NEW ARTICLE! Hacking Your Dreams Just Might Get You the Life You Always Wanted
NEW ARTICLE! Hacking Your Dreams Just Might Get You the Life You Always Wanted

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The Importance of Alone Time
After a near-year of quarantine, this topic may not be everyone’s favorite right now. However, we should be thinking about it as a positive, and embracing the cards the world has dealt us instead of fighting it. We do believe that, energetically, big picture things like this happen for a reason. So let’s talk solitude.
Before anyone freaks out, we don’t mean extended solitude. While a year of soul-searching may be an incredible experience, not everyone has access to this type of opportunity, nor the drive. In fact, many of us panic at the thought of spending time alone with our thoughts, and that’s a scary headspace to be in.
Codependency can come in many forms: Most commonly, it happens in romantic relationships, but can just as easily happen in friendships or within a family. Codependence is an unhealthy emotional dependence on another person or partner in order to maintain a sense of normalcy and comfort, and usually results in feelings of panic, distress, inadequacy, or physical tension upon separation.
While codependency isn’t necessarily the only antithesis of healthy alone time, there are many variations of codependent behavior that keep us from getting a healthy sense of comfort and contentment when we are alone. But that’s not all a balanced sense of self can provide.

Boosts productivity

Science says that we are more productive in private working spaces. While there are times that the presence of others can boost accountability, it can also reduce creativity and flow. Learning to work alone is great practice to bring to your time that’s spent alone and not engaged in work, just to give the brain some leverage to adapt.

Helps us navigate emotionally

Spending some quality time with #1 can also be emotionally beneficial. When we give ourselves the space to think (note: not overthink), we can become better at self-regulation with our emotions and reactions to situations. This study explains that when we actively choose to be alone and consciously embrace our alone time, it can have a very relaxing, stress-reducing effect on our body in a profound way.
Another study concludes that when we reappraise alone time — that is, see it in a neutral or positive light rather than a negative cast of loneliness — we can prevent sudden mood drops and maintain a functional, even mindset.

Enhances the Quality of Our Relationships with Others

When we spend this precious time with ourselves, we find a sense of connection within us. We can better understand our thoughts, our needs, and emotions, without the undue influence of those around us. When we strengthen this emotional relationship with ourselves, we in turn are able to connect with others in healthy ways, with mitigated expectations.

Find new ways to relax

In the Journal for the Theory of Social Behavior, solitude is defined as “disengagement from the immediate demands of other people — a state of reduced social inhibition and increased freedom to select one’s mental or physical activities.” That is to say, we relieve ourselves from the pressure of performance or others’ expectations of us, and instead, hold ourselves accountable for how we want to feel in that moment. Not only does this practice reduce stress, but it also boosts our accountability for the way we treat our bodies and take care of ourselves.
So while we’ve demonized alone time to only fit the loneliness bucket, we’ve actually done ourselves a great disservice. Intentionally carving out moments of solitude is a crucial part of our emotional wellbeing and balance, and an effort to self-regulate and improve our relationships with others. We must learn to be comfortable with our thoughts and our quiet. It’s an act of resilience and self-love, and a crucial part of our holistic notions of wellness.