“Language has created the word ‘loneliness’ to express the pain of being alone. And it has created the word ‘solitude’ to express the glory of being alone.” Paul Tillich
“It is far better to be alone than to be in bad company.” George Washington
“The great omission in American life is solitude; not loneliness, for this is an alienation that thrives most in the midst of crowds, but that zone of time and space free from outside pressure which is the incubator of the spirit.” Marya Mannes
“The time you feel lonely is the time you most need to be by yourself.” Douglas Coupland
Today, finding solitude feels almost impossible. In fact, we tend to think that a desire for solitude is for people who are lonely, sad, or antisocial. But seeking solitude can actually be a healthy practice. In fact, there are many physical and psychological benefits to spending time alone.
Benefits of Solitude
- Solitude helps improve concentration and productivity. When you remove unneeded distractions and interruptions from your day, you are better able to concentrate.
- Solitude gives you time to reboot and unwind. Being by yourself with no distractions gives you the chance to clear your mind, focus, and think more clearly.
- Solitude gives you an opportunity to discover yourself and find your own voice.
- Solitude provides time for you to think deeply. Business prevents you from engaging in deep thought, which inhibits creativity.
- Solitude can enhance your relationships with others. You also may come to appreciate your relationships more after you’ve spent some time alone.
Despite knowing these benefits, it can be a challenge to find time alone. Here are a few ideas to help you find more time to spend with yourself.
- Turn off your cell phone, Internet, TV, etc.
- Wake up a half hour or an hour earlier than everyone else in your house and use that time to be alone with your thoughts.
- Find a quiet space. It sounds simple, but can be very effective. Make it your quiet space.