In today’s world full of people, noise, and technology, most people consider isolation a negative thing. Doctors warn that isolation causes depression and health problems. Teachers and parents worry about kids who seem to spend too much time by themselves. The truth is, solitude is necessary to help us live in such a fast-paced world without constant sensory overload. Periods of solitude carry a myriad of benefits, which we will explore today.
Isolation Increases Inspiration
In our culture of unemployment, underemployment, and working two to three jobs for a decent paycheck, many of us are frustrated with work. Often this isn’t because of the jobs themselves; rather, it’s because work is so demanding and fast-paced. Even those of us who work at home, writers or artists, can feel the pressure to produce great work while simultaneously meeting deadlines. Isolating yourself – going for a quick walk at lunch, taking a breather in the break room, or taking a book to the park instead of joining coworkers for lunch – can clear your head. Refocusing your mind will increase inspiration and the desire to produce quality work.
Isolation Decreases Frustration
We all demand things from each other whether we mean to or not. Supervisors demand deadlines. Coworkers insist that you listen to or solve their problems. Spouses and children need physical and emotional needs met all day, every day. While meeting these demands are necessary and can be fulfilling, they can also lead to lack of self-care, which may cause frustration. When everyone wants a piece of you, it’s difficult to take care of yourself. Solitude will help you calm down and remind you that you are strong and capable enough to do what you must each day. Set aside a few minutes each day and a few fixed periods each week to get out of the house or office and do something you enjoy. This could be as simple as a quick trip to a coffee shop or as elaborate as a three-hour getaway at your favorite outdoor retreat while you leave the kids with your spouse or a sitter.
Isolation Keeps You Healthy
Despite the concern regarding depression, isolation carries several health benefits. As we’ve explored, it can vastly improve mental health. There are several physical health benefits as well. Escaping into quiet helps your muscles relax and your pulse slow down. This regulates your breathing, which helps reset your body’s systems. Isolation can help alleviate headaches, back pain, and stomach problems often brought on by the stress of constant activity. Since isolation helps you think clearly, it can also help you refocus on physical goals such as healthy eating or increased exercise.