joy of missing out quote from tonya dalton, two girls in san francisco

10 Benefits of Spending Time Alone

We live in a world of constant contact. With new apps emerging every day encouraging us to stay connected with friends, family and even strangers that we admire online… It’s difficult to decipher where ‘we’ end and someone else begins. We see constant examples of others living incredibly interesting lives on the surface, that we often feel that we need to mirror their success… And so we stay glued to our screens, watching and waiting to see what everyone else will do next.

But, you know what? All of this constant contact can be downright exhausting and even discouraging at times… Because the truth is, the more we compare ourselves to others, the less likely we are to feel happy and secure about what we have right in front of us.

This feeling of insecurity is often called FOMO and it’s a topic that I dive into this week on Episode 081 of Productivity Paradox. For those of you who have not heard of it before, FOMO (the Fear Of Missing Out) is an all-consuming fear that we experience when we feel that we are missing out in some way, that perhaps our peers are doing, know about, or are in possession of something better than us.

What FOMO ultimately does to so many of us is encourage us to continuously check our social media, which we often think will alleviate our anxiety of missing out. But here’s the thing… Research has shown that our constant connection to social media actually works against us when it comes to our health and happiness–and in a world like ours, it’s scary to consider.

With our access to the Internet more widespread than ever before, it’s important that we reduce the likelihood of our experiencing FOMO by learning how to become okay with being alone. So today, I wanted to explore this idea by sharing some of the positive benefits that come when we unplug completely and choose to spend time alone with ourselves instead…

 

The Benefits of Spending Time Alone

1. You Can Recharge –

spending time alone outside in a hammock

You know the saying, you can’t pour from an empty cup? It rings so true here. Before you can be completely engaged with someone else, it’s important that you learn to take care and engage with yourself first!

All of us—even the extroverts among us—need some time to recuperate and recharge. The peace, quiet, and mental solitude you experience when you’re by yourself are incredibly essential to recovering from the stresses of daily living.

 

2. You Learn to Trust Yourself –

So many of us lose touch with our intuition when we stay plugged in to the outside world all of the time. Spending time with yourself is a huge game changer when it comes to developing a clear understanding of not only who you are but also of what you already know… and what’s right for you moving forward.

Best of all? Alone time allows you to clear your mind and get back in touch with your intuition,  inspiring more trust in yourself and in your ability to handle situations that life tosses your way in the future.

 

3. You Can Explore Your Interests –

spend time alone on your favorite hobbies

Now, we all have that one group of friends that we love spending time with, right? I know I sure do. But even so, as much fun as it is to spend time with others, it almost-always leads to a compromise when it comes to going out and kicking up our heels… And often, this can lead to our own interests falling to the wayside.

Spending time by yourself is a great way to check in with what matters most to you! Being alone frees you up to do exactly what you want when you want… Best of all? You can wear whatever you feel like wearing, eat whatever you want to eat, and devote your time and attention on hobbies that are meaningful to you, allowing you the grace to cultivate happiness in your own life!

 

4. Boosts Creativity –

There is a huge reason why a lot of best-selling authors or artists often say that they seek isolated cabins in the woods or private studios to work… Being alone with your thoughts gives your brain a chance to explore, which then paves the way for creativity to flourish.

 

5. Improves Mental Health –

one of the biggest benefits of spending time alone is mental health

While we human beings are naturally social creatures, research has shown that spending time alone can lead to an increase in overall happiness, better life satisfaction, and can improve stress management… And that’s always a great thing!

 

6. Boosts Self-Esteem –

When it comes to confidence, spending time alone can lend a huge boost. Learning to enjoy spending time alone improves our self-esteem by confirming that, YES, we are enough… and that everyone else we see on social media absolutely plays no part in our ability to find confidence and happiness in our own lives.

 

7. Increases Appreciation for Others –

being okay with being alone helps you appreciate others

It may sound cliché, but it is absolutely true that absence really does make the heart grow fonder. Spending time alone not only allows you to recharge, but it lets you see the people in your life in a completely different light… which can then help you to gain a renewed sense of gratitude for who they are, what they do, and what they mean to you.

 

8. Increases Emotional Intelligence –

Self-awareness is the key to emotional intelligence, so it’s important that we check in with ourselves often to give it a boost. How do we do this? Spend time alone, of course!

Because self-awareness requires understanding our emotions and how we react to situations, it’s important that we allow ourselves the space to self-reflect… an activity that happens best when we’re by ourselves.

 

9. Lessens Negativity –

spending time alone can boost productivity and positivity

Have you ever had one of those days where you just can’t seem to escape everyone else’s drama? Me too.

When we live alone, go out alone, eat lunch alone, or simply spend a quiet afternoon by ourselves, we are in control of everything we do, which allows us the opportunity to flush some of the negativity brought on by others out. Less negativity leads to more positivity, which then allows you to shift your perspective and improve your general disposition…

After all, it’s difficult to get on your own nerves, right? Try spending time alone—see how you feel afterward!

 

10. Boosts Productivity –

Whether you’re going on a shopping trip, working on a project at the office, or trying to finish the last few chapters of a book you’re reading… You’ll often be more productive and more effective when there is no one else around to distract you!

What are some of your favorite ways that have helped you learn how to be okay with being alone? Share them with me in the comments below… And if you’re interested in learning a little bit more about the science behind FOMO and the different ways that it can affect us, be sure to tune into Episode 081 of Productivity Paradox!

 

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Tonya Dalton
Tonya Dalton