Why Spending Some Time Being Alone is a Good Thing

“What? Why being alone? It’s no good being alone like that”. That is what my friend said when he was told that our other friend preferred having some time alone to hanging out with us. That kind of response did not surprise me at all. Often times, people tend to see this “lonely time” as a really painful and unbearable time.

I read this one amazing book titled “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking” by Susan Cain. I discovered a lot of things about the personalities of people who are introverts and extroverts. Our society tend to see introverts are the kind of people who are shy, socially awkward or even antisocial. And extroverts are the fun ones; they laugh a lot, like to be the centre of people’s attention, dominant in conversation or simply the life of the party. Before I read this book, that’s what I believed too.

But after I got deeper into this book, I learned that those common views on what introverts and extroverts are, are wrong. Well, not entirely wrong in the sense of, yes, some introverts may be shy. But not everyone who can relate to be an introvert are shy. So, what is it then?

What differentiate introverts and extroverts is the way they recharge themselves. You don’t get what it means? Ok, so you have a cell phone. There will be time or times in a day when you’ll have to let you phone being charged and you may not be able to use it. People are just the same. We need some time to get recharged.

Introverts recharge themselves by being alone. Introverts enjoy that. I, for one, am an introvert. Thanks to that book I mentioned earlier, I can say that I am not crazy cos sometimes I like to spend time being alone; reading books/articles, listening to some music or simply staying still enjoying my free time. Because I am built like that therefore I don’t see being “alone” as a problem. It’s something fun for me because I get to recharge my battery before I get back to my activities.

Extroverts are different. They recharge themselves by being on the crowd, meeting people. They are the people people. You may have friends who will always ask you to accompany them to go anywhere. Oh, wait, that’s me, you said. Extroverts like people in most of the circumstances. Unlike introverts who may get tired when they spend too much time around many people, extroverts don’t. They relish that! So now you see what I mean. As extroverts will feel tortured spending their recharging time at home reading or watching something, introverts will feel tortured when they are forced to spend all their time with people and not given any time to recharge themselves.

But just because I think I am introvert doesn’t mean that I am gonna spend my whole time glued to a book or go to some place secluded to be a hermit. No. I believe that no one is built to be fully introvert or fully extrovert. We’ll have moments that we are more of an introvert and moments where are more of an extrovert. A balance in handling that is needed.

Now, let’s go back to the question on the title. So why is being alone actually a good thing? This is not to say, it’s only a good thing for introverts because you know, they enjoy it as recharging time. No, not really. It’s good for everyone regardless of the personality.

Why spending some time being alone is a good thing? Because it’s the time to recalibrate with our inner self. It is the perfect time to recheck if we have the right priorities in life. It is the time to see if every thing that has been going on is in line with who we are, with the values that we have. It’s very noisy these days. Mobile phone is that source of noise, most of the time. We don’t have time to have an internal conversation with ourselves because there are way many notifications or timeline to check on Path, Line, Facebook, Whatsapp, BBM, Twitter, etc.

“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail”, that quote from Benjamin Franklin says it all. If we don’t stop and block the noise to start talking and listening to ourselves, we are walking ourselves into failure. Failure to what, you said. Failure to live our life to its full potential.

 

 

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4 Reasons Why You Should Start Journaling

Before I start telling you all the reasons why you should start journaling, I think we should be on the same ground on what a journal is. In French, the word jour itself means day so to my own definition, a journal is something in which you record your daily activities. 

journal-writing1

Ok. So we are now settled with the definition of a journal! Let’s get going 😉

When I mentioned to my friends that I keep a journal, all of them raised their eye brows.

“What? Journal? You mean a diary? Like a dear diary thing?”

“Dude, that’s for chicks!”

“So you keep a notebook with you everywhere like old people?”

“What? Now you plan to make an autobiography out of it one day? Who are you?” 

Yup, I got all those responses. And I believe you too will get at least one or you had one of those in your mind when you read the title of my post. There is nothing wrong with that. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. 

I first encountered the idea of journaling back in 2006. I can’t recall specifically where I got that idea but I do remember that I wanted to improve my English and writing skills. Writing a journal was an exercise for me. I started doing that religiously and then I discovered that writing a journal is actually a therapeutic activity. Why?

First lemme answer a question with another question (I know someone’d hate this haha): How many of us spend a good quality time with our inner self on a regular basis? With all the activities and the rising trend on social media, I doubt any of us can actually spend time just sitting still and talk with ourselves. Oh well, if you manage to have time to do this or even meditate, that’s good for you! But I honestly think not everyone can do that and this is where journaling comes in. 

1. To evaluate your day

You can spare 10-15 minutes per day and rewind your day on a journal. By having that process, you will be able to spot some things that you missed or took for granted. And the next time you are on it again, you can make a better situation out of it. 

2. To keep track of things

I often have trouble remembering when a certain occasion happened in the past. I am pretty sure I am not the only one haha. But since I keep track of activities or important moments of my life in my journal, I can just check. I am using digital journal so it’s easier to search using keywords. 

3. To keep your emotions in check

Do you realize that as human beings we can’t hold all emotions to ourselves for a long time? If that is what you are doing now, beware my friend, you are a ticking bomb. You may explode at any given time. I understand when you have something in your heart that’s been bugging you for a long time but you have no one to talk to. Whether because it is very personal to you or because at the very moment, no one is available for you. You know what? Use a journal to let out all sorts of emotions. You will feel much better afterwards. Trust me, by letting it all out, you will see things more clearly afterwards. 

4. To keep on the right track

I believe each one of us has goal in life. It can be a short or long term goal. But sometimes there are many distractions out there to keep us focused. I think you will agree with me on that. But, hey, guess what? Journaling can help you to keep on track. You will feel more responsible about reaching your goal by logging in your process on a regular basis. It just works!

I used to have a binder to keep a journal. But then, thanks to technology. Oh well, thanks to Apple haha. I have been using my iPhone to keep a journal. If you want to start journaling, I’d recommend you to use a digital/electronic journal, like on your phone/tablet. It’s portable and you can fill it in anytime anywhere. 

So what are you waiting for now? Start journaling! 🙂

Jonn