These Are the Benefits of Spending Time Alone

Our culture is constantly encouraging contact — a packed social life, a busy work life, joining clubs and groups for your résumé… It seems like being extremely busy has become aspirational, something that’s applauded rather than looked at with skepticism. But there are some things about this mindset that can be harmful.

When you’re so overcommitted you hardly have time to get enough sleep (which is also super-important for your health), you rarely get to spend any time alone. We mean, like, really alone — without checking your email, without being on an instant messaging system, and without sharing everything on social media.

With all the focus on prioritizing busy-ness and achievement, the similarly important benefits to spending time alone get thrown to the wayside. While too much solitude can make you go crazy, too little solitude may actually do the same.

There’s a reason great authors and artists have dedicated days — sometimes months — of their lives to complete solitude. Mozart, Kafka, Picasso. All these wildly different artists had one thing in common: They made a point to spend time working on their projects alone. They were probably on to something. Here are some unexpected, but very real, benefits of spending time alone.

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