“The more powerful and original a mind, the more it will incline towards the religion of solitude.” – Aldous Huxley
In our endlessly-connected world, it’s difficult to carve out moments to truly be by yourself. But it’s even more important to learn how to be alone when you can choose not to be at any time–after all, how can we grow if we aren’t connected to ourselves, first and foremost?
Being alone in an age of constant distraction can cause anxiety at times, but if you become more comfortable with your time to yourself, you may end up finding you enjoy it.
Long hailed by great thinkers and social leaders as a way to enhance personal growth, solitude is more vital than ever in our modern digital world.
Learning to become disconnected from society and look more deeply into your own soul can help to enhance your creativity, help you to become more self-aware, prevent burn-out, and allow you discover big truths about yourself.
If you’re not sure how to be alone or you don’t see the benefits, look to a better world. One where you spend as much time as you need allowing yourself to grow with the sunlight of solitude shining down upon you.
You might also like these calming solitude quotes and sayings to bring you peace.
How to be Alone: Why Solitude is Essential to Personal Growth
1. Get to Know Yourself
Whether you’re a first-timer to carving out alone time for yourself or you’re a long-time loner, there’s always hidden parts of your soul to discover. Allowing yourself to have time that’s completely your own helps you to get to know your insides and what makes you tick.
Pay attention to what thoughts arise when you’re by yourself and follow them down their strange and winding paths. Read a book and discover new worlds and new friends.
Go on an adventure outdoors–take a drive to the park and wander amongst the trees, appreciating the sunshine and the strange grace of being alive. Create the art that’s been stretching the inside of your brain for ages, even if you never intend to share it with the world.
There’s really no wrong way to be alone. As long as you’re getting to know yourself on a deeper level and not distracting yourself from the moment or your thoughts, you’ll be on your way towards a higher path.
2. Learning How to Be Alone Helps Us Connect with Others
It’s a paradoxical idea, but it rings true for all of us – learning how to be alone will help you to connect more deeply with the people that you care about in your life. Getting to know yourself on a deeper level can help you to see the thread that holds everyone together, the unity in us all.
Every human needs alone time as well as connection. It is a balancing act, but when you balance just right, it feels exquisite.
Not only that, but spending time by yourself allows you to appreciate the time you spend around others. When you have that comparison and contrast, it’s far easier to keep the balance than if all of your life was spent at one extreme or another.
Many introverts need time to recharge between social events and alone time is the perfect way to recharge and center yourself in preparation for another big, draining day. Even if you’re an extrovert, alone time is necessary in order to help you to understand that not everyone enjoys or gets energy from being around others.
It doesn’t matter what kind of personality you have – alone time will help you to better appreciate your fellow humans and their quirks.
3. Work Towards Your Passions
Solitude is the best time of all for working towards your passions and goals. One thing I read a lot from many people on their personal growth journeys is that they feel quite lonely, spending all of their time pursuing their goals.
The balance is important, yes, but spending time in solitude going after your deepest and highest desires is absolutely vital to developing as a human being. How else will you discover who you are if you don’t spend your free moments exploring all of the various pathways?
Dedicate some of your solitary moments to running after those dreams. Write your goals down and work towards them a little bit every day. Perhaps you’ll feel lonely at first, but once you gain some momentum, you’ll wonder why you haven’t spent your life like this before.
In those rough moments where being alone feels painful, remind yourself of where you’re going. Remind yourself that you are doing this for a purpose.
Who knows? You may look back on those hard-working times years from now with nostalgia and a whole lot of joy. There’s no greater pursuit than your own dreams, and alone time will help you achieve that pursuit.
4. Enhance Your Creativity
Solitude is often associated with mad artists and hermits who live in caves–for much of humanity’s history, those who desire to be alone are villainized or seen as outsiders to society.
But there’s a good reason that solitude is associated with creativity. It is only when we are alone that we are free to be completely ourselves and try outlandish, experimental ideas that we would not have had the guts to around others.
Solitude frees us from the restraints of the world’s opinions and allows us to zero in and focus on our own vision. Do you think that Picasso or Van Gogh would’ve created the masterpieces they did without ample time to experiment and play without worrying about the thoughts of others?
Our creativity grows when we give ourselves the room to try new things, and solitude is the perfect time to throw outlandish and wild ideas out into the world. You never know when one might stick–or when a happy little accident will turn from a mistake into a work of absolute genius.
There’s nothing better than a few hours spent by yourself, expressing your deepest and most hidden parts through art and creativity. Who knows what you may discover and what creative urges you may uncover?
5. Prevent Burn-Out
One of the easiest ways to run yourself ragged and to the point of utter exhaustion is to never give yourself any alone time. There’s a reason that celebrities, who are surrounded by an entourage and paparazzi 24/7, are hospitalized for exhaustion on an almost-daily basis.
Even for us everyday working people, burn-out can feel unavoidable when you have to juggle work, family, and your own passions. Your solitary moments will be erased without a thought and you’ll wonder why you feel so tired every single day.
Even if it’s just 10 or 15 minutes a day, take a little time to yourself. If you must lock yourself in the bathroom to avoid your family or spouse, do so. Bring a notebook and write your thoughts; make a quick sketch; pen down those ideas for your business that have been jangling around in your brain; put on a pair of headphones and zone out to an amazing song.
It doesn’t matter how you choose to spend those moments alone, it’ll be worth it in the end to take some of that stress off of your shoulders. Just a little bit of time every day will go a long way towards preventing burn-out, along with a good diet, ample exercise, and a regular sleep schedule.
You’ll notice the difference that putting a bit more energy back into your soul will make–you might even be compelled to extend that time spent by yourself. After all, who can resist a bathtub and a good book after a long day of socializing and following orders?
6. Discover Deep Truths About Yourself
This is perhaps the biggest benefit to solitude – when you spend a ton of time getting to know yourself, pursuing your personal development as well as going after your wildest dreams, you will inevitably learn things about yourself.
Sometimes these deep truths are harsh, such as an early realization as to why you avoid alone time: because you don’t like yourself. These truths can also be incredibly beautiful, such as the epiphany that you are in fact worthy of love and have the power to achieve anything you set your mind to, if you just believe in yourself.
No matter how well you may think you know yourself, learning how to be alone will allow you to wade even deeper into your own self-knowledge. There’s nothing more life-affirming and self-actualizing than those moments where truth springs upon you like a shooting star– solitude is never more worth it than in those moments.
Find Solitude and Serenity Today
We are all at different points on the road map of life, but there are some truths that are universal. Being alone is vital to personal growth as well as the pursuit of your creativity. It can help you to learn deep truths about yourself that you never would’ve known otherwise, your life spent in distraction.
After all, it’s as John-Paul Sartre said,
“If you’re lonely when you’re alone, you’re in bad company.”
So do yourself a favor and take a step towards being solitary instead of lonely – invest some time to be by yourself today to allow you to grow into your brightest, best being.