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7 Ways Spending Time Alone Will Change Your Life

4. You’ll solve problems and optimize your life.

When you don’t have to make small talk with grandma or listen as your coworker extols the virtues of his latest Amazon purchase, your mind is freed up. You start imagining a better way to organize the yearly training seminar you run at work. You pull out a deeper meaning behind a recent experience. You think about everyone you’ve ever dated, what qualities drew you to them, what that says about you as a person, and how you’ll use that information to make better choices in the future. If there’s one thing introverts are great at doing, it’s reflecting on their experiences and optimizing things — and that’s best done alone, sans distractions or interruptions.

5. You’ll get creative “aha!” moments.

Similar to #4, when you spend time alone, you may get unexpected flashes of creative insight. Suddenly you know what should happen next in your novel, or you get a brilliant business idea. That’s because, as I explain in my book(link is external), letting your mind wander helps creative incubation(link is external). It allows your brain to work on a problem in the background, subconsciously.

6. You’ll have more energy.

A recent study(link is external) found that spending time alone is probably the best way to rest — whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert. Duh.

7. You’ll feel calmer and happier.

When you spend time alone, you get to focus on your own thoughts and feelings — and no one else’s. You don’t have to take anyone else’s needs into account — only your own. Spending time alone is a form of self-care. People who regularly partake in self-care are generally happier and calmer than those who don’t, because the “me-timers” prevent overload burnout.

Mental health professionals recommend(link is external) we spend at least 20 minutes a day doing something for ourselves. I’m going for a solid 30 (or more!). The exact number of minutes matters less than the fact that you actually do it. You might have to get creative to fit it into your day, especially if you’re a parent or a very busy person.

But once you start spending more time alone, you’ll probably find that it’s so magical that you don’t have to grunt or work or sweat to make yourself do it. Pretty soon, you won’t be able to imagine living any other way.

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