Being Alone ≠ LonelinessImages: Flickr Creative Commons - bench (DieselDemon) and cup (pj_vanf); socialprecision.com
Being alone is not synonymous to loneliness. As a matter of fact, it can actually contribute to being a happy and well-functioning individual. Studies show that spending some time away from family and friends leads to a better appreciation of time spent with them.
Read on to find out the reason behind and what you can do about it.
Adam Waytz, PhD, of the Harvard psychology department explained that our highly connected world leaves people "socially stuffed." This prevents one's ability to genuinely empathize with others. Those who step back and temporarily detach themselves to be alone tend to become more open and empathetic to others.
|Images: daydreamliving.blogspot.com, glamour.com, honeywhatscooking.com|
"Periods of solitude refresh our appetite for togetherness the same way being hungry before a meal can make it seem more delicious."
Based on Prevention magazine (November 2011)
SB Tips for Solitude:
- Unplug and disconnect. With all the social media available these days, you are always within reach. If your phone's busy, don't be surprised if you get a tweet, a Facebook message, or a push email on your Blackberry. Technology causes unnecessary stress these days. Grant yourself some space by disconnecting from all these distractions even just for a day or two.
- Meditate. Just like our bodies, our minds also need cleansing and rejuvenation. One good way to de-clutter the mind is through the art of meditation. Meditation is simply the act of getting us focus on what is happening by heightening our senses. This saves us from running around like headless chickens because of crazy schedules. Activities such as yoga and mindful tea drinking provide the benefits of meditation.
- Travel alone. It sure is fun to explore a new city with friends or family but going to a place alone may allow you to have a better appreciation of your surroundings. Replace your supposed conversations with mind reflections. It's your chance to unleash your adventurous spirit and do what you want right when you want it. You have the final say on how to go about with your schedule, having the luxury of of allotting more time on your preferred activities.
- Go on a retreat. One of the powerful ways of refreshing the soul is recharging the spirit. No matter what religious sect you belong to, there are different ways of reconnecting with your spiritual side. Find some place peaceful and take time to reflect on your life or simply commune with nature. Sometimes, taking a look back at your past actions allows you to make better decisions and necessary changes for the future.
- Date yourself. Spend some quality time with yourself as you would with people you love dearly. Go get a relaxing massage, go to your favorite coffee shop with a good book, or simply watch a movie by yourself. Take this chance to satisfy both your needs and wants.
So there, SB, options abound when it comes to finding solitude. All you really need to do is set some time for it and prepare those who are close to you. Their understanding of your me-time's significance just might make things easier and allow you to maximize the experience. Just reassure yourself that you're doing this for a purpose - you're staying away for a while so you can get close to them better. :)