The following is a guest post by Katie Kuo of katiepassionfruit.com.
Since I was a child, I was quite a daydreamer, people watcher, and prone to losing my sense of presence and time. Perhaps it was a form of escapism. It’s funny how small things like dining alone can cause some people to feel lonely. I feel a peaceful kind of solitude in eating, reading, thinking, cooking, exercising or walking alone.
Spending time alone in silence is the gentle reminder of the company we do have. It gives time for reflections, thoughts and memories to unfold. It allows you to understand yourself in more depth and invites you to discover what makes you happy–truly happy. Not the kind of feeling that one wants to look like they “have it all” in front of others. Nor is it a superficial, instant gratification or materialistic kind of satisfaction. It’s the pure feeling of being comfortable in one’s own company by doing the simplest things–the realization that we don’t need a lot of things in order to be joyful in our lives. At the end of the day, our relationship with ourself is one of the most important of all.
The simple things in life can give us the greatest joys.
Do you remember when you were a child, how you could spend hours playing with your toys or digging up the mud? Sometimes it can be anything from a meal or a passing ladybug that makes my day.
Spending time alone relieves stress and anxiety.
If I’m uncomfortable, it’s easy for me to feel ongoing stress and a need to escape. However, being alone gives me instant comfort, like listening to music, reading a book, drinking a hot chocolate, writing in a diary, or simply staring out the window.
Discover your imagination and creativity.
Your inner world is boundless. Discovering more of the world inside of you will allow you to better understand yourself as a person. It also allows a sense of self in that you don’t conform to ideals, but you create what comes from your heart.
Grow a confidence in yourself.
The more time you spend alone, the more moments you are able to take in order to forgive, make peace, and move on. Over the years, the sense of getting to know and understand myself more makes me far more comfortable in my own skin.
Thoughts have more clarity.
When we are faced with many opinions from other people, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. However, time alone gives us time to think clearly about how we might feel about something.
There is no hiding who you are.
When we are in the presence of those we’re close to, we are more ourselves than when we are with those we don’t know well. I will rarely allow someone to know what I’m completely like unless I grow closer and closer to them. Those are the moments I will gradually peel back the layers of my personality.
Silence is a powerful teacher.
There is wisdom in the quiet moments. Similar to the way we can feel a certain kind of calmness with a close friend in complete silence, it is the same when we are with ourselves. We learn to breathe and live life one moment at a time, rather than rushing through the noise.
Your happiness ultimately comes from within.
Never rely on someone else for your happiness. Being alone is a reminder that your choices, emotions, and decisions are only affected by others, if you allow them to be. In the end, when you wake up in the morning, you are the decider of a good or bad day.