5 Ways to Spend Time Alone (And 14 Inspirational Quotes about Solitude)

If you’ve watched the animation movie Kung Fu Panda, you might remember the scene where Master Oogway was teaching Master Shifo this very important lesson:

“Your mind is like the water. When it is agitated it becomes difficult to see, but when you let it settle, the answer becomes clear.”

This is one of my favorite movie scenes.

The answer to life’s most pressing & important questions can only be found in solitude.

In the middle of a very tense, fast-paced and distracting world, you must be able to find and spend time alone to reflect and pull yourself together.

Joshua Becker of BecomingMinimalist.com says, “Despite the benefits, there is danger in constant relationship. We are wise to consider what they may be. And we neglect time alone at our own peril.”

Accessibility has its pros and cons.

When you are easily reachable by anyone, anywhere and at anytime, it becomes very difficult to stop, reflect and re-evaluate what matters most to you.

If you’re drifting through life without a clear purpose, then you’ll be pulled away from your core and do things that has little or no value to you.

Here are 5 reasons why you need to spend time alone

1. You’ll feel better and happier

John Lennon one of the founding members of The Beatles said, “When I was 5 years old my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”

We all seek happiness, but very few realize that happiness can only be found through moments of solitude. Otherwise, we will be drifted away from what is meaningful and what is valuable … and what brings us true happiness.

Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project, argues that the term “spending time alone will make you feel better” is just a myth!

When you read her argument you will find that she is speaking mainly about times when you feel bad. She claims that when you feel bad, you shouldn’t spend time alone, because you’ll feel much better in company.

From that perspective she might be right.

But spending time alone, in general, will make you feel better and be happy. Because, it is your way to an integrated mind, body and soul. It is your way to slow down, live in peace and enjoy life’s simple pleasures.

2. You’ll be more focused and productive

The problem in our society nowadays is that people give much more value and importance  to being busy, productive and serving others only.

What you need to know is that if you’re not in peace from the inside, you can’t project peace or bring joy to others on the outside. You can’t give what you lack.

Also, solitude helps improve your focus and productivity.

It’s good to be busy and productive. But the question is, “Where are you heading?” and “What are you busy doing?”

Are you being busy doing something joyful and meaningful to you?

3. You’ll get to know yourself more

Spending time alone doesn’t mean that you’ll isolate yourself all the time.

You don’t need to isolate yourself from your beloved ones. You only need to find balance between being accessible to others and your accessibility to yourself!

Humans are social by nature. That’s why social networks like Facebook have boomed. We always seek more and better ways to communicate and easily know more about our friends and people we care about. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t be happy alone too.

The real challenge is: How can you find and spend time alone in this hectic fast-paced world that seems to never sleep?

Here are 5 effective ways to find and spend time alone

1. Get inspired

Explore the beauties of the world and nature to inspire you enough to pack you bags one day and travel to a place where you will be totally transformed from the inside out.

I’ve always believed in the power of places and locations to transform people. Just spending some quality peaceful time is a paradise-like location can heal any wounds and refresh any soul.

As a start check out these 20 Must-See paradise places. One trip to one of those places and your life will never be the same.

 

This could be a once in a life time trip and you need to carefully plan for this time off.

The more you’re inspired by the beautiful places of the world, the more you’ll find the motivation to achieve that goal.

And of course, you can always start small by traveling to one of your favorite locations.

2. Wake Up Early

That’s probably the ideal way to find and spend some time alone.

You can read my comprehensive post about 50 ways to wake up early.

When you wake up before the rest of the world, you’ll spend the most peaceful time ever. Waking up at dawn and watching the sunrise is a pleasurable experience. It will allow you to spend the rest of the day with a totally different mode, rather than waking up late rushing to work and getting stuck & frustrated in a traffic jam.

When you experience the peace of the early morning, you’ll get addicted to it.

Some of the activities that you can do to enjoy spending time alone in the morning include: writing, learn something new, reading, watching a movie, meditating, exercising, walking, breathing the fresh morning air, playing games, thinking & reflecting or listening to music.

3. Disconnect

Choose a time in the day and switch off your internet, mobile and any tool that makes you reachable to the world for at least 30 minutes.

Also, if you monitor the time you spend on watching TV or surfing the internet & social networks, you’ll realize that there is a lot of time each day that you can take off and spend alone. Just borrow an hour from your TV time or internet time, and you will feel awesome.

Being connected to the internet all the time proves to be the biggest distractor of all time.

It is becoming more difficult to focus for five minutes on creating something important without resisting the temptation to check your email or your friends’ activities on social networks.

4. Talk with your family

Negotiate with your family ‘alone time’ you can have and explain to them the importance of having this alone time for you and them.

Make them realize that when you spend time alone, you’ll feel much better and that in turn will help you take more and better care of them.

Also, you might inspire them to find some time alone for themselves too.

To give your beloved ones happiness, you must feel better and happy from the inside.

This step is very important because even if you followed the wake up early advice, you will still have to negotiate going to bed early!

So anyways, you’ll have to talk to your family and agree with them on the importance of spending time alone.

5. Use Your Car

Spend some time alone in your car before going to your office or after work.

Your car can be a nice place to think and reflect. Now, you can find a positive side for traffic jams!

 

In the end, it is important not to forget others in your life. We need people in our lives. Spending time alone is just a way to balance your life and find inner peace.

Remember, you won’t LIVE alone, you will just spend some time alone.

There is a big difference between loneliness and solitude. The first is a bad feeling, while the later is a peaceful time you spend with yourself.

You don’t have to fill your life with noise all the time to avoid being lonely.

Spend time alone to engage in life with a better relaxed mode, clear mind and an energized body.

Here are 14 inspirational quotes about solitude that will inspire you to find and spend time alone TODAY

“I restore myself when I’m alone.” – Marilyn Monroe

“You cannot be lonely if you like the person you’re alone with.” – Wayne Dyer

“In solitude the mind gains strength and learns to lean upon itself.” – Laurence Sterne

“All men’s miseries derive from not being able to sit in a quiet room alone.” – Blaise Pascal

“I think that I cannot preserve my health and spirits, unless I spend four hours a day at least – and it is commonly more than that – sauntering through the woods and over the hills and fields, absolutely free from all worldly engagements.”  – Henry David Thoreau

“We live in a very tense society.  We are pulled apart… and we all need to learn how to pull ourselves together…. I think that at least part of the answer lies in solitude.” - Helen Hayes

“It is only when we silent the blaring sounds of our daily existence that we can finally hear the whispers of truth that life reveals to us, as it stands knocking on the doorsteps of our hearts.” - K.T. Jong

“Only in quiet waters do thing mirror themselves undistorted.  Only in a quiet mind is adequate perception of the world” – Hans Margolius

“When we cannot bear to be alone, it means we do not properly value the only companion we will have from birth to death – ourselves.” – Eda LeShan

“I’m not anti-social.  I’m pro-solitude.” – Author Unknown

“The happiest of all lives is a busy solitude.” – Voltaire

“True silence is the rest of the mind, and is to the spirit what sleep is to the body, nourishment and refreshment.” – William Penn

“Reading well is one of the great pleasures that solitude can afford you.” – Harold Bloom

“We visit others as a matter of social obligation.  How long has it been since we have visited with ourselves?” – Morris Adle

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For more simple living tips follow me on Twitter @MidSimplicity

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* Photo Credits:
MahPadilha @ Flickr CC
Benoit Mahe @ Flickr CC

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