with your solitude”
I came across this magnificent quote a few days ago and it really got me thinking of the meaning of the word SOLITUDE. This word is usually associated with a negative connotation such as “loneliness, withdrawal or isolation”. In my opinion solitude should not be looked at negatively. We can turn this dark word into one of positivity which can even be incorporated as part of your self-care to improve your psychological and emotional health.
Solitude does not mean that you must totally isolate yourself from society. It just allows you time to look within yourself and reflect on your life or even your day. We live in a society that is constantly trying to shape us and sometimes we want to seek validation from others. Solitude helps us love ourselves and live authentically. It even helps strengthen relationships.
Importance of solitude:
- It helps to understand yourself and listen to your inner voice: It is important to self-reflect each day so that we can stay in tuned with ourselves. This way we can analyze our emotions and feelings whether its emotions of happiness, sadness or anger. It is vital to find out the source of these emotions. Most individuals prefer bottling up their emotions and it will soon erupt in an ugly way. Solitude helps one find solutions and appropriate coping mechanisms. In therapy a common problem I have noticed is that individuals are very uncomfortable with their emotions so they prefer just keeping it inside rather than speaking about it. However this, causes more damage. By spending time with ourselves it teaches us to find our inner voice (gut feeling/intuition). All of us have an inner voice or gut feeling but many of us tend to ignore it. The key is to turn inwards for answers. Trust yourself to know what is best for you. Your gut feeling never lies to you. All you have to do is listen.
- It helps you to unwind: Spend time cooking a meal, reading or doing a hobby. Anything that sparks inner joy. You will find that by giving yourself time for 30 minutes or an hour it will rejuvenate your spirits. Your thinking may even become clearer. Which may in turn bring happiness and positivity.
- It helps you work through problems effectively: Sometimes, we may become so distracted by other people’s thoughts and opinions of our lives it may cloud our judgement. The easiest thing to do is to excuse yourself from other people’s opinions of your life and reflect and ponder on what you really want for yourself. The key is being true to yourself and what you want. It is essential to live an authentic and honest life, free from other people’s judgements.
- It helps strengthen the quality of your relationships with others: By spending time with yourself, you gain a better understanding of who you are and what you desire for yourself. This helps you to get a better insight about who you allow into your life simply because not everyone belongs in it. By spending time in solitude it helps you realize who you really want to allow into your life and who you want to exclude. Another important point, is that it strengthens current relationships by simply giving you time to appreciate those you care about.
This may seem impossible to do because life gets extremely busy, however, the benefits are great when you really think about it… All you have to do is disconnect even if it is for an hour a day. Turn your cell phone, WI-FI and television off to do the above points. You could perhaps even journal your thoughts which is therapeutic. Put yourself first, disconnect from the outer world and connect inwards. It will be one of the best investments you could do for your well-being.