We live in a society that is always connected, whether we’re glued to a mobile phone or a tablet. We are never far from what is happening—our technological devices never seem to leave our sides, and we are left with a feeling of being disconnected if we leave these gadgets at home or on our desk. Now more than ever, we need to make time to be alone—truly alone. We need to disconnect, stop, and appreciate our own unique magnificence. Alone time is a restorer of balance in our minds and bodies; it heals.
Do you remember the last time you were alone, and what it is like to be still? Here are six reasons why time alone can heal.
1. Alone time can help with low mood (especially in teens)
A 1997 study found that regular alone time assisted with personal development in teenagers. Taking some time out helps to center your mind, giving you better clarity and increased perspective on life. Sometimes, this can help you see that things aren’t as bad as they seemed.
2. It can help you move on
Taking time for self-love is an important step in healing past hurts. Stepping out of a painful situation for a short time and distancing ourselves from conflict helps to calm the mind. It not only gives you a chance to reflect, but also helps you find your inner voice. Take time to get to know yourself again.
3. It reconnects you with your sense of humor
Living or working in a high-stress situation you can leave you feeling more serious and tense than normal. Being alone can assist to regulate your emotions, so you can find your sense of humor again and be a bit silly.
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4. It gives you time to rest
Time out for rest and solitude is important. In a society that pushes for maximum productivity and use of time, our bodies become worn and tired. We slowly become less productive, and allowing time for rest is so useful for the body—whether you choose to read a book or just observe nature in a quiet moment. Productivity then increases as a result.
5. It can boost concentration
Tiredness and the relentless pursuit of goals takes its toll on our concentration. By taking some alone time, you can reset your brain just with the simple act of being still. Regular alone time can clear tension in your mind, improving focus as a result.
6. It can inspire gratitude
Taking some time for solitude can make you appreciate what you have. Actually having time to miss your partner or children is healing and positive for both you and them. Stepping out of a situation and distancing ourselves can also allow us to take the emotions out of a difficult moment, giving us the time to nurse hurt wounds and work out what the real challenge or problem might be.
Be still for a moment, and let your mind unwind in the calm. Find some time to do this every day, whenever you can. You might be surprised by how much you needed alone time (without ever really knowing it), and by how it can bring more happiness, refreshment, direction and healing. Don’t let another moment pass without booking in that alone time to reboot, revive, focus, create, or meditate—whether it be for five minutes or five hours! As John Ortberg has noted, “solitude is the one place where we can gain freedom from the forces of society that will otherwise relentlessly mold us.”