There is a difference between loneliness and being alone. While we don’t want to feel lonely, sometimes we do need some alone time. In fact, in today’s connected world, it’s essential to embrace your alone time and hold it sacred.

Every morning, as the sun is coming up, I like to spend at least a half hour in contemplative solitude while grounding myself. (Grounding a.k.a. Earthing is when you spend time with your bare feet in direct contact with the earth or ground. It creates an electrical connection between you and the earth and is a great health benefit. Learn more about grounding here.) I have found it is really good for my spirit and my soul.

A great idea is to schedule solitude into your daily schedule and routines. Why? There are plenty of benefits to solitude and alone time. Here are nine of the most important…

1. You Gain Clarity
When you spend time alone, you can gain some acute clarity. Instead of being surrounded by chatter and noise, you have quiet. It’s a great time to look inward and carefully think about any issues you may be having or to contemplate goals you want to achieve.

2. Increases Empathy
If you’re always surrounded by people, it’s effortless to slip into an “us vs. them” mode. When you are alone, you cut through that competitiveness. You will find it much easier to consider where other people are coming from in their own lives.

3. Improves Concentration
Improved concentration is a no-brainer. Being alone means that you have all the quiet you need to concentrate on essential tasks. Imagine sitting down to work, and not having anyone interrupt you. Solitude allows you to focus on nothing but the task at hand.

4. You Learn Self-Reliance
When there is no one around, who takes care of you? Yourself. That is the only choice. When you are alone, you can only rely on yourself. You will build skills and confidence as you accomplish things on your own.

5. You Can Recharge
If you have even the slightest inclination towards being introverted, then you need alone time to recharge. I don’t mean it would be nice to have — you need it. Alone time is the perfect chance to disengage from the drudgery of the day-to-day, and just simply be.

6. You Are in Control
When you are alone, you are in full control. You focus on what you want, eat what you want, and spend your time exactly as you want. You make all of the decisions. While this might seem scary to some, taking some control in your life is a powerful thing.

7. Work on Yourself
Alone time is terrific because you are free to think about anything you want. It would help if you tried to think about yourself in these moments. What would you like to change about yourself or your circumstances? You can do whatever you want, so why not start working on that right now?

8. Boost Your Creativity
When you are alone, you don’t have to worry about the criticism of others. That is freeing. Being alone with nothing but your thoughts allows them to flow more freely as well. You will find solitude is a wonderful time to pursue creative pursuits.

9. Reduces Stress
We live in a loud world full of loud voices. Just existing amongst all that noise can be stressful. Grabbing some alone time lets you disconnect from all of that. If you are feeling extra stressed lately, spend a morning or an afternoon alone. You will be surprised just how therapeutic it can be.

 

ACTIONABLE STEPS

  1. Start small. Find some space and time today to spend some alone time. If this is something you find tough, do it for fifteen minutes. You want to get used to the sound of your own thoughts.
  2. Take it up a notch. Spend some more time alone, but this time aim for a moderate amount. If you did fifteen minutes last time, aim for a couple of hours.
  3. One day at a time. OK, now for a big one. Try and spend an entire day alone. It might be hard to find the time, but check your schedule and figure out a day that works.