Don’t Be Afraid To Be Alone - The Benefits Of Introversion
Published March 3, 2024
For a country that prides itself on being a world leader, fostering international peace treaties, and brokering mega deals, it's no surprise the United States is fascinated with the "extrovert."
Extroversion, a personality style characterized by assertive yet affable and action-oriented traits, is highly praised.
The ability to create small talk and forge new relationships quickly is typically the archetype of an effortless family, friendship, business, and romantic connection.
And yet, the benefits of introversion - a personality style more focused and affected by inward-turning thoughts, feelings, and moods - fall by the wayside.
Introversion can be a perplexing yet breathtaking journey towards a deeper, more genuine understanding of oneself for those who identify with the latter.
For a society that heavily promotes social engagement and interaction, purposely straying from this norm can lead to a more fulfilling life. Don't feel the need to keep up with those who thrive differently than you do.
Consider these seven benefits to living a bit more off the beaten track and uncover the advantages of being alone and taking time for yourself.
● Discover Your Serenity
When you're alone, you're able to discover, learn, grow, and make personal mistakes without influence from third parties. With this unadulterated freedom, you have a chance to examine, reflect, define who you are. There's no fear nor timelines when you are the only one on your schedule.
● Increase Your Productivity
The notion that more extensive and inclusive teams will enhance productivity and team effectiveness is not entirely true. Individuals that lack personal space will succumb to mental noise. As expected, this noise will negatively affect performance. Additionally, personal thoughts can be processed and studied deeper without distractions.
● Find Joy In Helping Others
Sometimes the greatest gift is the gift of helping others. While the concept of volunteering is not necessarily an isolated activity, reaping the personal benefits might be. In a 2020 UK-based study, researchers discovered that participants who volunteered monthly over a 20-year span were happy to report a more fulfilling and positive sense of wellbeing.
● Engage In Your Deeper Passions
When left to your own devices, time restraints are void, and the ability to explore new passions or engage in old ones is mentally freeing. From questions you've had for days or months to engaging in thought-provoking skills and activities like reading or painting, the ability to investigate your inner affections will make time alone feel carefree.
● Exercise Your Body & Mind
According to a psychiatrist and regional medical director of Community Psychiatry, Leela R. Magavi, MD, "Partaking in a daily, mindful walk, or engaging in some form of physical activity could alleviate anxiety." A 2018 study supported this claim and stated that individuals that took it upon themselves to work out daily incurred nearly 40% fewer days of poor mental health. Who knew that an increase in heart rate ultimately rivaled a rise in mental health?
● Live A Life Outside The City
Walking, jogging, hiking, bird-watching, and canoeing are just some of the opportunities that await all of us if we take the time to step outside the home. A 2019 study reported that participants that spent over 120 minutes outside in nature each week mentioned a higher self-appraisal of good health and wellbeing.
● Practice Gratitude & Meditation
"I recommend my patients to list things they are thankful for physically, emotionally, and spiritually every morning and evening, especially when lonely during the holidays," mentions Magali. "Furthermore, creating gratitude lists and reading these out loud in front of the mirror could help target multiple sensory centers in the brain to maximize the benefits of this activity." Take the time to realize your daily affirmations and be thankful for all the positives in your life.
One personality style is not inherently better than the other, but it is best to realize the benefits of each.
Indeed, society openly celebrates the concept of extroversion. But individuals must find self-purpose and a sense of well-being through introversion.