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Why We Should Spend More Time With Ourselves

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posted on Mar, 8 2014 @ 01:26 AM

Why are people so incredibly against being alone? We all seem to be afraid of it. We make friends who usually aren’t worth having. We date people we shouldn’t be dating. We spend our time and money running away from being on our lonesome.
Loneliness is not something to aim for, but being alone doesn’t necessarily mean being lonely. In fact, spending more time with ourselves, without being surrounded by people, and without virtually surrounding ourselves via all those social networking platforms, we can find solace in the company that matters most: the relationship we have with ourselves.

I found this article to be invigorating and I felt others may gain from it's well expressed perspective on the subject and benefit of spending time alone. I don't think everyone should become a recluse, but a little introspection does us good. As a fairly solitaire individual, I already know the benefits of alone time, but this article articulates the idea in a more colorful and thorough fashion, and ultimately offering 15 ways reasons why we should spend more time with ourselves. I have always reveled in solitude both indoors and out and I feel it is a source for personal peace and fortitude. I enjoy socializing in moderation, but feel most comfortable and whole when alone.

When I read this article, the opening paragraph made me think immediately of a friend and family member who suffer severely when alone. Imo and experience people can get themselves into situations and relations that are not good for them just so they can avoid being alone. My cousin hates being alone and freaks out a bit. He and another friend of mine, and I love em, but they never go home and they talk forever, too often just for the sake of talking. Personally, I think small talk is a waste of time for the most part and I would rather marvel at something wonderous or do something creative, but that is just me. I think many people are not in touch with themselves enough and go through life in a reactionary fashion, which seems a little empty and unhealthy. There are introverts and extroverts in our world and sometimes those personalities can drift too far to the edge and out of balance, as in spending no time alone or spending all their time alone. This is when a little step outside of our norm can help us and that is what I hope these 15 reasons convey.
Here are 15 benefits of spending time alone:


A simple life is a beautiful life. In this day and age, we often find ourselves overwhelmed with things we want to do, ought to do, need to do and are avoiding doing. We all have so much going on in our lives, but to what end? It’s as if we are all running some sort of race, a race with no real finish other than death. People are aiming for a happy life somewhere down the line when the point of life is being happy throughout the ride.


I’m sure I’m not the only person who finds himself mentally overwhelmed. Our minds are capable of storing massive amounts of information. However, you can’t simply collect information. You need to organize it. Our minds have a filing system that, in part, works on its own, but it requires slowing down and removing yourself from the constant flow of new information. You can’t process and file simultaneously. We don’t come equipped with dual processors.


More stable would probably be a better way to put it. Our perceptions are flexible; they change as we accumulate new experiences. But when we are constantly interacting with others and constantly processing new information, it makes getting a grasp on reality rather tricky. It’s not so much that you don’t have a clear perception of your reality; it’s that you don’t take enough time to explore the reality you’ve created. Removing yourself from the world allows you to reacquaint yourself with the way you see the world.


By understanding the way you perceive the world, you gain insight into you as an individual. You will have more time to consciously roam around in your mind, to notice the way you think, notice the way your thoughts interact with the physical world, and notice how you judge both the outside world and yourself.

We think all the time, but it’s not often that we look at our thoughts from the outside looking in. We are more often than not caught up in thought, failing to differentiate our formulated thoughts from ourselves, the thinkers. Spend more time alone to develop the ability to differentiate yourself from all those thoughts flying about in your head. You two aren’t one in the same.


Because we don’t differentiate between ourselves and our thoughts, anxiety quickly builds. If we are overwhelmed by all the thoughts we’re having, not being able to slow them down because we feel they are a part of us, we begin to feel heavy and sluggish. If the thoughts are negative, they end up affecting us profoundly. Spending more time on your lonesome will allow you the opportunity to set your mind straight and rid yourself of unnecessary negative thoughts, alleviating your anxiety.


Most people don’t like being alone because they feel the need to be social, to interact with others. This is a part of human nature. However, the amount of social interaction we require to remain sane is nowhere near the amount most of us experience on a daily basis. Moreover, the amount necessary is much less than the amount we feel we need.

The fact is, most of us are dependent on others for our happiness. We use them as distractions. Distractions from what? From ourselves. But why do you feel the need to keep you away from you?


We spend a lot of time in our lives, excuse my French, dicking around. We do things for the sake of doing them. We “hang out.” We “chill.” We find ways of filling up our days in order not to have time to do nothing – because doing nothing is bad. But the fact is, you can’t do nothing; it’s physically impossible. You are a living thing and are always doing something.

More than that, you are a human being. Our minds aren’t capable of doing absolutely nothing. Try doing nothing and you’ll notice that you’re still doing something. Becoming comfortable with being alone removes a lot of excess waste from your life because you come to realize it as being useless.


Life isn’t a race. If it were, then you should be trying to avoid the finish line, not get there sooner. Taking the time to slow down and enjoy the little things — the air around you, the chair you are sitting in, the way your tongue feels pressed against your teeth — will bring you greater joy than you ever thought possible. Being alive should be enough to make you happy. If it doesn’t, you need to slow down and remove yourself from distractions.


posted on Mar, 8 2014 @ 01:27 AM


Just 10 years ago, we weren’t exposed to nearly as much information as we are now. Looking back 50 years, the difference is colossal. Human beings are not yet used to being fed so much information; processing all this information can become difficult – mostly because the majority of it is useless to us. Humans developed their cognitive abilities as a means of surviving.

But knowing that Sarah is eating a cheeseburger via Instagram or that Justin Bieber may get deported via Twitter does not relate to our personal happiness. It’s all information that doesn’t make the least bit difference to our personal lives, to our well-being. Unplugging from this constant stream of information is incredibly relieving.


The only way to achieve sustainable happiness is to be happy with the bare minimum. Why? Maintaining anything requires constants and the only thing you can never lose and never have to worry about losing is you. You will always have you. You can lose everything else, but you can’t lose you. Learn to be happy with just yourself and everything else positive that comes your way will only be a very pleasant surprise.


It turns out that being alone is a lot cheaper than spending time with others. Alone, you can literally just sit or close your eyes and do close to nothing, just thinking and imagining. Now imagine trying to convince your friends to come over and do the same. Not going to happen. You’re going to have to spend money one way or another. Socializing always comes at a price, while being alone only costs you on occasion.


People seem to be afraid of being alone and getting to know themselves because they are afraid of what they’ll find. Their egos don’t like their minds doing the digging because they will surely find soft spots. We all have our weaknesses. You can choose to ignore them or you can understand them and learn how to position yourself in a way where you either work on them or avoid having to expose them.


Society convinces us that we want a lot of things we really don’t want. It’s the competitive nature of man that has us reaching for the stars when, in reality, the ground under our feet is more than enough. There’s nothing wrong with aiming high — I sure as hell do — but make sure that what you’re aiming for is something you actually want, not something you want because others want it as well.

If you don’t really want something, but are aiming for it, anyway, you are only setting yourself up for disappointment. If you don’t get it, you’ll be disappointed with not getting it, and if you do get it, you’ll be disappointed that it wasn’t what you thought it’d be. Get your priorities straight and you’ll have less disappointment in your life.


We aren’t meant to just be focusing on tasks. We are also meant to focus on ourselves. Very few living creatures are capable of understanding themselves as individuals — most simply act without understanding that they exist. For whatever reason, our culture emphasizes constant action and little reflection. Spend some time focusing on yourself and your thoughts and less on actions. There’s no point of constantly going after achievements if you lose sight of who you are as a living being.


We are born alone and we die alone. What few come to realize is that the majority of our lives we actually spend alone. We spend a lot of our lives trying not to be alone, true, but in reality, we are alone the entire time. That’s okay. In fact, it’s wonderful. You are you and just you. You are unique. You are one of a kind. You don’t need anyone else to make you better because you are amazing just the way you are. You’re simply choosing to ignore that fact.
Now I am not suggesting running off to be a hermit, I just feel that the we have great strength within and alone time enables us to better tap into that source, imo.


posted on Mar, 8 2014 @ 02:05 AM

I agree completely. I am an "alone" type person. I thoroughly enjoy all of the time I get to spend alone. I don't really have friends since I am a stay at home mother, and I don't have a problem with that at all. I found that a lot of friendships require more effort than I am willing to put in with most people. It's draining unless you have that one good friend that doesn't require ego stroking, babysitting, constant whining about relationships, etc.

I enjoy my family, but I enjoy Monday mornings when they return to work and school just as well. The house is empty and I am left with myself and my dog. I think everyone should feel comfortable being alone, but most people do not.

Parents stopped teaching their children to entertain themselves and I find that translates into adults who are unable to function without some sort of audience almost constantly. These are the same people who stay in bad relationships throughout their life because they are so scared of being alone.... they would rather be miserable with someone else.

Learning how to be at peace and enjoy alone time is an important thing IMO.

posted on Mar, 8 2014 @ 02:42 AM
reply to post by speculativeoptimist

Hello spec....
you've hit the nail on the head....our world.. to me is full of people who dislike their own company...they have trouble occupying themselves outside of work...or clubbing...or watching tv shows about other people living their lives..

time to myself and interests/family are the most important pursuits in my little world....I don't care what's happening in the usa.....there is more to life than america on tv or ats...

give me my and a beer....and I'm in heaven..........the proverbial shtf could happen and I don't think I'd even care....

in my world...long live the loners.....

posted on Mar, 8 2014 @ 03:05 AM
reply to post by speculativeoptimist
i love being alone just never get the chance

posted on Mar, 8 2014 @ 03:11 AM
reply to post by speculativeoptimist

Thanks for the thread speculateveoptimist! I agree completely.

The older I get, the more I enjoy being alone. Listening to people's brainwashed opinions drains my energy. The type of people who think you're a loser if you are not constantly among friends or out having a good time. To me, being alone is FREEDOM.

I used to have a large circle of friends, and even then I would often go out alone, so I would be free to join up with anyone I'd happen to run into. Since I started my own family, I've found that it's not worth the investment to keep all those friendships going. Now, I only stay in touch with 3 very good friends who are not offended when I'd rather be alone than with them. In fact, they value their alone-time just as much as I do. We sometimes go months without seeing each other or talking on the phone.


posted on Mar, 8 2014 @ 02:35 PM
reply to post by Kangaruex4Ewe

Hey Kangaruex4Ewe, sounds like you too appreciate the value of alone time.

I found that a lot of friendships require more effort than I am willing to put in with most people. It's draining unless you have that one good friend that doesn't require ego stroking, babysitting, constant whining about relationships, etc.

So true, and life has so much depth to ponder and utilize that spending time highlighting the superficial just doesn't appeal much.

Parents stopped teaching their children to entertain themselves and I find that translates into adults who are unable to function without some sort of audience almost constantly. These are the same people who stay in bad relationships throughout their life because they are so scared of being alone.... they would rather be miserable with someone else.

Indeed and imagination seems to be less encouraged in today's instant gratification world, both at home and in the institutions.
Thanks for your reply.

posted on Mar, 8 2014 @ 02:49 PM
reply to post by tri-lobe-1

Howdy tri-lobe-1,I understand fully what you are saying and agree. My alone time, which is often a creative time is when I feel not only the most comfortable but the most productive too. I enjoy thinking/working undisturbed and feel that I can accomplish much more during these times. Music and nature suffice as family and friends sometimes, pouring inspiration into my day.
Thanks for the reply,

posted on Mar, 8 2014 @ 02:52 PM
reply to post by zedy63

Yea sometimes we have to make or manage our time in this hustle and bustle world. At the very least I will take a stroll through a park or on a trail to recharge my batteries. A good book serves as an excuse to disconnect too, and the personal reflection and imagining are very rewarding.

posted on Mar, 8 2014 @ 03:29 PM
Thank you for this thread. I saw another one somewhere...else, which was like, what do you have to live for if you're not surrounded by (kids, spouse, friends, peers, etc) but I myself would be drained and stressed out off the charts, if that were so, with me. Off the charts. I'd have to imbibe all the time. I'm super sensory sensitive. Alone in my abode, a little back-and-forth in the chatforums, can become too much for me. My friends I hang out with are my mom and a sibling. About once a month. Otherwise, I feel quite happy and content, and feel very far from nothing to live for. My life feels like alot, to me.

posted on Mar, 8 2014 @ 04:39 PM
reply to post by soulwaxer

My pleasure soulwaxer and I am glad you can relate. It does come down to energy use and yea I don't like expending energy frivolously. The value of undisturbed thinking is really nice, to let thoughts unwind unfettered takes one to places of solace and calmness that can be so conducive to creativity and problem solving.
My circle of friends has shrunk over the years too, and I am sure with a family every hour is of value, and there is only so much time in a day. Unplugging is kind of like personal downtime, a chance to recharge and resolve.

Thanks for your reply,

posted on Mar, 8 2014 @ 04:47 PM
reply to post by misschareesee2

You are most welcome misschareesee2! I too get to be hypersensitive a lot and solitude is a welcoming setting compared to social ones. Coming to ATS provided a balance in that we can talk to strangers and share perspectives. We can make a friend and learn things here from the comfort of our dwelling.
"What to live for?" Man my head immediately becomes filled with options. Love, nature, animals, art/music, some family and friends, issues in our world that affect us, history, spirituality and sometimes pure emptiness is a welcomed friend.
I thought these 15 reasons were great and well written and I am glad others can relate and benefit.
Thanks for the reply and have a good one!


posted on Mar, 8 2014 @ 05:19 PM


Parents stopped teaching their children to entertain themselves and I find that translates into adults who are unable to function without some sort of audience almost constantly. These are the same people who stay in bad relationships throughout their life because they are so scared of being alone.... they would rather be miserable with someone else.

This is something I had to realize. My oldest is almost 5 yrs old and he was the type of baby that did not like to be held. He always wanted to be on the floor. Some people made me feel guilty for always putting him on the floor and not holding him. I'm glad that I did though. He is very independent and entertains himself easily.

posted on Feb, 5 2015 @ 06:12 PM
I just spent a few days at the coast in a cottage with just me and my dog. I've had some family challenges and I wanted to really address them thoroughly and with as much consideration as I could. I considered not only my perspective, but others involved as well and where they were coming from, some empathy if you will. I had numerous realizations/revelations and was able to find peace. In this alone space, I was able to consider things,both within and without, that I had missed in the scheme of things. I returned and reached out and we were able to compromise and to some degree mend our relationship, creating a better connection with one another.

I ran across a couple of articles that made me think of this thread. They, coupled with my venture, gave me inspiration and some clarity so I wanted to add to the thread for others to consider. Again, I believe neglecting one's alone time too much can be destructive, both individually and collectively.

Now, more than ever, we need our solitude. Being alone gives us the power to regulate and adjust our lives. It can teach us fortitude and the ability to satisfy our own needs. A restorer of energy, the stillness of alone experiences provides us with much-needed rest. It brings forth our longing to explore, our curiosity about the unknown, our will to be an individual, our hopes for freedom. Alonetime is fuel for life.

Spending time in wilderness solitude is a fascinating adventure. We have carried specialization to such an extreme in the service of efficient productivity that daily life can seem boringly repetitious. Activities we used to enjoy when young are lost to the demands of adulthood. Living alone in the wilderness requires that we learn to do everything required for survival. The satisfaction of such self-reliance is deeply rewarding.
Ahh yes, alone time in nature, such good medicine! My buddy asks, "Why do you always go hiking, fishing, exploring alone?" It made me think and I realized that it is unfettered connection with wonder. I enjoy also sharing the glory in the company of others, but just as important, or more so honestly for me, is alone time, so that my thoughts can expand uninterrupted, and my gratitude becomes more encompassing. IMO the best way to resolve issues is to think things thru, deeply. Now we should also apply knowledge and opinions of others to our thoughts, but we live within ourselves, and think to ourselves, so we should cultivate that space. Additionally, after the thoughts pan out, what is left is a state of mind that is renewing and a bit more empty, so that we make peace and can tackle other issues or goals. It is kind of like the zen full tea cup notion, where the cup is too full for anything else and just overflows, spilling out everywhere.

Solitude allows me to recharge the batteries of my soul it seems, and maybe it can help others do the same.

posted on Mar, 26 2015 @ 05:54 PM
a reply to: speculativeoptimist

Hi Spec! Such a long time, hope you are doing ok my friend!

I agree we all need a bit of solitude, especially when you are surrounded by people 24/7 like me.... sometimes I just have to go for a walk by the beach or woods, just to be alone, to enjoy the silence, to reconnect with my own soul.
Unfortunately society labels those who enjoy solitude as sad and lonely, which is not always the case... I say not always because sometimes some people are lonely and they wouldn't like to. But I agree that having some 'alone' time can recharge your spirit and can give you a special kind of freedom.

Having said that I also believe that we are social creatures and that we need some human contact too. Sometimes a cup of coffee tastes better when you enjoy it with somebody who truly cares about you. Or a sunset looks more beautiful when you know another person is also loving the view.

I strive to balance it all in my life and that's how I am with my social life.... I need time alone to connect with the universe and my soul... but I also love spending time with good company.

posted on Mar, 27 2015 @ 08:00 AM
introspection Is such a lovely word.

Very nice thread, you've made me feel all warm and cuddled inside. Bravo.

The world just favours extroverts these days. It made me feel like there was something wrong with me when I was young, but one comes to understand oneself over time, and I wouldn't change being an inny for an outy now. Self introspection and exploration are a gift.

Thanks again

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