By Travis Bradberry
We live in a world of constant contact—a place that’s losing sight of the importance of being alone. Offices are abandoning cubicles in favor of shared desks and wide-open common spaces, and rather than sitting at their desks working independently, school children are placed in groups. It seems that a never-ending “ping” has become our culture’s omnipresent background noise, instantly informing us of every text, tweet, and notification. Even something as mundane as cooking dinner has become worthy of social sharing.
Solitude isn’t just a professional plus; it’s also good for your mental and emotional well-being. To get the most out of life, you must learn to enjoy spending time alone. The benefits of solitude are too numerous to catalog, but here are some of the best.
1. You recuperate and recharge.
All of us—even the hopeless extroverts among us—need time to recuperate and recharge. There’s nothing like spending time alone to make this happen. The peace, quiet, and mental solitude you experience when you’re by yourself are essential to recovering from the stresses of daily living.
2. You can do what you want.
As fun as it is to spend time with other people, it inevitably leads to compromise. You’re constantly modifying your ideas to accommodate other people’s desires and opinions. Being alone frees you up to do exactly what you want when you want. You can throw on whatever you feel like wearing, eat what you feel like eating, and work on projects that are meaningful to you.
3. You learn to trust yourself.
Freedom is more than doing what you want; it’s the ability to trust your gut and to think clearly, without any pressure or outside influence. Being alone helps you form a clear understanding of who you are, what you know, and what’s right for you. It teaches you to trust yourself. When around others, even when you don’t realize it, you monitor people’s reactions in order to gauge the appropriateness of your own feelings and actions. When you’re alone, it’s all on you. You develop your own ideas and opinions, without having them watered down by what anyone else thinks. Once you learn to enjoy being alone, you’ll discover what you’re truly capable of, without the constraints of other people’s thinking.
Read more: Entrepreneur