If you are someone like me, you are probably a person who really enjoys time alone and solace. My favorite season is winter because the world comes to a pause and all I have to think about is the silence that falls upon the world. To some people, this may be an odd thought. Being alone or wanting to be alone sounds depressive and out of the ordinary. We grow up in a world where you are expected to learn how to work with others and communicate. This is probably why I became a Communications major.
I love the art of communication, but I love to view it from afar. Instead of being the person having the conversation, I prefer to be the silent coffee shop people-watcher and analyzing how and why people talk. For my extroverts out there, I’ll explain this interesting way of thinking, to be alone and want to be alone and why it might be good to practice every now and then, especially in college when there doesn’t seem to be a time when you can be alone.
I am the eldest in my family, therefore I had a substantial amount of time growing up to entertain myself because I didn’t know too many people my age. I would draw and read, or watch cartoons a lot. It was easy for me to feel comfortable alone and I began to like it. Soon enough my family began to see the difference between me and my little sister. Because I was able to have that alone time, I began to like it, but my sister constantly needed attention because she was smothered with it growing up due to being the youngest sibling. From then on I preferred to be on my own and sometimes it was a little disconcerting to my parents because they didn’t think I would be able to learn that much from the world. Surprisingly I did learn a lot more than my sister ever did by being an observer. I would analyze the way people interacted and I would always think before I spoke. I also grew up in the age of the internet so I was able to research all the things I found interesting while other people were living it out.
This did put a damper on some of my relatability skills and my communications skills but I made up for it by interacting with people who were similar and like-minded to me, people who liked being alone and reading. While others went out partying, we would stay in our rooms discussing the most recent book we read or the short story we wrote. Today, I am a decent mix between being extroverted and introverted which has benefited me greatly.
So, back to the main question. Is isolation good for you? Yes. One of my professors assigned our class an experiment. We were to spend 10 minutes doing absolutely nothing. Not eating, not listening to music, not sleeping… just doing nothing. I was actually used to this so I did this and I thought. I thought about a lot of different things and then later I wrote about it and handed it in to my professor. He used me as an example for the class. Daily, our minds are preoccupied with what we have to do next or what is surrounding us, but if we take 10 minutes to just do nothing, you will be amazed with how quickly your mind clears and what is brought forth.
By embracing isolation every now and then I have found that my mind is clearer, my anxiety is lessened, and I am much more creative and successful in my day-to-day routine. Try it for yourself. Take those 10 minutes to be on your own and see what comes of it. It may surprise you.