I had a season when I deliberately chose to be alone – not because I had no one to accompany me, but because I realized I wanted to do things independently.
That season has been instrumental in my personal development because I learned many things about myself during my bout with quarter-life crisis.
I realized that being alone and being lonely are not the same. It is especially helpful while we are still single and in a season of self-discovery.
Here are seven benefits I learned:
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1. You will have time to learn more about yourself.
Being alone can give you ample time to learn about yourself. It’s amazing how many things we can discover about ourselves during this time.
We can introspect and look at ourselves a little more. We can write and maintain a journal that we can use to transfer our thoughts, admirations, frustrations, discoveries, and gratitude on paper.
Spending some alone time does not mean locking ourselves in our house and secluding ourselves for some time. It may also mean going for a walk for 30 minutes without your gadgets or waking up early to get a cup of coffee and read.
It is important to learn that alone time is not only for introverts. It can also be helpful for extroverts – though it may not be the best time for them. Nonetheless, it can be life-changing.
2. You can try new things without requiring a companion.
Many people don’t like the idea of being alone, and it may even scare them.
I remember when someone posted a picture on social media that had gone viral with a caption about pitying the guy eating alone in a fast food restaurant and wanting to accompany/comfort him.
The funny thing about that encounter is the original poster may have been an extrovert and is unfamiliar with the idea that introverts love spending time with themselves.
I also spent months eating alone at fast food chains in Eastwood City, QC. However, instead of feeling sad that I didn’t have anyone to join me on my early morning meals, it actually became a great opportunity for introspection and planning.
Being alone taught me to join events my friends were not as enthusiastic about, like running half marathons, hiking, personal finance, stock market seminars, reading and writing conferences, concerts and gigs, and many more.
By joining events alone and trying them out by yourself, you also position yourself to meet like-minded people.
3. You can find people with the same interest.
When I was joining events alone, I met a lot of people. I realized I was not lonely, and others like me were rediscovering themselves and trying things out alone.
I met running friends, hiking friends, mentors, and many interesting people just by stepping out of my comfort zone and joining events I’m interested.
So if you love anime or cosplaying but don’t have friends who also share that passion, you will likely meet other people around the same niche communities.
Though you can also enjoy your own company and just look around.
4. It is easier to move.
We all heard the phrase if you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.
However, in the context of moving to different places fast, going alone is the way to go, especially if you are moving within a city or nearby areas.
When maximizing my time alone, I usually plan to go to different events in different places. However, I was never tense because I knew that even if I were commuting, it would still be easier to squeeze in public transportation, like the MRT, buses, or jeepneys.
Traveling light also makes it easier for me to move from place to place.
5. It is easier to decide.
One of the best advantages of spending time alone is the freedom to decide.
We all know the experience when traveling with families and friends when the whole trip becomes in jeopardy because someone from the group disagrees with the majority, especially if they can persuade others.
So by being alone, you can train yourself to act and decide independently. It also helps you overcome the fear of disappointing others since it is usually a conversation with yourself.
Learning to decide independently is crucial in our adult life since decisions always bombard us. It can also build us to be firmer.
6. You can think about working on solutions.
When we are hard-pressed by problems, it can sometimes be overwhelming.
So, we often go to a friend or two to ask for their help making decisions. However, we sometimes fail to take things slow and be still.
By spending more time alone, we can learn how to arrange our thoughts, write them down, take deep breaths, pray to God for wisdom, and think about solutions to our problems.
We need to remember that sometimes we already know the solutions to our problems – we just ask others for confirmation or validation from others or to delay taking action.
7. You can drown out the noise.
Finally, spending more time alone will help us drown out the external noise in our lives. These noises come from other people and may include social media and surroundings.
So when spending time alone, moving outside our daily routine is a good practice.
I spent a lot of time on the roads running tens of kilometers so that I could think. Sometimes, I would spend hours at cafes and bookstores because they have a calming effect on me. Oftentimes, I would spend time with nature by hiking or walking.
Whatever it is, you should choose an activity you enjoy, even if you’re alone. On the other hand, if you don’t know what activity it is, it would be best to try different things out.
Spending time alone is a pastime for introverts, but it can also be a worthwhile experience for extroverts.
Spending time alone can help us get clarity, some sense of peace, problem-solving opportunities, and, most importantly, know ourselves better.
We may feel sad when we are alone, but we need to remember that we can be alone without feeling lonely. It’s just a matter of perspective.
May God help us during the times when we are fighting our silent battles and taking a step back from the noise.
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