How to be comfortable alone

Reader's Digest Editors

You’ll be surprised by what cultivating your solitary side can do for your creativity, inner peace, and even your relationships. In fact, learning to embrace and explore solitude might just lead you to the holy grail of contemporary life—balance…

Cut the static

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Ever notice how the busier and more frenetic our lives are, the more appointments and meetings we pack in and the more buzzing, beeping, ringing, have-to-take-this gadgetry we tote along with us?

Do you really need 852 of your closest “friends” with you all the time? The opportunities for contact are endless; the ones for disconnecting aren’t. Unplug and recharge.

Read more: Time alone is the key to happiness

 

Shed your skin

Let every role you play in your life fall away, like so many stifling layers of winter clothing. Spend time being neither mother nor wife, friend, employee, boss, or daughter.

Leave behind your identity as “the funny one,” “the dependable one,” or “the one who needs to please everyone all the time.” What you are left with is…you.

When is the last time you were alone in a room with just you? If you don’t remember, chances are you have a lot of catching up to do. Enjoy it.

 

Lose the guilt

comfortable alone

Overachievers take note: We don’t have to be “accomplishing” something or talking to someone every second of every day.

Being alone is not “down” time, and it’s certainly not “wasted” time. More often than not, it’s the magic time when genius happens.

 

Make a date with yourself

Not a born loner? Practice. Schedule a regular time to enjoy your own company.

A date with you and for you. Go to a museum alone or grab lunch at an outdoor café. You will feel increasingly at home with solitude, and you’ll realise your time is just that—yours.

 

Alone and loving it

happy alone

If you love being alone, you have company. Famous introverts include baseball legend Joe DiMaggio, scientists Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein, literary recluse J. D. Salinger, and billionaire Howard Hughes.

And although she has become forever linked to the line “I want to be alone,” from the film Grand Hotel, actress Greta Garbo claimed later, “I never said, ‘I want to be alone.’ I said, ‘I want to be let alone.’ There is all the difference.”