First off, there’ s a distinct difference between being alone and loneliness. After all, you can feel lonely in a crowd full of people. But you’re no longer lonely when you learn the art of solitude. In today’s constantly connected world, being alone can be difficult, but it’s worth making time for this forgotten art.
4 Reasons To Schedule Time for Being Alone
1. It helps you find focus.
I lived at an ashram for 5 weeks and during that time I was by myself more than I had ever been in my life. I was alone in meditation and I was alone in the woods, but I was no longer lonely in life. When I returned to my normal life, I was taken aback by my new found focus. I had a wealth of ideas and knew which direction I wanted to take my writing. Being alone helps you find the focus you need to get the most out of this life you’ve been given.
2. You don’t say things you regret.
How often are you sitting with friends filling conversation with nonsense? I know I’m guilty of it. I say things I don’t mean to fill space. But when you spend ample time by yourself, you miss your friends and family and have worthwhile things to say when you do see them. Basically, when it comes to socializing, we can have too much of a good thing.
3. You practice the art of non-attachment.
When we’re attached to people and things, we’re unhappy when they’re not there. Even when they are around, we’re shaken by the fear of them leaving. But by practicing non-attachment you’re content in both instances–when people are present you’re content, but when they’re not, you’re also content.
4. You can find happiness in the present moment.
In order to find happiness you have to learn to live in the present moment. Lasting happiness cannot be found by living in the past or the future. Learning to live in the present moment means reducing distractions, slowing down, and spending some quality time in solitude. Truly understanding yourself helps you find peace and reduce anxiety.
Schedule solitude in your life–whether it’s a hike, dinner, or movie all by yourself, solitude is a worthwhile proposition. You’re alone, but no longer lonely.
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Image: Waheed Akhar