Why it’s important to spend time alone: Five ways to get to know yourself
Oprah Winfrey once said, “It is only time for me to silence the voices of the outside world so that I can hear my own.”
And this is precisely the essence of spending time with ourselves to make us aware of who we are and what we aspire to, at least briefly moving away from everything that surrounds us, from all the stressful situations, pain and weight of everyday life.
But in addition, spending at least a few moments a day alone has numerous benefits that have been proven by scientific research. For example, it fosters empathy for other people, fosters creativity, as evidenced by the fact that artists and writers often get lonely to do their best, help us see which direction we want to move and, most importantly, build our mental strength.
Moreover, spending some time in one’s own society is directly linked to an increase in the level of happiness we feel, greater satisfaction with the life we lead, and a reduction in stress levels.
Of course, in order for this to truly reflect on our lives, we must not consider loneliness as a punishment. Although human is a social being, loneliness is occasionally needed to recharge its batteries. However, unless we become aware of it and see it solely as a kind of punishment and loneliness, we cannot move forward and reap the full benefits of knowing ourselves.
So below we present some ideas on how to spend quality time with yourself.
1. Listen to inspirational TED talk
If at first you can’t imagine spending time in silence and needing at least background noise, listen to some of the inspirational TED speeches that can be found online. The TED speech includes, as its name implies, technology, entertainment and design, and today the nonprofit organization is dedicated to spreading ideas from all, not just the specified fields of human activity.
Spending time alone is not a punishment, but a human need that allows us to grow.
Through individually organized events around the world, the audience was able to hear speeches in more than a hundred different languages, and all these speeches became available on the internet after being presented to the live audience. They are presented by truly inspirational individuals who have succeeded in something that seems impossible, whether it is surviving a love shipwreck, the death of a spouse, raising a career out of ashes, coping with serious illnesses and the like. Their inspirational experiences in us can again spark the spark we have been missing.
2. Explore a topic you’ve been thinking about for a long time
Learning does not stop with the completion of formal education, and everyone who wants to work for themselves should be aware of it. This is why the time we spend on our own is ideal for exploring topics we are interested in, whether it is taking a course in physical form, digital education or simply reading articles from a specific field.
3. Go to a cafe – alone
Although many people are uncomfortable with the thought of sitting alone with their thoughts in a cafe or restaurant, it is precisely these situations that will show you that sometimes you are enough for yourself. You don’t need anyone else to “entertain” you with coffee.
If you’re uncomfortable just sitting and drinking coffee, bring your laptop and cellphone with you the first few times. This will ease your discomfort, and over time you will simply learn to enjoy watching people and taste the beverage from your cup, without burdening yourself with what anyone thinks of you. Believe me, everyone is too occupied with their lives to even notice you’re sitting alone.
4. Write a letter to your older self
At first glance, it may sound like a homework assignment, but practice shows that this exercise helps focus our thoughts on what we really want. Ask yourself where you see each other in five or ten years, and record it all on paper. Encourage yourself, be the wind in your back, and write without any hesitation what you expect from that older version of yourself.
How many times have you read about the importance of meditation, but have never embarked on this adventure yourself? Those who have experience in this agree that this is not easy at first because it is necessary to exclude the outside world, but in recent years it has gone far beyond the scope of Eastern philosophy.
Meditation is a spiritual exercise in which a person focuses his or her attention on specific content.
It is a very broad and loosely defined term that encompasses meanings from reflection on a topic through religious contemplation to self-analytical ones. Initially, many meditation applications can help you guide your voice and alert you to what to do at one point, with visualization being the most powerful means of relaxation.