Why spending time alone is important for mental health
Most people believe that because socializing helps relieve stress, it should be done every now and then. While there is nothing wrong with that, it is also a good idea to know how to spend time with yourself and absolutely enjoy your own company.
Consultant psychiatrist and psychotherapist Dr Ruhi Satija says “time alone” plays a central role in mental health. “Being around other people is rewarding, but it also creates stress. You worry about what people think, you change your behavior to avoid rejection and fit in with the rest of the group, ”she says.
According to the doctor, there is a difference between “loneliness” and “being alone”. Loneliness, she says, is associated with negativity and a feeling of being left out. “Whereas being alone helps you feel more comfortable in your own skin. When you are alone, you can make choices without outside influences. And it will help you better understand who you are as a person.
How does that mentally help a person?
Dr Satija explains some key benefits:
1. Personal exploration: Spending time with yourself and being comfortable allows you to understand your choices, likes and dislikes. You will become closer to knowing why you behave in a certain way.
2. Creativity: Creativity is a great tool for maintaining mental health. Spending time on a hobby and using your mind to create something is a great way to feel good; it requires solitude and time, which is hard to find if you are around people all the time.
3. Social energy: Sometimes you don’t want to live out of somebody else’s mess. When you live alone, go out to eat on your own, or spend time with yourself, you are in control of everything you do. No one will judge you, tell you what to do, or piss you off. Less negativity leads to more positivity, which improves mood and general disposition.
4. Productivity: Your productivity increases many times over when you don’t worry about what other people are doing or how they judge you.
5. Sense of empowerment: Let your newfound independence empower you. Learn how to stay safe when you are alone to help you relax and enjoy your newfound freedom.
Asocial vs antisocial
The doctor further explains the difference between being asocial and antisocial. “Antisocial behavior (avoiding social contact) can be bad for your mental health, it can be a symptom of anxiety or depression, while being unsociable (preferring time alone because you enjoy it) can actually to be good.”
Some things you can do on your own:
* Reduce senseless consumption. Being on top of world events is totally okay, but getting addicted to the news is a sure-fire way to put yourself in a good mood.
* You might be wondering what you like to do with your spare time, your favorite foods, and if you really enjoy watching all that Netflix.
* Take the time to identify positive relationships with people who uplift you and add value to your life. In the future, you can prioritize these important connections.
* Consider having a pet. A furry boyfriend greatly increases your level of happiness.
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