When I found this mug at a cute old-fashioned candy shop in a quaint little town while on a girls’ weekend getaway, I knew I had to get it. It describes me perfectly — on most days. I tend to prefer hanging out with my pets over people the majority of the time. Less drama, less talking. More ahhh.
I’m not saying I’m anti-social — far from it actually. But I’ve always been more of a loner and a home-body. I’m sure more than a few of you can relate. Some days I just want to run away, escape society and be alone on some deserted island somewhere off the coast of paradise, with nothing but a notebook and pencil, unlimited coffee, and maybe some chocolate. Okay, definitely some chocolate. And a toothbrush.
I think it’s important to have time alone — not only because people can be annoying (…but I mean…), but because we need to have that time to reconnect with ourselves. That grounding time to recharge the battery, mute all the noise, and just be. Meditation can be a great tool, but in my personal opinion, it’s not enough when you really need to hit that reset button.
Taking this a step further, and getting away from man-made noise and back to nature, is also a huge factor. It’s actually a proven fact that spending time alone in nature has many benefits:
Clear your mind and fine-tune your thought process.
When we spend time alone and remove all the noise — both external and internal — we’re essentially getting rid of distractions. This allows us to clear our minds and have an easier time picking the good ideas out of the chaos that is our brains. Not only does it make it easier for us to focus and concentrate, but in doing so, it also increases our productivity. When the ideas are easier to see, they’re also easier to accomplish. This is also true for solving issues and problems we might be facing — by quieting the noise, it’s easier to hear the solutions.
Find out who you really are.
Have you ever noticed that you’re more likely to be yourself when you’re alone? When we step away from other people, we can have an easier time of finding ourselves — without the constant barrage of words and ideas and verbal diarrhea coming at us from every direction, we’re able to make fully-formed thoughts that are completely our own. When our inner dialogue is free from outside influences, we find out what our own thoughts and ideas are — we find out what makes us tick, and what doesn’t. What makes up the fabric of our being. What we’re really made of.
Increase your creativity.
When we quiet the world around us, we’re automatically more prone to noticing the little details — the rustle of leaves in the wind, the way the sun’s rays pour out of spaces in the clouds, the song of the cicada in the heat of summer. The way your skin tingles, or the way your heart seems to flutter when you think about someone you love. Little things that go unnoticed in the daily mess we call life but become so obvious the moment we step out of the noise. Use those little things to spark your creativity — inspiration can come from the seemingly simplest of things, if only we allow them into our minds.
Decrease stress and increase endorphins.
Stress and negativity plague our minds. They make us sick — sometimes physically, with symptoms, we can’t recognize. They pollute our minds. Clutter them with so much pessimistic confusion. We get overwhelmed, frustrated, and we take it out with anger on those who are closest to us, as well as ourselves. But by spending time alone, and benefiting from clearing our mind and fine-tuning our thought process, finding out who we really are, and increasing our creativity, we will ultimately remove the stress factors and make more room for those happy thoughts.
One of my favorite song lyrics has stuck with me since I first heard it in 2004: “Some believe in destiny and some believe in fate, I believe that happiness is something we create.” I believe this to be true with every cell of my being, and for me, the key to finding that created happiness is achieving all of those benefits above. Achieving those means spending time by myself — a lot of it, in my case (just a personal preference) — and getting back to me. Shutting out the world for a minute — or twenty hours — and formatting my memory bank, getting back to basics. Only then can I really hear my own thoughts clearly.
So even though as emotional beings, we’re wired to need human interaction, I think it’s imperative for our survival that we also learn to thrive in our own company.