We spend quiet time alone to freely and honestly examine our life. Spending quiet time alone helps your mind to refresh itself and create order.
Let’s be honest. The world is filled with noise and distraction. Sometimes the noise is so loud, and the interruptions so many and varied, that it’s difficult to focus on what’s important and right, much less what’s wanted. The need for peace and quiet has a deeper meaning than simply taking a well-deserved break. It is an essential component of personal growth, renewal, and enjoyment of life.
Spending quiet time alone to find comfort in isolation and silence is sometimes seen as an expensive luxury. After all, if you’re off being quiet and reflecting, you’re not getting anything done, are you?
This is an incorrect viewpoint on the situation. When you spend quiet time alone and engage in self-reflection, you are doing something much deeper. This is helping in the establishment of a cadence and priority.
Why does anyone need to spend time alone in quietness? How do you get ready for it? What steps do you take to nurture it? How do you make time in your schedule to accommodate your desire for self-reflection?
Here are some ideas:
How can spending quiet time alone help you?
So, whether it’s a walk in the park or a coffee with only yourself for the company (try not to switch to Netflix, that’s more stimulation), here’s why spending quiet time alone is helpful and what it can do for your wellness.
1. Your brain needs rest in order to function properly
We are social animals that require social support for our psychological health. But being constantly surrounded by people requires us to process more distractions and demands.
The brain is like a muscle, and just as our biceps and abs require rest days from the gym to heal and grow, so do our minds.
Every second, our brains are bombarded with millions of pieces of information that are processed consciously and unconsciously. Your brain has ways to deal with all of this information, such as shortcuts. But having alone time is a conscious attempt you can make to help it work at its best.
2. Alone time can help us cope with stress and anxiety
Spending quiet time alone helps to calm the primitive ‘fight or flight’ part of our brains.
When we experience stress and anxiety, our ‘fight or flight’ system is activated. Active, chosen alone time indicates you’re doing something – which is self-compassion. The more self-compassionate we can be, the more mentally healthy we can become because it activates our ‘soothing emotional’ system while also helping to calm down our ‘fight or flight’ system.
3. It can enhance your interpersonal relationships
Constant interaction with others can lead to social burnout. And taking a break can help you make the time you do spend with others more meaningful.
When we can move aside from our immediate surroundings, we have a better chance of seeing how our and the lives of others around us, are impacted us.
This enables us to remain inwardly focused rather than continuously focused on our external world. This means we may truly consider what makes us happy, as well as what we want and seek from life, people, and our relationships. So, ironically, being apart from people can improve our connections.
4. Self-reflection is beneficial, even if you try to avoid it
If you dislike your own company, it may be time to examine why. According to Moulton, always being among people might be a “coping strategy” to avoid being alone with ourselves.
One of the most essential things we can do if we are struggling psychologically is to learn how to be with ourselves, in silence. Sit with it if it’s uncomfortable and see what happens. When there are no other distractions, you will discover a lot about yourself. So, from this perspective, it may be highly therapeutic, giving you more time for reflection.
5. It helps you to step back and look at the bigger picture
How often do you analyze your hopes, values, and ambitions outside of your daily to-do list?
It’s easy to get caught up in all that has to be done in one day, including the demands of others. Being on our own gives us the space we all need from time to time to think about the bigger picture and reconnect with values and interests.
What Is There To Do When You’re Spending Time Alone?
Here are a couple more ideas to get you started:
Pick up an old hobby or try something new. What better way to spend your time than doing something you enjoy? Perhaps it was something you did when you were a teenager. Perhaps it’s something you’ve always wanted to do but your partner hates.
Keep a Journal of Your Thoughts. Grab a pen and paper and have a conversation with your journal. Journaling offers several mental health advantages, making it the perfect way to spend your coveted alone time.
Experiment With Coloring. Sure, it was a piece of cake when you were a kid! And it will still be simple, which is what makes this wonderful little activity so relaxing. Play some relaxing music in the background, get yourself a nice cup of coffee, and let your mind relax while you fill in the most intricate designs. No, honestly, some of the drawings are incredibly intricate!
Do Nothing. It may be quite beneficial to simply sit and do nothing at times. Let your thoughts wander and be comforted that there is nothing you need to do but be present in the moment.
The Best Ways to Make Your Time Alone Actually Happen
We all know that our intentions don’t always match up with our schedules and priorities! If you’re thinking, yeah, this is great, but how am I going to find the time for it? Then consider the following tips:
Schedule It. Schedule your alone time in a calendar, agenda, or reminder, or write it on your forehead if you want. The idea is to schedule it into your day and stick to it. Don’t think of yourself as selfish if you take time to care for yourself. You aren’t.
Making time for yourself also helps in maintaining a good balance of social and alone time.
Remove Distractions. It may seem uncomfortable at first to be alone without the constant companionship of your phone or family. However, blocking off distractions is the only way to get the most out of your alone time.
Shift Your Mindset. If you think that alone time is a waste of time, you are probably correct. Try to avoid going in with a negative mindset and be open to the benefits of spending quiet time alone with yourself.
Get Started! Do It Once And Go From There. If you’re afraid to spend time alone with yourself, consider starting small. Spend 3 intentional minutes alone with no distractions. If you’re able to do that, congratulate yourself! Then move up to 5 minutes.
The Bottom Line
Making time for oneself isn’t a race or a competition. In fact, that’s what we’re trying to avoid. Work at your own speed and you’ll find yourself becoming more at ease before you realize it. Practice makes perfect.
We highly encourage that you try it out for yourself now that you’re an expert on why spending quiet time alone is beneficial for you. You can begin right now. Pretend you took 15 minutes to read this instead of the 5 minutes it actually took.