Studies reveal that those who are not comfortable being alone are more likely to have unhappy relationships. Here are 8 reasons why spending time alone is the best gift you can give yourself and others.

As a society, we have been taught to believe that loneliness is a bad thing. Just as an adolescent tends to shout “NO” to every demand made of him, our innate need for solitude and alone time is rejected by an involuntary reaction of self-denial.

Some statistics reveal that single people make up the majority of the US population, and more and more people are choosing not to commit and putting off getting married. Only 8% of 21-year-olds and 55% of 30-year-olds are married. Social psychologists claim that the single population is not genuinely happy and that they do not actually enjoy the freedom they so deeply pursue. Instead, these groups are reported to be more disconnected, lonely, and unhappy than previous generations. Aside from the younger group, there is also the growing number of divorced and widowed singles.

Most of us, regardless of whether we are single or in a relationship, prefer to check our phones multiple times during the day, hang out with people in the evenings, have our lunch checking emails, post status updates on our way back from work, and just about anything external to keep us from falling into a moment of total silence. Even introverts’ lonely time has been hijacked by YouTube videos and online forums.

Perhaps this huge mess of being connected but emotionally distant starts with semantics. It is very different to be alone, to feel alone . Feeling alone represents a void, the absence of the other, a state of unwanted sadness. Being alone represents fullness, being present in the here and now, a state of feeling complete within yourself and being in touch with yourself.

Because spending time is only necessary for a happy life

This is why spending time alone on a regular basis is the best gift you can give yourself and your loved ones.

1. Your brain is restored when you spend time alone

Haven’t you had those rare moments between meetings, where you take a moment to catch your breath and just be? Or when after a noisy and joyful meeting, you enjoy a few minutes of silence by yourself. Like the body, your brain needs to pause and rest with nothing to do, think, solve, and also nothing to worry about. Social interactions come with certain rules and expectations. Constantly meeting people’s expectations (whether it’s a job or not) is exhausting.

The pressure of performing well and the emotional fear of failing (even if it’s something as small as making a good impression on a party host) can make your brain work overtime. When you are alone, the only person there to please is yourself . There is no pressure to meet external expectations and that is deeply refreshing. This downtime allows your brain to restore its cells and improve cognitive functioning.

2. You synchronize with your natural rhythm

In the daily routine of social transactions, we tend to put the most urgent demands first. We absorb the vibes and moods of those around us and perceive what they like and what they don’t like before making our own decisions. Our perception of the world and of ourselves is colored by the opinions of those around us.

While being connected to others is beautiful and essential, balancing it with plenty of time alone allows us to clear all external traces and allow our own innate needs to emerge. Little clues – like how the noise from the printer at work increases your headache, or how having to make dinner when your partner comes home late adds to your stress – will make your day more relaxed. . Your decisions become more honorable than selfless.


3. Your creativity increases

It is not for nothing that almost all great inventors, artists, and mystics celebrate loneliness . A lot of things from existential perspectives, artistic reflections and sentimental inspirations for literature that led to cutting-edge innovations in science and technology, were born out of a moment of loneliness.

Even if there is a team working on a project, those unique moments of personal fulfillment spark creativity and genius. Disconnecting yourself from external distractions allows you to sink into a place of stillness, from which all original and internal ideas spring. The writers know this; so do actors, artists, musicians, and creators of all forms of art.

4. Relationships improve dramatically

“All the misfortunes of men arise from their hatred of being alone.” – Jean de la Bruyere
Currently, personal relationships are the ones that receive the worst blow from our obsession with all external things. Based on divorce rates and symptoms of depression, we are clearly far from the mark that defines a healthy relationship. This could be because, for most people, a relationship has become a means of escaping loneliness. Not knowing who you are and what you want is one thing.

Projecting our childhood fear of loneliness and emotional triggers onto our partner and expecting him to meet all of our needs is upsetting. It is a sign of violence and disease. Instead, when we are comfortable with being alone and maybe even enjoying it, then we will relate and share from a place of fulfillment.

This is more satisfying and worthy than asking for attention and a space of lack. It is as if the message is “I can’t take care of myself, I want you to do it and you better do it”. When you have completed yourself, you will see your partner, friends and family as they are, with all their delicious imperfections, and you will not be forced to put them in molds that better fit our needs for care and love.

5. Self-esteem and IQ improve

When you have the luxury of spending time alone , you get in touch with your feelings, thoughts, desires, and fears without any filters. There is no reason to censor or reject even the most evil thoughts. This makes you face your internal dialogues and not confuse them with the opinions of others about you. If your partner jokes about your navigation skills, you will not take it as a fact about “how lousy you are at everything.”

This face-to-face confrontation with your inner world allows you to confront your demons and strengths with a certain clarity that is simply not possible with those around you. Apart from this, not feeling identified with certain specific groups broadens your perception of people and life and allows entry to the new and the strange. Scientists claim that this makes a person more empathetic. Imagine taking a leisurely walk through your neighborhood.

You would surely appreciate the effort that a stranger has put into the local garden, to see your neighbor’s child confront bullies with a grace and wit that you cannot imagine having, and to understand that the woman with a strange car plays the guitar at night. Unlike checking Instagram 10 times and tuning in to videos about empathy and world peace, you simply become a channel yourself.

6. When you spend time you only learn to trust yourself

When you are more in touch with your emotions, spending time alone , you begin to develop a key skill: recognizing internal cues that can guide you to make the right decision. You could call it intuition or instinct. Scientists have discovered that the main neurotransmitters are produced in the intestine. Not surprisingly, our immediate response to danger comes like an alarm knotted in our stomach.

Spending time only familiarizes us with our earthly self , a self that relies on the wisdom of our body and our unconscious mind to take care of us. How many of us stay up until midnight, even when we know that our bodies and eyes need a break from the screen? Interestingly, studies reveal that the “most body-obsessed” generation is also the one disconnected from the body. Being in touch with your natural cycles and in sync with your inner rhythm is easier when we spend time alone regularly.

7. Your mental resilience increases

Being around people has great social benefits. But along with this comes the confusion, negativity, and toxicity that certain people unleash. Spending time alone, away from people and interactions, allows you to detect the emotional remains left by others and their negative attitude towards life. This awareness will allow you to reset your system and feel connected to the goodness of life and the inherent positivity and hope that you possess within.

Finding the time to understand our goals and assess our strengths and weaknesses gives us an advantage when it comes to personal and business negotiations. We rarely allow our insecurities to surface in front of others. Spending time only allows us to be honest about how we feel about our appearance, talent, cognitive and social skills. This clearly defines our responsibility for our self-esteem and happiness, rather than blaming others for mistreating us and causing us emotional upheaval. We teach others how to treat us by how we treat ourselves.

8. You finally know what ‘Know yourself’ means

Spending time with yourself allows you to plan your life, not the daily details, but the bigger picture. What do you want from life? How do you want to achieve this? Being alone does not necessarily mean being devoid of all kinds of stimuli. For some people, listening to music or taking a lonely walk can make them feel deeply connected to themselves. For some, working with their hands (clay, pottery, knitting) or gardening gives them a deep sense of being connected and centered.

For some others, sitting in meditation or listening to silence (the sound of a hand clapping as Zen masters call it) can be rewarding. What matters is not how, but why. Allow yourself to enjoy any activity that makes you feel “more than anything.” During that quiet moment, those rare moments of existential questioning and realization arise. A moment when you know who you are and what you want in a deeply confident way, something that no amount of intentional thought or analysis can ever offer you.

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses.He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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