As I get older I am constantly reminded and much more aware of how much we, we depend on others. Our connections to others are key to our survival, happiness and success. So how do you make your interactions stronger? We are super busy.
Time alone is the answer. Not all of us are comfortable being alone, but it's important to acknowledge that discomfort and explore it because the benefits of alone time are important. In fact, alone time is the critical balance to social connection for our health and productivity.
Let's talk about those alone time benefits. Here are 10 Things That Happen When You Spend Time Alone. This time will help you:
It's important to balance alone time and social connection. All the world's religions recognize this and encourage private spirituality as well as community engagement. In today's world, fragmented as we are, we often don't do a very good job being alone or connecting. Despite our constant connectedness through social media, 50% of Americans are single (vs. 22% in 1950), and 27 million live alone (vs. 4 million in 1950).But how well do we use that alone time? Learn to use it effectively, and your social connections will be more effective as well.
2. Reduce stress
We now know that human beings are not multi-taskers. Most of us move rapidly from task to task, reducing performance and effectiveness. And multi-tasking adds to stress. You probably don't think of responding to others as a "task", but in the sense that awareness of others requires attention and energy, it is. And if there are two people in the vicinity, being aware of and sensitive to each is like two "tasks". Removing that input for a period of time while you focus on one or two things reduces stress.
3. Be more creative
Studies show that you are more creative during alone time than when involved with others in brainstorming.
4. Be more aware
Now that you have less to focus on and you've quit multi-tasking for a while, you are more aware of yourself, your emotions and thoughts, and your surroundings.
5. Complete projects with greater satisfaction
With fewer distractions, you will complete projects more effectively and with greater concentration. Because you're not multi-tasking, completing the project will bring you greater satisfaction and will serve to reduce stress instead of increase it.
6. Become more independent and resourceful
When you're alone, especially if you're engaged in some project or adventure, you will learn independence and resourcefulness -- because you have no choice.
Again, we sometimes don't realize how much energy our constant connection requires and how this kind of multi-tasking causes stress and reduces our ability to concentrate. Removing the stimuli from connection to others improves concentration not just while you're alone but for some time afterward.
8. Find your own voice
When you're dealing with others' interpretations of the world and with others' expectations and perceptions, it's hard to recognize your own! Time out allows you to do reduce the noise and "hear yourself think".
9. Get a new perspective on things
When you step back from the flow of events and social connections, you see things from a different vantage point.
10. Think better
When you put yourself in a space to get a different perspective, this bigger picture or more complete picture gives you more information for decision-making. What seemed enormous becomes less important. What you overlooked, including your own voice, becomes more important and more clear.
If being alone is difficult for you, it's important to explore this and practice being alone. If you are not comfortable being alone with yourself, relationships by definition will be co-dependencies. When you learn to enjoy your alone time, you can come to others as a full, not a needy, person.
Some people require more alone time than others. Many recent studies of introverts tell us that introverts process information and social interactions differently than extroverts. They even think differently! In order for introverts to use their many gifts effectively, they require more alone time.
So alone time is important for you to be your best possible self. It's easier to get this time than you think! Schedule alone time on a regular basis, at least once a week. Learn to close your door. Get up or get into your office early. Use your lunch break effectively. Take a walk by yourself. Look up at least once a day.
Wise managers and business owners understand alone time boosts creativity and productivity. Make certain the physical structure and workday schedule allows opportunities for the moments everyone in the organization need, including you! You will be more effective and productive as will employees.