In today’s world of constant connectivity, finding time to be by yourself can be a challenge. Sometimes it can even be hard to recall the last time you were completely alone without cellphone notifications, music, social media and phone calls creating some level of distraction. Even though some try to avoid being by themselves at all costs, studies are increasingly revealing the real benefits to mind and body of spending time alone.
It Refreshes Your Brain
When you are constantly surrounded by people and involved to varying degrees in communicating with them, your brain doesn’t get a chance to rest and recharge itself. But being by yourself without any distractions and activities to perform allows you to clear your mind and regain focus. Placing no demands on your brain and allowing it to empty itself allows it to unwind and unravel the convoluted connections and emotions that constitute your everyday life and thereby to decompress.
It Encourages Creativity
Taking time to be by yourself and to just relax and not do very much of anything often has the unexpected result of making you more creative. Research has revealed that difficult problems are often better solved by people working by themselves rather than in a team, as teamwork often entails having to go along with the majority to reach a consensus, discouraging innovation. A 2017 study also found that subjects that removed themselves from society in order to spend time by themselves benefitted from increased levels of creativity.
It Improves Concentration and Memory
When you’re being bombarded by emails, urgent messages and workplace demands daily, it can be very hard to focus your mind on any one thing at a time. Working in a group setting can also allow you to more easily get away with lower levels of concentration and memory retention, as whatever information you are unable to remember can be provided by someone else in the group. Spending time alone allows you to focus your full attention on whatever you have set out to do, whether it be working, reading a book or clearing your mind.
It Increases Productivity
Removing as many distractions as possible from your day will improve your concentration, enabling you to get more work done over a shorter period of time. This improved concentration is also able to boost productivity levels and having taken time to clear your mind and recharge will allow you to be able to approach your everyday duties and responsibilities with renewed energy and vigor.
It Lowers Stress
Spending time by yourself without engaging in any activities allows the part of your brain that produces heightened awareness to shut off, which assists in lowering stress levels. According to recent studies on the effects of solitude, researchers concluded that people could use varying degrees of alone time to regulate their state of psychological well-being.
It Lets You Think Deeply
The constant barrage of thoughts concerned with daily activities and responsibilities that go through your mind every day can be overwhelming. These thoughts also occupy all of your thinking capacity, inhibiting creativity and lessening your productive potential. Giving your brain a chance to become quiet and recuperate also allows it to free itself to think deeply.
Spending quality time on your own has been proven to have a positive psychological effect on most aspects of life, improving relationships, sleep quality, as well as lessening feelings of stress. It also allows you to know yourself better, giving you the insight and clarity to better find your direction in life. With so much to gain from spending time alone, stealing a moment for yourself as often as you can should not be made just a daily priority but should also find its way to the very top of your to-do list.