner circle as different from you and you’ll develop less empathy for them.
Spending time alone breaks down those barriers. Studies show you’ll develop more compassion for other people when you set aside time for solitude.
Solitude boosts creativity and productivity.
There’s a reason artists, musicians, and authors seek solitude when they want to create something. A private space, whether it’s a secluded studio or a cabin in the woods, allows them to be more creative. Studies confirm that being alone often fosters creativity.
In addition to boosting creativity, solitude also skyrockets productivity. Studies consistently show people perform better when they have privacy (which means open floor plans make terrible work environments).
Solitude improves psychological well-being.
Learning how to be comfortable by yourself may take some getting used to. But solitary skills could help you become mentally stronger.
Studies have found people who set aside time to be alone tend to be happier. They report better life satisfaction and lower levels of stress. They’re also less likely to have depression.
Being alone gives you an opportunity to plan your life.
While it’s important to have joint goals with your romantic partner, family members, or business partner, you also need to make sure that you’re living your best life as an individual. Be proactive about planning out your life, similar to the way you might plan for retirement or plan a vacation.
Setting aside time to be alone can help you reflect on your goals, dreams, and aspirations. Take a break from the hustle and bustle to think about whether you’re living life according to your values and whether you might want to make some changes.