Learning To Be Alone

Contrary to what you might think, this article isn’t about dealing with loneliness, it’s about learning to be alone with yourself. While some people think of being alone as a bad thing, it’s nothing of the kind. In fact, learning to be at one with yourself is crucial for your emotional wellness. It’s only during times of solitude that you learn about yourself, who you are, what you want from life, and where you’re going. Most importantly, you learn to accept who you are and learn to love yourself.

That doesn’t mean disappearing into the wilderness to find yourself, becoming a monk, or shunning relationships – but once you learn to enjoy being alone with yourself, you’ll find you grow as a person and get more from interacting with others, whether that’s with someone you love, a friend or even a work colleague.

Recharge your batteries

When you’re surrounded by others, you expend emotional energy, trying to keep people happy, making them laugh, massaging egos, reading their emotions. That is all tiring and emotionally draining. Spending time alone lets you recharge your emotional batteries.

Inward reflection

When life moves fast, it’s rare to find the time to sit and think about where you’re going and how your decisions, especially those made in the spur of the moment, turned out. Being alone is the perfect opportunity for self-appraisal and to review where you are now, what you did right and what you could have done better. More importantly, it helps you see where you’re going next and how to shape things for the best outcome.

Getting in touch with your emotions

When others constantly surround you, and you’re focused on what they’re doing and saying, you’re always trying to figure out how they’re thinking, instead of what you’re feeling. As a result, you end up losing touch with your own thoughts and emotions. That link with your own emotions becomes deeper the more time you spend alone. You begin to understand more deeply what makes you happy, what upsets you, and what guides you. At the same time, that knowledge makes it easier for you to control your emotions.

Isn’t it time you pleased yourself?

When you’re constantly in the presence of others, you end up making compromises to keep the group happy. That’s not always what you want. The road to emotional fulfilment must end with your own happiness. You can’t please everyone all of the time – but if you can make others happy along the way, that’s a bonus!

Reach your goals

Being in the company of other people can seriously affect your productivity. There are times when the company of others acts as nothing more than a distraction from the business of life and getting to where you want to be. Time spent alone is the most productive time because you’re planning, preparing and working towards your next life goal.

Enjoy your independence

Once you enjoy being alone, you naturally feel more independent. You won’t feel the need to rely on others so much. That’s not to say you shouldn’t reach out when you need to – no one gets through life on their own without the help of loved ones and friends.

No apologies

Have you ever noticed how much you apologise in the company of others? Most of the time you won’t even mean it. Spending time in solitude helps you cut through social etiquette. You start to gain a better understanding of right and wrong and whether or not you really have upset others. You’ll discover, too, that you no longer need validation from friends and family. You become responsible for your own decisions and action. You don’t need that ‘OK’ from others. Sure, look for advice from people you trust, but the final decision and the responsibility for your actions always rests with you.

So, if you don’t think you spend enough time with yourself, start planning some ‘me-time’ into your weekly schedule now. You’ll soon learn how beneficial it is for your emotional well-being.

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