Did you know there are many psychological benefits to spending time alone? Yes, spending time alone can make you more productive and help you to actually motivated. Many people are discovering the joys of spending time alone, and I can see a large number of institutes teaching to be happy alone.
These are 10 compelling reasons to find a time to be alone and in complete silence.
In our world saturated with technology, with devices everywhere, entrepreneurs find it increasingly difficult to unplug. It is said that smartphone users check their devices every 6.5 minutes, which translates to about 150 times per day. This connectivity certainly offers many benefits, but it can also become a monster, an epidemic of addiction to cell phones, social networks, and the internet.
However, the tendency to practice meditation in the workplace has stressed the importance of having every moment of silence, free of electronic devices. Here are 10 compelling reasons to find a time to be alone and in complete silence:
1. You will not exhaust yourself so quickly
Our culture defines the value of a person by their level of productivity. It’s a rat race: after all, the only way to win is to skip lunch and run at full throttle. Being alone allows you to rest from the tyranny of productivity. Paradoxically, finding time to do nothing will make you more efficient. Promega is a company that has created spaces for its employees to take breaks alone and meditate with natural light.
The employee health benefits resulted in an improvement in the productivity levels of the company. The same thing would happen to the rest of us.
2. You will have greater sensitivity
For many, 10 days in silence would seem as hard as walking on water. However, Vipassana retreats do just that: participants are asked to refrain from speaking, reading, writing or making eye contact for 10 days.
One hundred scientists who participated in a retreat of this type noted that getting rid of speech increased awareness in other areas. With all the things entrepreneurs have to do, silence is a breathing space that increases their attention span.
3. You can forget the problems of the future
Alan Watts believes that our frustration and anxiety is rooted in our disconnection from the present and our illusion, which is lodged in the future. Silence makes us aware of the present, the time and space where real happiness is experienced.
Although hypotheses, abstractions, and predictions are necessary for entrepreneurs, they can create unnecessary anxiety. Instead, silence and loneliness take us out of speculation and plunge us back into the present.
4. Improve your memory
Taking a walk alone in a natural environment stimulates brain growth in the hippocampus region, which translates into better memory.
According to evolutionists, being in touch with nature awakens our spatial memory, as it did when our ancestors hunted. Back then, remembering where to find food and avoiding predators became essential to survival. Taking a walk alone provides the brain with constant attention and helps to consolidate memory.
5. Your intention and action will be strengthened
Psychologist Kelly McGonigal states that during silence we are able to cultivate a plan that motivates us to take action. In this state of thoughtful reflection, McGonigal recommends asking you three questions:
“If anything were possible, what would you welcome or what would you create?”
“When I feel more courageous and inspired, what do I offer to the world?”
“When I admit that I suffer, what do I want to make peace with?
Getting rid of the critical mind allows imagination and positive emotions to build an unconscious intention and add fuel to our goals.
McGonigal explains, “when you get used to thinking about things this way, you start to get entirely different ideas if you try to answer those same questions in an intellectual way.”
6. Increase your self-awareness
Often, the visceral reactions are accompanied by remorse. And a bad decision can ruin your business. This is most possible when our actions devoid of reason govern us. When we are silent, we make room for self-consciousness to take control of our actions, rather than being controlled by them.
Rest from the outer voices puts us in tune with our inner voice, and it is that inner voice that drives our actions. Being aware of our thoughts allows us to have better external control.
Loneliness makes you an observer of your thoughts.
7. Your Brain Will Grow
The brain is the most intricate and powerful organ, but, like muscles, it benefits from the rest. Research conducted at UCLA showed that free time to disengage from obligations, sit quietly and relax the mind favors the folds of the cortex and increase our ability to process information.
Finding at least 10 minutes to sit quietly in the car or office and visualize a peaceful landscape (like a jungle, falling snow or a beach) will thicken the gray matter of your brain.
8. You will have moments “eureka.”
The creative process includes a crucial stage called incubation, where all the ideas you have been exposed meet, mix and marinate: then a eureka moment occurs.
The secret to incubating ideas? Nothing. Literally. Disconnect yourself from the work you have on hand and take a break. This is the elixir of mental blocks.
What was typically seen as daydreaming – something considered useless – is now being considered a fundamental experience. Professor Jonathan Schooler of the University of California explains: “Daydreaming and boredom seem to be a source of brain-busting ideas as well as creative discoveries.”
9. You will master the discomforts
Just when you’ve found a quiet place to sit alone and reflect, an itch prompts you to scratch your back. However, many meditation teachers will encourage you to abstain from doing so, and breathe until the moment passes.
When you are alone, bring your mind back from distractions and focus on your breathing. These practices will help you build greater willpower and self-discipline, essential to your job.
10. You will do an emotional cleaning
Not only is our fighting/fleeing mechanism active with physical difficulties, but also with emotional problems. The brain releases cortisol, a hormone that can generate tension. Taking time to process emotions, especially negatives, is essential to prevent stress and anxiety. However, in the daily routine emotions are often ignored and hidden beneath the blankets. And it does not take long before the volcano erupts.
Sitting in solitude gives you the opportunity to calm your emotional storms. It allows you to process negative emotions and think what may have generated them, as well as readjust what is necessary. The key is to do it as an observer. Take a step outside yourself, just as if you were writing a diary. This is a technique used by psychotherapists to separate people from their emotions and allow them to have a more objective and rational response.
Unplugging and disconnecting may seem counterproductive to entrepreneurs who start a business, but in fact, it is the opposite. Making time to be alone and in silence will be, paradoxically, the fuel that will fuel your success.