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Why Alone Time Is What You Should Not Escape From

Why Alone Time Is What You Should Not Escape From

Though spending time alone is often deemed anti-social or synonymous with loneliness, many of us see spending time alone as a way of recuperating, re-energising and a necessary part of our day. If you’re more introverted, being in the presence of others for long periods of time can be quite draining. Even as an extrovert maybe you just want to escape to a lone corner and read that book you’ve been dying to finish.

While socialising is an important part of human nature, there are countless reasons why spending time by yourself is a great experience and an asset to your mindset, perspective and happiness in life. If you love to be by yourself and cherish your alone time then don’t feel that, in doing so, you are in any way deemed far from normal. The relationship we have with ourselves is just as important as the ones we have with others. Here are 8 amazing benefits of being alone and spending that all-important time with ourselves.

1. You Learn Things About Yourself

One of the best things you gain from spending time by yourself is getting to know yourself better. The problem with constant socialising, interacting and being around others is that we never truly stop and learn about ourselves. By spending time alone, we start to understand our own perspective without the influence of others. We can even discover many of our weaknesses and correct them to better ourselves.

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Sometimes we need the space to figure out who we really are and what we really want out of life, which can be hard to do if we’re bombarded by other people’s opinions and ideals that get in the way of our own.

2. It Helps You Appreciate What You Have

Being immersed in your own world away from others, allows you to appreciate the things you have in your life whether it’s material possessions or even people. You become more aware of the things in your life that many people take for granted. You actually use the stuff you’ve spent money on more often. Taking time away from your loved ones can also give you a sense of gratitude towards them.This gives you a stronger relationship when you do next spend time with them.

3. You Become More Focused

This doesn’t just mean focusing on yourself, but also focusing on your tasks. We can sometimes get carried away with the action without thinking about why we take these actions or what we are trying to achieve. Being by yourself can help hone in on what you are doing without distraction or pressure from others.

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4. You Become Less Dependent On Others

Independence is a major benefit of spending time alone. The constant need to be around people comes from the fear that you’ll be lonely without them. This really is just running away from some aspect of yourself that you don’t want to look at or acknowledge. We don’t need as much interaction as our society deems the right amount to be. Most of the time socialising is just a distraction from the fear of loneliness which only exists in the mind.

By spending time alone with yourself, you learn to depend only on yourself and harbour your own perspectives and beliefs needed to make your own, unique journey in this world.

5. Makes You More Efficient

A lot of people waste time finding ways to fill their day. While some of these activities can be meaningful, a lot of the time, they just exist to fill in gaps that can be used more efficiently. When we’re alone, the lessening of interaction causes us to do more of what needs to get done. Being comfortable with spending time alone with yourself makes you realise the unnecessary things you do to distract yourself, thus enabling you to eliminate the excess clutter from your life.

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6. You Slow Down And Become More Mindful

Spending time with others causes us to rush around living busy lives. While this can be beneficial, it takes away our awareness of the present moment. Our brains need a break from all the interaction and information that it processes on a daily basis. We need to create a space where we can be more mindful of what we’re doing and what is around us.

Mindfulness plays a huge role in our happiness, so it’s important to take time out and really be present in the moment, connecting with ourselves and the world around us. Being alone allows us to do this by slowing down and being more aware of life and our place in it. Sitting by ourselves in a quiet place can be a great opportunity to get into a meditative state, which doesn’t have to involve mediation, but activities such as walking, writing, creating something or reading that allows your mind to slow down and focus.

7. Allows You To Live A More Simple Life

Our modern society means we are often overwhelmed by expectations and this leads us to do things we feel we should do, want to do or need to do resulting in a sense of bewilderment, feelings of lack and even avoidance issues. By being alone we can savour a more simple life away from excess daily societal pressures. This means more time to become who we want to be on our own terms and appreciate a life where we dismiss unnecessary additions to our already crowded lives.

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8. You Realise You’re Enough To Make Yourself Happy

There are many benefits of being alone, but the main one is realising and accepting that you are the number one reason for your happiness. You can only achieve this if you spend the necessary time understanding yourself. Know that you are enough in this world to make yourself happy. Happiness doesn’t exist outside of us – it comes from within and everything else is just an added extra. Spending time alone provides us with the space we need to depend on ourselves to create our own, unique happiness.

Featured photo credit: unsplash.com via pexels.com

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Jenny Marchal

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The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

  1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
  2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
  3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
  4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
  5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
  6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
  7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
  8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
  9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
  10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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