With the advent of technology, we are hardly alone anymore, our devices ensure that we are always connected to the world. Through social media, we are always in the presence of others. Boundaries have been broken and the world is now one huge village. This comes with its benefits and yet solitude is an undeniable requirement in order for one to develop. After all the craziness that the world offers, we all need that place of tranquil where everything else ceases to matter.
Our world has blurred the notion of being alone as egotism or eccentricity encouraging teamwork and group thing as the vehicles to move forward but we cannot, however, overshadow the power of solitude and how much it is essential to a human’s well-being. Although the idea of sitting around and doing nothing is shunned by many people, its benefits are innumerable.
A man can be himself only so long as he is alone, and if he does not love solitude, he will not love freedom, for it is only when he is alone that he is really free. – Arthur Schopenhauer
Some people are very uncomfortable with themselves that they always hide under the company of others. There is nothing wrong with other people’s companies, there is nothing wrong with relaxing and socializing with other people, actually, it is very important and it’s a necessary part of life. We are human beings, not islands and therefore we should be balanced and in life, we need others to feel happy and appreciated. We need others to help us, however, solitude should not be overlooked.
10 Benefits of solitude moments
- It helps you in getting to know yourself. Getting to know yourself is not an overnight job. Most people live and die without even having an understanding of themselves. It is a lifelong journey because we are in perpetual change as human beings. As soon as we begin to think we know ourselves, we change and begin again.
Solitude moments help you to do that. Spend time with yourself in the absence of social media and other distractions, try to get to know yourself better. Learn more about yourself, figure out the kind of person you are, your motives, inspirations, likes and dislikes, things that move you, things that you love, things that bring you joy or pain. This is not something that you can usually do whilst surrounded by other people, it requires solitude moments to reflect upon yourself.
2. It gives you a moment of freedom.
That moment when you can relax and let all your guard down. Take a gaze into the mirror, not only to see your body but your naked soul as well. This is the pleasure of solitude, which every human being should enjoy.
After a long day of being surrounded by people, being guided by regulations and social behaviors imposed on us, people usually leave us feeling drained and exhausted. It is liberating for us to enjoy a moment of solitude, to be in our private spaces where nothing is expected of us, where we are not subjected to judgments or glances of conventionalisms about how to behave or dress or speak or react towards certain situations. When no one is looking we can bare it all.
3. It helps you release pressure.
Life gives puts pressure on us. We don’t realize the toll our day may take on us. Our daily commute, sleep routines, distractions, people, and so much more all have an invisible impact on our lives. Over time, this can beat us down: break your will, your inspiration, and your beliefs. We are forced to bear social environments all day long where we spend most of our time having to be good human beings, good mothers, fathers, students, employees, employers, managers, religious leaders, ideal friends or spouses and that pressure weighs heavily on us. That pressure has a psychological bearing and it builds on us every day, creates fatigue and wearing down, and it requires an avenue to let it out, that is through our moments of solitude. Take retreats into your own personal space. It helps you evaluate things from a renewed perspective
4. It allows you to be your true self.
When we spent time around people we are always suffering from meta-perceptions, perceptions about how others see us. This is a social anxiety that is truly upsetting because human beings are social. The threatening sensation of being constantly judged is only turned off when we are alone. Because when you are alone, you are free to be your true self without anybody judging you. You can cry or laugh about anything without having to explain to anybody why. You can disinfect your sorrows, worries, and pain. Solitude moments are moments of purest intimacy, the intimacy that is vital to our being. Because when nobody is watching, our mind and soul relax and relax from the need to act up or pretend, we won’t pretend to be strong, we are exactly showing our true feelings.
5. It allows you to reboot and unwind.
Moments of solitude are priceless, they allow us to remove those negative thoughts we have been harboring all day long, the stress, the worries, the pressure, the judgments. It gives you restoration, it allows you to reboot your brain and unwind. Your brain needs a chance to rest and replenish itself. Being by yourself gives you a chance to clear your mind and focus, to think more clearly without distractions. It’s an opportunity to revitalize your mind and body at the same time.
Personally, after a long day or when I feel frustrated or angry or hurt by something, I create my solitude moments, during which I counsel myself, ask myself a lot of questions like, why are you really hurt? Is it because you are justified or you are just being greedy? I enjoy the intimacy of those moments when nobody sees me, my mind blooms and my heart relaxes.
6. It allows us perspective.
Getting away from it all allows us to break the cycle and recover from our typical routine. It allows us to ground ourselves, re-discover our goals, and remind ourselves what’s important in our lives and what’s not. Having this space will make it all the easier to be ready to get back to the grind when you return. Quiet space provides an opportunity to think about your goals, your progress, and the changes you want to make in your life.
7. It increases concentration and productivity levels.
You get a lot of work done in a short period of time if you are in solitude. No wonder why artists and writers perform best in solitude, it allows you great focus.
Without great solitude no serious work is possible.
— Pablo Picasso
8. It allows you the opportunity to make your own choices.
It gives you an opportunity to find your own voice. Not a group voice. Solitude helps you make choices without outside influences. And that will help you develop more insight into who you are as a person. You need to have quiet moments in your days when you just go through the motions quietly and reaffirm that you are the captain of your ship and the master of your fate.
9. It gives you an opportunity to think deeply and be creative.
Being alone makes you think outside the box, you imagine without boundaries and this is when creativity flourishes. It helps you perfect your craft. When you are alone, you practice and practice until you become the best at what you do.
Be alone — that is the secret of invention: be alone, that is when ideas are born.
— Nikola Tesla
It helps you find solutions to hanging problems. It’s hard to think with too many distractions around you. When you are alone, you get to understand more and deeper.
10. It enhances the quality of your relationships with others.
When you have a better understanding of yourself and what you desire in life you are more likely to make better choices of whom you hang around and appreciate your time spend with them. Because it’s normally when you are away from people that you are really able to attribute value to them.
How to create some solitude moments
- Disconnect yourself from everything that may cause you distractions be it people or anything that connects you to the outside world like phones, laptops, TVs and other electrical gadgets that connect you to the world. Disconnect even your internet.
- Wake up a bit earlier and use that time to meditate, get to work a bit earlier before everyone else and use that time to plan.
- Close your door to the office. Some of the problems that come to you can be solved even without you but just because you are there then somehow they fall on your table by default.
- Use your lunchtime. You don’t really have to be with people around lunch, sometimes you can use this time for some solitude moments (Like right now I am writing this on my lunchtime, alone seated in my car so it’s actually very practical)
- Schedule your solitude time on your calendar or day planner. And always remember, solitude is not a sad moment, it’s a moment you feel happy, relaxed and content.
10 Best places for solitude moments
- Nature i.e at the top of a mountain where you can see the entire panoramic view of the city. Everywhere I go, this is one of the first places I look for and currently I am in Joburg and I have this sport. Or you can walk in a forest, this has a healing sensation on its own.
- Taking a walk. Never underestimate the power of walking and what it can do to your brain. Take walks, a walk in the park, a walk on the beach, an early morning walk, a sunset walk, wherever, whatever environment, walking is a powerful tool to enhance our thinking juices. Great decisions are made whilst taking these unplanned and ungoverned walks.
- Traveling expands not only your horizons but your perspectives and capabilities too. Set aside time and money to travel. On a road trip, traveling a long distance. A moment when you can just open the window and let go, feel the breeze of nature and watch as trees approach and vanish as you pass by.
- Warm summer nights when you can sit under the moonlight and watch the sky, stare into the stars and feel the tranquility that the calmness has to offer. You will not understand the privilege of a clear sky especially in Southern Africa, we have most of those.
- At a beach, when you can find a quiet place to sit, watch the sunset or the water. Watch the waves rising and crashing one after the other. You can even take a walk, feeling the breeze
- When commuting around, be it to work or to the shopping mall. During train, bus or taxi rides.
- In your bathroom. Whilst sitting in that bubble bath or standing in a shower with the water running down your body.
- When you are alone in the house when everyone has gone to sleep, and you are there sitting alone by the fireplace, these are great moments of reflection and great decisions can be made here.
- When you visit an art gallery or a museum. Art has a calming effect on our nerves. You are forced to indulge yourself into deeper thoughts of understanding the meanings around you. That’s the whole purpose of solitude, to give you moments of reflection of how the world is designed and how you fit in into the whole puzzle. You can never understand the pacifying feeling or effect that art has on us
- Finally, when trying to sleep. Instead of forcing yourself to fall asleep, use those moments for reflection
I know people may be different depending on whether you are an introvert or an extrovert, I don’t even know where I belong but I enjoy my solitude moments very much and I wouldn’t trade them for anything. I have written all my blog posts in solitude, I have written all my quotes in solitude and all my poems. Not to mention the great business ideas that I came up with in solitude.
One great advantage of being alone is losing track of time. Time does not matter when we are alone because it’s a moment of letting go. Therefore stop planning about what to think of before you embark on your solitude moments. Allow yourself to wander, allow your mind to be on a runway of thought and imagination, unguided by anything, that’s why open areas are mostly encouraged because your mind is not squashed. And do not forget to take a jotting pad with you so that you won’t forget your great ideas.
Be sure to create time for yourself. A lot of people create time for all other things but forget to create time for themselves. Solitude moments are very important,
No matter how busy you are,
- Create time for yourself
- Listen to yourself
- Learn how to treat yourself special
I would love to hear from you, tell me about your solitude moments and if this was useful to you, don’t forget to share it with someone.