Alone time – A boon for mental health!

People tend to be social creatures, and research has shown that social connections are vital for both emotional and physical well-being. However, alone time, which is sometimes called private time or solitary time and simply means spending time by yourself, is also good for you as it plays a positive role in mental health.

Being around other people comes with rewards, but it also creates stress. You might worry about what people think or alter your behavior to avoid rejection and to fit in with the rest of the group. While this may be the cost of being part of a social world, some of these challenges demonstrate why alone time can be so important.

Benefits of Alone Time
Having time for yourself gives you the chance to break free from social pressures and tap into your own thoughts, feelings, and experiences. Finding time to be alone can also have a number of key benefits. Some of these include:

-Improved personal exploration
-Increased creativity
-More social energy

Improved Personal Exploration
Becoming comfortable in your own company can give you the time and freedom to truly explore your own passions without interference. It can be a way to try new things, research topics that fascinate you, acquire knowledge, and even practice new methods of self-expression.

Giving yourself alone time means you can explore these things without the pressures and judgments that others may impose. Having time to yourself is critical for growth and personal development. Instead of worrying about the needs, interests, and opinions that others may have, alone time lets you focus on yourself.

Increased Creativity
Alone time is an opportunity to let your mind wander and strengthen your creativity. Without the need to care for or interact with other people, you can ignore outside influences and focus inward.

Research actually suggests that being alone can lead to changes in the brain that help fuel the creative process. One study found that people who tend to purposely withdraw in order to spend time alone also tend to be highly creative people.

In a 2020 study published in the journal Nature Communications, researchers found that perceived social isolation (a.k.a. loneliness) led to increased activity in the neural circuits related to imagination. When left with a lack of social stimulation, the brain ramps up its creative networks to help fill the void.

More Social Energy
Living alone tends to be seen in a negative light. However, researchers have found that people who live alone may actually have richer social lives and more social energy than people who cohabitate with others.

In his book “Going Solo,” sociologist Eric Klineberg notes that one in seven U.S. adults lives alone. Klineberg found that not only were these adults not lonely, many actually had richer social lives.

Some of these reasons people might struggle with being alone include:

*Lack of experience being alone: Some people just might not be used to being by themselves because they are so accustomed to being around other people. The sudden absence of social stimulation can leave them feeling detached or disconnected.
*Distressing thoughts and feelings: In other cases, being alone and focusing inward can be difficult or even painful. People might find this introspection distressing or find themselves engaging in rumination and worry.
*Social stigma: Stigma about being alone can also play a role in shaping how people feel about solitude. For those who have been exposed to negative attitudes towards being alone or who see it as a form of antisocial behavior or social rejection, solitude can seem like a painful form of punishment.

Marketing professor and researcher Rebecca Ratner of the University of Maryland found that people often avoid doing things they enjoy if they have to do them alone. This is particularly true if it is an activity that can be observed by others, such as going to dinner or a movie solo.

Such findings suggest that a stigma about being alone influences whether people think they enjoy such activities. “When people do things alone, they enjoy themselves more than they expected,” Ratner explains. “People overestimate the benefits of being with someone else.”

While being alone sometimes gets mistaken for being lonely, it is clear that having time to yourself now and then is important for mental health and well-being. If the thought of spending time on your own makes you feel bored or uncomfortable, try starting with a small chunk of alone time that allows you to focus on a specific task.

As you get better at enjoying your own company, you may find that this alone time helps you feel renewed and inspired for when you do return to your social circle.


The meaning and importance of Self Love

“To fall in love with yourself is the first secret of happiness”

-Robert Morley

This quote magnifies the importance of loving, trusting and nourishing ourselves. So the question arises that what does self love actually mean?

Self love is a mental condition when a person loves themself and recognizes their value and importance.Self love is not only a basic necessity but it also helps in all round development and growth of human beings. Self love is a subjective issue it can refer from one person to another because we all have different ways of loving and treating ourselves. Self love has various components some of them are mentioned below:-

1.Believing in yourself 

2.Prioritizing yourself over others

3.Not being harsh on yourself

4.Being ruthlessly and completely honest to yourself 

There can be various other ways of loving oneself.To talk about the history of self love, it was first promoted by the Beat generation of the 1950 and in the early years of the Hippie era of the 1960. As and when human Civilization grew the emergence and importance of self love was witnessed by people all around the globe.

In today’s modern and complex world where everyone is always trying to be better than others,the significance of self love gets ignored. People make excuses that they are too busy to take out time for themselves and to love themselves but it is very important to give yourself a break and tell yourself that you are very proud of yourself. We can’t accomplish anything if we don’t recognize our importance and efforts. And so is the case with self love, a person madly in love themself is in a mentally better position than a person who doesn’t recognize their value. People are mostly  trying to be perfect version of theirselves but according to me perfectionism in itself Is a flawed ideology, there is nothing that is totally perfect. Being perfect is just a futile concept created by people to satisfy themselves. Trying to be perfect can turn into your worst nightmare,in the process you might become hostile,unsympathetic,toxic and mentally unstable. Slowly and gradually these mental Illnesses will start affecting your physical as well as spiritual health. You might inherit eating disorders etc.self love makes you a happy and well adjusted person, it makes you more comfortable with others as it removes the element of jealousy. It helps in reducing stress be in academic, professional or personal. In our day to day lives there are various stressful moments, it has become almost impossible to be completely stress free but when we love ourselves then we can comfort  and manage ourselves in a much better way. In a health psychology meta-analysis of 15 studies, researchers found that when people accept themselves as they are they are motivated towards making positive changes in their lives.So basically self love motivates and pushes is to make healthy choices and decisions. It also improves emotional and mental strength. In tough and dark times,it is easy to give up hope, but then self love converts the negative things into positive ones. It helps you in critically communicating with yourself thus helping you to come out of tough times quickly and easily. 

There is a saying that you cannot love and unless you love yourself thus loving yourself also strengthens your relationships. It helps you in creating healthy boundaries and protect you from going into toxic and emotional stressful relationships. Self love makes you a more confident person.You believe in you abilities and you know how capable you are. It makes you realise you strengths,worth and value and this way it make you a more confident person. Self love helps you enhance and develop all the qualities  that are required for being successful.It helps you in inspiring others and having an optimistic outlook in life.

Easy as it may seem it is not exactly simple to love yourself. Most people find it quite difficult  to love themselves. Accept the way you are,don’t try be totally perfect because  it is not possible. It’s completely alright to take breaks when you feel like because you definitely deserve breaks considering all the hard work you do.most importantly  don’t compare yourself with others rather try competing with yourself,this kind of competition is considered to be healthy. Loving yourself might take time initially but it is totally worth it and you before anyone else deserve all your love and affection.