Why do I like being alone? It’s a question that many who prefer solitude have asked themselves at one point or another. Sometimes, you may even wonder if your preference for a Friday night at home, snuggled up with a meditation book or your favorite film, rather than being out with your friends is a flaw. We’re here to tell you that that’s not the case – far from it! In fact, your tendency towards time alone could be doing you more good than you know.
Why Do I Like Being Alone?
Humans are vastly different from one another. Some people love to give public speeches, others belt out their favorite positive songs at karaoke nights, and some people can’t wait to just get home – alone.
This isn’t out of the ordinary, with the amount of time Americans spend in solitude on the rise across demographics, reaching a total of 48 hours a week in the latest research. You may have seen the viral chart that’s spreading across social media, too, which shows how the amount of time we spend alone drastically increases with age. From the ages of 20 to 80, the average number of hours in our own company doubles as solitude becomes more of a priority.
But, this still doesn’t answer the question of why do I like being alone?
Solitude has long been a part of human nature, as has social interaction. As a species, we intrinsically have a need for both, because they each bring us benefits that can improve health, well-being, and more.
To understand your preference for quiet time on a deeper level, let’s take a look at some of the advantages it brings.
Recharge Your Battery
Particularly for the more introverted souls, time alone is a must. Socializing can drain your energy, leaving you feeling both emotionally and physically exhausted. These past few years made solitude the norm and social skills were put on the back-burner, leading to an increase in social fatigue.
This feeling of tiredness after seeing friends or family often leads to a retreat into your own space. Curling up with a hot mug of tea and some peace and quiet is the perfect way to recharge your battery, bringing energy levels back to normal.
Nobody, extrovert or introvert, can spend all their time chatting and socializing without a drop in energy. Being alone, therefore, is a must for everyone to prevent feelings of social burnout.
Calm Your Mind
Many people who ask, “why do I like being alone?” tend to have a tad more chaos in their minds. This could mean you experience anxiety or depression, or that you simply have a lot of thoughts to process. In simple terms, there’s a lot going on in your head!
When you’re around others, you can’t process your emotions and thoughts. They’re pushed back in terms of priority while other things, like making conversation and listening to friends, are moved to the forefront. But, at some point, you’ll still need that time to think and declutter your mind.
Solitude gives you that space. When you go for a walk or lay on the couch with nothing but peace and quiet to keep you company, you can dwell on the thoughts that pop into your head and organize some of the noise up there. If you often feel mentally clearer and more capable after a period of solitude, this could be why.
For people who enjoy being alone because it helps to calm their racing mind, we highly recommend looking into meditation. Guided meditation can maximize the benefits of solitude, bringing peace and clarity to your life and making room for those moments of true calm. You can explore the Declutter The Mind meditation library for free and without logging in.
One of the major reasons why time on your own is beneficial is that it’s a massive stress-buster. When you actively seek out time alone, it’s not uncommon to feel calmer and less irritable, with stress levels declining as you relax into the peace.
This is largely because the pressures of social interaction disappear. When no one’s around, you don’t have to worry about keeping up the conversation or how you’re presenting yourself. You can just do you, which is a big relief to many! If social interactions are even a mild cause of stress for you, this could be the answer to why do I like being alone?
Take Time For Health and Well-being
When out with friends, it’s easy to skip meals or pick up a quick burger to keep you going. When you’re home, though, you have time to focus on your health and well-being.
Nutrition is incredibly important for your mind, with your gut health directly linked to your mental health. Spending time at home gives you the opportunity to focus on what you eat, ensuring you have the hours in the day to prepare nutritious food. If you struggle with mental illness or simply need a happy boost, this could make the difference between a good day and a bad day.
The same goes for exercise, too. Plenty of free time to spend by yourself gives you the opportunity to go for a jog or practice yoga. Exercising solo is a fantastic way to clear your mind, too, reducing stress and easing anxiety.
In simple terms, solitude makes room for self-care. In today’s fast-paced world, that chance to look after yourself can’t be overlooked. So, why do I like being alone? Perhaps simply because your want to take care of you.
You Don’t Have to Worry About Other People
For some, the question of why do I like being alone is also about why I prefer to do tasks by myself. Some people enjoy working out together or taking on group projects at work. You, though, would choose to do these things by yourself 10/10 times. Why?
A key factor here is that you don’t have to worry about the people around you. Conflicting opinions and bad habits and moods don’t have to affect your day, allowing you to get on with the task at hand happily. You also don’t have to concern yourself with making small talk or trying to keep up with somebody else. You can complete tasks at your own pace, in the way that you like.
Particularly for introverts, who find dealing with others difficult at times, this is a much easier option. You’re less likely to experience stress and fatigue, calming your thoughts and giving you the room you need to enjoy the task.
You Meet Your Emotional Needs
When you’re alone, you’re the only person you need to think about. In terms of personal emotional needs, this is essential.
If you’re feeling down, you’re the person you’ll rely on to bring yourself back up. There’s no one else there to lean on for validation or love; you have to get these things from within you. Solitude greatly improves emotional strength and resiliency, ensuring that you don’t need anyone else to feel complete.
You’re given the time to identify your emotional needs and work on fulfilling them. As the saying goes, you can’t love anyone else if you don’t love yourself first! Spend more time alone and learn to love you.
But Why Do I Like Being Alone?
The benefits of being alone should help create a clearer image of why you like solitude, but they’re not the be-all and end-all.
Aside from the good that comes out of time alone, there are also people who simply don’t need as much stimulation as others. Sensitive introverts can become overwhelmed by external stimuli, including noise and movement. Sometimes, the outside world can simply be too much, and you need to retreat into your own space for some well-earned relief.
There’s also a biological reason that introverts enjoy solitude. It has to do with dopamine levels, which fluctuate based on a variety of factors and create the “effort:reward” ratio we all experience. Making a hot meal after a day’s work is tiring, so our bodies release dopamine during the activity to encourage us to do it and take care of ourselves.
It’s the exact same with socializing. Being around others gives you a hit of dopamine to combat social fatigue, making the energy you expend worth it. For introverts, there just isn’t as much dopamine released from socializing as there is for extroverts. This leads to higher levels of tiredness, irritability, and a desire to go home after less time interacting with others.
Extroverts Find Humans More Interesting
If you’re still not sure that these reasons quite answer the question of why do I like being alone? you may relate more to the idea that other people simply don’t do it for you. This isn’t a sign that you hate everyone, but that you’re an introvert.
Studies have found that extroverts find humans more interesting than introverts. They place more importance on those around them, whilst people who value time alone may place more importance on their collection of books or art projects. You love your friends and family the same amount, of course, but you’re just not as excited by the prospect of other people.
The Effects of Not Spending Time Alone
For individuals who don’t crave solitude, spending too much time alone can lead to mental health problems and loneliness. But, the same adverse effects are true for people who need time alone and don’t get enough of it.
To understand more about why do I like being alone? It’s important to consider how you feel if you don’t spend time alone. You might see a sharp increase in stress levels and irritability, with over-stimulation frying your circuits.
It’s frequent, too, that people who don’t feel they get enough “me time” see increased levels of depression and dissatisfaction. This could be due to becoming overwhelmed with social fatigue, not prioritizing health and wellbeing, or not having enough time to do tasks that bring meaning to your life.
So, if ever someone tells you that too much time alone can cause mental health problems, be sure to tell them that the same is true the other way around! If being quiet helps you feel happier, embrace it.
How to Make the Most of Your Time Alone
The benefits of solitude are clear, and if you value your time away from friends and family, it’s probably because it does you a lot of good. Your mental health, particularly, is vastly improved with peace and quiet. But, it can be hard to find time to be alone, especially when you lead a busy lifestyle. It’s vital, therefore, that you make the most of your space when you find it.
Start by staying away from social media. Though there are many beneficial apps that can improve your time alone, Instagram and Twitter aren’t among them! Logging onto your social media during downtime is simply going to increase your stimulation and not give you the time to declutter your mind that you’re looking for.
Instead, use your phone to enhance your peace. Download a meditation app, like Declutter the Mind, for example, to maximize calm in your time of solitude.
Other great activities to do to maximize the benefits being alone include:
- Arts and crafts
- Listening to songs about being alone
We live in a world where social connections are often valued too highly. If you’re an introvert that enjoys time away from the hustle and bustle of socializing, don’t be scared to embrace it! As you can see from this article, you’re on to a good thing.