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10 benefits of spending time alone

March 1, 2020

These are 10 compelling reasons to find a time to be alone and in complete silence.

The opinions expressed by employees are personal.

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.

10 benefits of spending time alone10 benefits of spending time alone

However, the tendency to practice meditation in the workplace has highlighted the importance of having moments of silence every day, free of electronic devices. These are 10 compelling reasons to find a time to be alone and in complete silence:

1. You won't wear out so easily

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 steam. 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 health benefits of the employees translated into an improvement in the company's productivity levels. The same would happen with 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, in Vipassana silence retreats, just that is done: participants are asked to refrain from speaking, reading, writing or making eye contact for 10 days.

A hundred scientists who participated in such a retreat said that getting rid of speech increased awareness in other areas. With all the things that entrepreneurs have to do, silence is a respite that increases their attention span.

3. You can forget about 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 housed 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. It will improve your memory

Taking a walk alone through 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, just as it happened when our ancestors went hunting. At that time, remembering where to find food and avoid predators became essential for survival. Taking a walk alone provides the brain with uninterrupted attention and helps consolidate memory.

5. Your intention and action will be strengthened

Psychologist Kelly McGonigal states that during silence we are able to cultivate an intention that motivates us to take an action. In this state of mental reflection, McGonigal recommends asking you three questions:

“If anything were possible, what would you welcome or what would you create?”

“When I feel braver and inspired, what do I offer 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 completely different ideas than if you tried to answer those same questions intellectually.”

6. It will increase your self-awareness

Often, visceral reactions are accompanied by remorse. And it is that a bad decision can ruin your business. This is more possible when we are governed by our actions devoid of reason. When we are silent, we make room for self-awareness to take control of our actions, rather than being controlled by them.

Rest of the external 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 a better external control .

Loneliness makes you an observer of your thoughts.

7. Your brain will grow

The brain is the most complex and powerful organ, but, like the muscles, it benefits from the rest. An investigation conducted at UCLA showed that free time to disengage from obligations, sit quietly and rest the mind favors the folds of the cortex and increases our ability to process information.

Finding at least 10 minutes to sit quietly in the car or office and visualize a peaceful landscape (such as a jungle, falling snow or a beach) will thicken the gray matter of your brain.

8. You will have “eureka” moments

The creative process includes a crucial stage called incubation, where all the ideas to which you have been exposed are, mixed and marinated: then there is an “eureka” moment.

The secret of incubating ideas? Nothing. Literally. Disconnect 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 getting bored seem to be a source of incubation of ideas, as well as creative discoveries in the brain.”

9. You will master the inconvenience

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 refrain from doing so, and breathe until the moment passes by.

When you are alone, bring your mind back to the distractions and focus on your breathing . These practices will help you build greater willpower and self discipline, essential for your work.

10. You will do an emotional cleaning

Our fight / flight mechanism is activated not only with physical difficulties, but also with emotional ones. The brain releases cortisol, a hormone that can generate tension. Taking the time to process emotions, especially negative ones, is essential to prevent stress and anxiety. However, in the daily routine emotions are often ignored and hidden under the covers. And it is not long before the volcano erupts.

Sitting alone gives you the opportunity to calm your emotional storms. It allows you to process negative emotions and think about 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 of yourself, just as if you were writing for a newspaper. 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 for entrepreneurs who start a business, but in reality it is the opposite. Making time to be alone and silent will, paradoxically, be the fuel that will feed your success.

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