Go ahead and be by yourself whenever you can – it’ll do wonders for your mental and emotional health.
There seems to be a stigma to doing things alone (eg. “Why is she eating alone, she got no friends, ah?”), that it means you’re anti-social or not worthy of loved ones. We’re here to tell you that this is totally wrong. Spending time alone is actually a good thing as the relationship you have with yourself is the most important one in your life. Studies have shown that having more me time has benefits such as increasing productivity, happiness, gratitude and empathy. It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you’re doing it alone. Here are eight reasons why you should have more me time.
It clears your head
It’s possible to suffer from information overload and one good way to reset your mind – or even just organise it properly – is to remove yourself from everything for a while. When you spend time alone, it gives you the opportunity to sit back and look at your life and prioritise everything accordingly. It gives you a clearer perspective of what’s going on and you’ll be able to focus better on what needs to be done, and in what order.
You’ll get to know yourself
Having me time will teach you things about yourself you’d never have known otherwise. You’ll get a bird’s eye view of yourself as well as your thoughts and feelings, and find out why and how you react to situations in a particular way, for example. When you’re not caught up with doing anything else, you’ll be able to sieve through all the thoughts that are in your head and make sense of what is really going on and why you’re doing what you’re doing in particular situations. You just might be surprised by what it teaches you about yourself. And it will then prepare you to deal with other situations in the future.
You’ll be less dependent on others
Not only will spending more time alone make you appreciate your own company more, it’ll also teach you that you don’t have to interact with others as much as you thought you needed to. We’re not asking you to drop all your friends and spend a life in solitude; but what you will learn is that your happiness doesn’t depend on other people. So enjoy your own company from time to time and you’ll feel more fulfilled. (A side benefit is that you’ll also save money because you won’t need to go out as often as you used to.)
You’ll never be lonely
Another advantage of realising how content you are spending time with yourself is that you’ll get used to being alone without being lonely. It’s okay to feel lonely at times although, of course, too much of it can be bad too. But if you embrace your own company, you’ll learn to do things by yourself and enjoy the experience, without being in fear of being all by yourself.
You’ll get more creative
For centuries, creative types have locked themselves away in a room/cottage/cabin to give their all to their work and the results have often been excellent. Being by yourself cancels out all the regular distractions of life and gives your mind the chance to wander. You might just be surprised to see your creative side flourish, even if it’s just a solution to a boring work presentation. Or you could even discover a creative side you never knew you had.
You’ll become more authentic
When you take the time to get to know yourself better, you’ll realise that you’re comfortable being the person you want to be, as opposed to the person everyone else – or even society – expects you to be. You need to listen to yourself and figure out who and what you want to be, then work towards that. Spending more me time makes you more honest with yourself and it will develop your personality too as you’ll realise that you don’t have to pretend to be someone you’re not.
It’ll make your life easier
One of life’s simple pleasures is sitting by yourself with a good book and a beverage or snack of your choice. Some people can spend hours doing this and have the best time, while others need to be constantly surrounded by people, engaging with them. Embracing me time will make your life simpler as you no longer need to be tied down to plans with other people just to keep yourself occupied. Me-time activities aren’t just limited to reading; just pick a solitary task that makes you happy and do it whenever you can.
You’ll realise you’re enough
If you can’t be happy with yourself, how else are you going to achieve joy? You are the only thing you truly have and the job to nurture yourself falls completely on your shoulders. Once you get used to your own company and find happiness in it, you’ll look at everything else that comes your way as a bonus and appreciate them (and yourself) more.
This article first appeared on www.herworld.com.