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By Anne Cacherell
When I was still single and working a crummy 8-5, I lived by myself. It wasn’t my intention though. I just didn’t have any choice because my friends were all married already. Actually, I did share an apartment for a short time with an ex-boyfriend. However, our relationship became really unhealthy for both of us so I just decided to move out. I had the option to just rent a bed space, but I didn’t want my privacy and security to be compromised, so I ended up getting a fully-furnished studio type room.
At first, I was a little scared. I couldn’t stop thinking about these questions: “What if it gets really boring? What if the power cuts off at night and it gets really dark and someone tries to break in? What if I get sick and can’t get out of bed, who will I ask to buy medicine for me? What if I slipped in the shower and hit my head on the floor and couldn’t move or scream for help? How long would it take for my friends and my neighbors to discover my body after I die in that horrifying situation?”
However, I already paid for it so backing out wasn’t an option. It took me a while to get used to the silence, but later on I realized that it wasn’t that bad. In fact, it was great because there were a lot of things that I could do that I would never have been able to do or think twice of doing if there were people around me. Like pigging out on my bed, sleeping naked, staging my own fashion show in front of my mirror and being totally disorganized – all these perks without the fear and pressure of being judged.
Aside from letting my crazy self come out once in a while, I noticed some positive changes in me. Here are some good things that could happen to you when you learn to enjoy your own company.
Your Self-Esteem Grows
When you’re always surrounded by a lot of people, you tend to do things that you don’t really like to just to please others. You wind up following certain standards that mostly don’t make sense to you and you feel obligated to live your life based on other people’s expectations. In effect, you lose sight of your own worth.
Ladies, once you appreciate being alone, you will trust yourself more. You’ll be able to tell what’s right for you and what’s not. You will learn to develop your own ideas and discover what you’re capable of without the constraints of other people’s opinions.
However, according to writer Candice Jalili, there’s a downside to being single and that is having way too much self-esteem and it could negatively affect your dating life. Basically, it’s just a helpful reminder that says it won’t hurt to put down your mirror from time to time to develop some relational skills like closeness, connection, vulnerability, and intimacy.
Your Perspective Expands
Connecting with the world around you happens best when you’re alone. You become more appreciative and open to new and unfamiliar things.
Have you ever tried sitting in a crowded place just observing people? Doing so makes you realize that life is not just about you. You see how other people struggle and how their life is different from yours. This experience teaches you to be more patient, compassionate and understanding of others and of how the world works in general.
And to find out more about the benefits of spending time alone, check this out – “I Left My Corporate Financial Job to Travel the World, Here’s What I Learned.”
Your Mind & Heart Toughen Up
Being alone offers a lot of opportunity for your mind and heart to become stronger. It improves you decision-making skills, allows you to feel whatever you want to feel and gives you time to go into the depths of your emotions, relish your thoughts without distractions and become more aware of who you really are.
To get you started on doing things by yourself, you can start by eating out alone or attending classes or events alone that provide low pressure experiences, such as yoga classes or book readings. Don’t ruin the whole process by spending your time on the phone checking your Facebook or Instagram. Instead, connect with the people around you and make new friends. Practice makes perfect, so do it more often.
According to writer Caroline Cotto, being able to deal with the stigma of being alone is incredibly empowering. It makes you smarter and stronger, and most importantly you come out of the experience with substance and more meaning in your life.
Your Energy Reservoir Recharges
Celebrating solitude and allowing yourself to get into a state of wishlessness increase your self-acceptance and self-awareness. It helps you develop your mindfulness, pay more attention to your inner self and gives your spirit a break that it needs to just zone out and recharge. It also offers you a time to reflect and bring peace to your overwhelmed mind, something that sleeping or just merely relaxing can’t provide.