The Value of Learning to Spend Time Alone
So much emphasis is placed on the importance of meeting new people and socializing in all of our lives that quality time spent alone is left behind.
The Woman Post | Carolina Rodríguez Monclou
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Adrian Logan is a content creator, storyteller, and adventurer who believes that we can be the hero of our story and take life into our own hands to live it intentionally. Here are some of his reflections on the power of loneliness.
From an early age, we are taught the importance of making new friends and learning about others, which is wonderful. Still, there is also the value of solitude: spending quality time alone with our thoughts free from others' contributions.
However, solitude is often criticized and not encouraged because it is associated with feelings of distress, sadness, and depression, as if wanting to spend quality time alone is sometimes a cause for concern.
When we are young, being alone is not considered great, whereas, when we are adults, we want to take advantage of the time we spend with ourselves.
Socializing and hanging out with friends is meaningful and very important, but we can't put our full emphasis on that, ignoring self-reflection and solitude. Because if we do, the lack of balance is generated.
More than any other, this era has brought a generation of information where many people know a lot about different disciplines but know very little about themselves.
There is a difference between the time we spend alone and the time we spend with our thoughts. Nikki Rowe, author of "Once a Girl, Now a Woman," says, "Solitude is where I lay my chaos to rest and awaken my inner peace."
When was the last time you went for a walk alone, leaving your phone at home? It's okay to focus on being productive, but it's critical to stop and give ourselves time to reflect on ourselves and learn and evaluate who we are.
Solitude allows our mind to free itself from interruptions and distractions and process how we feel during the day, ask ourselves questions and reflect, and listen to our own needs and emotions. Solitude can connect us to the moment, allowing us to appreciate the little things in life that make us happy.
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At the same time, it allows us to monitor some negative feelings that we may be holding onto and wonder what the source of that hurt is or why it is there in the first place.
Little things suddenly become peaceful. Solitude is not limited to being in a closed room; you can experience it by taking a walk.
Meditation and solitude are different because the former is when you are actively clearing your thoughts. In the second, you are actively monitoring how you think and feel and who you are, allowing your thoughts to go deeper and deeper.
Many people feel uncomfortable spending time alone. A study titled "Just Think: The Challenges of the Disconnected Mind" published in the journal Science found that people would rather stick their finger into an electrical outlet than sit quietly and think.
How surprising is it that we are unfamiliar with ourselves that it becomes uncomfortable to spend time alone in our own presence?
Solitude is the foundation for self-reflection and gaining a deeper understanding of ourselves and even of the world around us.
“But many of us seek community solely to escape the fear of being alone. Knowing how to be solitary is central to the art of loving. When we can be alone, we can be with others without using them as a means of escape,” said Bell Hokes in her book "All About Love: New Visions."
Cultivate the habit of spending time alone, without distractions, listening to your thoughts, and releasing how you really feel. Heal your soul and connect with your inner self more often.