9 Reasons why you need to spend time alone with yourself

“All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone with himself- Blaise Pascal”

1. You get to know more about yourself.

know-thyself

 

When you take leave from the busy-ness of your mundane world and spend time in solitude, you’ll start knowing more about yourself.

“Know Thyself” was the maxim written on the ancient Greek temple of Apollo at Delphi.

know thyself
Source: TedEd
Self-awareness is at the foundation of Emotional Intelligence.

The only sure way to know more about your own thought pattern is to set aside more time for yourself alone and self-examine your thoughts in solitude.

When you start introspecting, you’ll find that most of the “problems” you have in your life aren’t actual problems but the tricks your mind is playing on you.

2. Creativity kindles in solitude

“The monotony and solitude of a quiet life stimulate the creative mind.” — Albert Einstein

Creativity and innovation start with spending time alone with yourself.

Fewer distractions mean more focus and productivity.

It is in the moments of silence with yourself that those “Eureka” moments arise.

Speaking of Eureka, Archimedes discovered The Archimedes Principle when he was pondering alone in his bathtub.

solitude

It’s hard to argue with that.

We tend to get our best ideas in the shower because that’s most often the time we all spend privately with ourselves.

The more powerful and original a mind, the more it will incline towards the religion of solitude.

~ Aldous Huxley

All successful people have this in common, once a year, Bill Gates embarks on something called a ThinkWeek, where he disconnects from the internet and moves into a cabin in the woods.

“The best thinking has been done in solitude.”

— Thomas A. Edison

3. You re-orient yourself back on the right track.

Did you ever find yourself lost in your own thinking?

We need a map that tells us “You are here” to remind us where we are and where we are heading in this maze of our life.

you are here

Unfortunately, there’s no equivalent of a GPS for our minds to automatically re-orient itself whenever we go astray.

In Google Maps, the ‘Recenter’ option allows you to recenter and re-align yourself to your destination.

recenter

The same goes with life.

We get lost in all the busy-ness of life and lose sight of what is truly important, why is it that we are working so hard for if we don’t have time for ourselves.

When you sit and talk to yourself, you are hitting the “recentre” on your inner compass.

We ought to do it as often as possible.

When you’re alone, ask yourself honestly if what you’re doing now is what you really love to do.

Related: The significance of being true to yourself.

3. Increase in Emotional Intelligence.

We do not have a system registry like there’s in computers to log and register each and every negative thought that is being subconsciously installed onto our minds.

The “Uninstallation” of the negative thoughts starts with solitude, introspection and reflecting back on your actions and intents; identifying the negative thoughts that drag you down and making a conscious decision to ‘delete’ them.

self knowledge solitude

Being self-aware of your anxieties, fears, worries and disappointments will give you a mastery over your own emotions.

You may believe you have 101 problems with your life,

but in reality, most of them are the anxious thoughts and worries made up in your own mind. They don’t truly exist except in your own mind.

For example, while you’re having a nightmare, you panic even while sleeping because you believe that the situation you are in is real and actually happening.

But as soon as you wake up from that nightmare you realize how foolish it was to worry about a dream that exists just in your head.

Negative thoughts work in the same way.

When you’re aware of the illusion of the “problem” that’s in your head, you’ll rise above your natural state of thinking into a higher state of enlightenment immune to the common worries of life.

5.Get a new perspective on your situation.

As Albert Einstein said,

“We cannot solve a problem with the same kind of thinking that we used when we created it”

When you spend time with yourself, you’ll take a step back, and analyze your situation objectively from a third person perspective.

Momentarily distancing yourself from your thinking will allow you to think outside the problem you’re having, with a different mindset.

6. Sort and reset your priorities.

Steve Jobs said,

I’ve looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself:

“If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?”

And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”

We have our priorities often skewed because we do not spend enough time with ourselves.

Everyone’s undisputed top priorities are

  1. Health & Well-being,
  2. Family/Relationships.

If that’s the case, how are our actions like eating junk food and constant quarrelling at home going to affect that ?

Solitude allows us to ask ourselves if what we are doing now align with our priorities and reset it right so that we have few regrets when we are gray-haired.

7. You meet an amazing person for life.

I have never found a companion that was as companionable as solitude.

— Henry David Thoreau

talk to yourself

 

You may be alone but never lonely.

Having time for yourself will help you reconnect with your true self.

You learn more about your desires, wants, and needs which can help you prioritize what’s most important for you.

When you hang out alone with yourself, you will discover an amazing person hiding within you, coming out of your shell and suddenly become your best friend, life coach, and mentor.

8. You take the responsibility to pick yourself up.

Most people fall into the trap of learned helplessness where they are in the illusion that their betterment and success is somehow not in their own grasp and power.

Wilful solitude reminds you that you’re not helpless, that you can do something about it. That you’re the captain of your ship and that you need time with yourself to reset the direction constantly.

You just need to spend time alone with yourself to realize that.

It reminds you to take responsibility for your shortcomings and to pick yourself up.

9. Increased philosophical thinking

“I live in that solitude which is painful in youth, but delicious in the years of maturity”. — Albert Einstein.

Who Am I ?
The word monk (Greek: monachos, “single, solitary”) is used for people who spend solitary lives withdrawn from the clutter of the society to get to know more about God and themselves.

Wilful solitude and the hermitic life was encouraged in almost all faiths.

Because in solitude, we reconnect with God and Nature and ponder our place in the universe.

Monks and hermits in Christianity, Buddhism, Jainism, and Hinduism used to spend most of their lives living alone in the mountains and wilderness, far away from the noise of the society to ponder the ‘Big Questions’ in life such as,

“What’s the meaning of life?” ,

“Does God exist?”

“Where did we all come from?”

“What is our life’s purpose?”

We tend to seek answers to these questions more when we are alone with ourselves than when we are partying at a nightclub.

“And you? When will you begin that long journey into yourself?” — Rumi

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