Solitude & our Power Separate from the Rest of the World
Updated: Apr 23
The gifts of solitude
When we are over-connected, we can sometimes forget about the power we have separate from the rest of the world.
Few of us would have chosen these circumstances of social distancing, but since we’re here, there are many benefits that we can reap from time alone.
Intentionally making time and space away from others, and from incessant noise and the bombardment, pays dividends for our mental, emotional and physical well-being. Beyond the calming effects, quiet alone time has shown to reboot our brains by increasing memory function and even IQ.
Solitude helps our productivity and aids our concentration. Being able to focus on a task alone in silence has been shown to aid our imagination and creative problem-solving, our fragile ideas free from outside opinions.
The capacity to be alone
While counter-intuitive, spending quality time by ourselves actually reduces feelings of loneliness and isolation. Studies also confirm less depression among people who enjoy time alone.
Developing the capacity to be alone has shown to boost mental strength, allow us to better manage our thoughts and emotions, and help direct our actions in ways that can serve us.
Solitude plays an important role in allowing us to step back, evaluate our progress in life and make necessary readjustments. Time alone helps us clarify our thoughts, our plans, our goals and our dreams. Here we can reorganize and redirect.
Being so connected to everything and everyone all the time is ironically, separating us from ourselves. We need quiet to feel our own feelings and to reflect on our life away from everyone else having a say.
The ability to find satisfaction in solitude is linked to increased life satisfaction and levels of happiness. That’s because science shows that our authenticity, our intuition and our self-confidence - all benefits big-time from solitude.
Separate from the rest of the world
Solitude has been shown to nourish self-awareness and ironically, social awareness.
It helps us become more comfortable with and accepting of ourselves; and less likely to lose ourselves in the personalities and preferences of others. Study after study confirms how seriously we are influenced by the people around us; that our friends and family actually determine who we become and what we view as possible for our life.
Even without a virus, positive or negative, the people in our lives are contagious.
One of the smartest things we can do for ourselves is to be discriminating about who we spend time around. There are those who strengthen us and those who decidedly do not. This time and distance can provide the space necessary to see who’s what.
In solitude we grow our empathy and compassion. It’s when we’re alone that we recognize and appreciate our important relationships.
During this pandemic: from social distancing to supporting and depending on neighbors, family and friends – even complete strangers – this all feels like a test of our collective empathy, of our humanity.
What are we willing to give up to consider the needs of our fellow man? A lot it seems. Just not TP.
At some point life will resume and we will meet up with other humans again. Perhaps not all the same ones.
Rebounding from these circumstances will be challenging enough. Being surrounded by the right people can make all the difference.
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