12 signs you genuinely enjoy being alone, according to psychology

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There’s a big difference between being alone and being lonely. 

For some folks, being alone is a deeply enriching experience and they actually prefer it to many social occasions and more extroverted interactions. 

Are you one of those people who truly likes being alone? 

Psychology has the answers:

Let’s take a look. 

1) Solitude helps you recharge your battery

Rather than feeling drained or exhausted after spending time alone, you feel refreshed and rejuvenated.

Your nervous system loves the time off to rest up and get ready for another crazy day or week. 

Whether it’s a quiet park bench you love to spend time on, or weekend kayak trips for an hour or two, time alone is your paradise. 

Psychotherapist Elaine Smookler explains

“We are awash in studies telling us that we need each other to survive and to be happy. And it’s true, we do. 

But when we lose the ability to be alone with ourselves, our overstimulated nervous systems suffer from no place to rest and recharge.”

2) You’re highly productive when you’re alone

Being alone isn’t only enjoyable, it’s also a very useful thing to you. 

You tend to be highly productive when alone, able to focus deeply on tasks without distractions.

You love the ability to be completely silent and hone in on what you want to do, coming up with new ideas and planning out your next steps. 

You get tons done. 

As psychologist and behavioral coach Martina Maurer puts it, solitude “leads us towards greater self-awareness and enhances mindfulness, increases innovativeness, infuses creativity, and lifts our minds to boost our growth.”

3) Going solo brings out your creative side 

You often engage in creative pursuits when alone, such as writing, painting, or crafting.

You prefer to do this in your own company, whether indoors or out in nature. 

Being around others tends to stifle your creative process or at least leave it less inspired:

When you’re by yourself is when new ideas strike you and when your creative side really comes out to play. 

4) You usually feel less lonely when you’re alone

Being alone actually makes you feel less lonely. 

You find that big crowds and social expectations and demands often leave you feeling down and alienated. 

But when you’re out by yourself taking a walk or sitting thoughtfully with a cup of tea it’s like a kind of meditation:

You feel centered and at peace. 

As psychotherapist Dr. Amy Moran explains

“Being alone and feeling lonely are two completely different things, however. Many people feel lonely even when they’re in a crowded room. 

And some people spend lots of time alone without ever actually feeling lonely.”

5) The sound of silence calms you

You are genuinely comfortable with silence and don’t feel the need to constantly fill it with noise or conversation.

Being silent and alone teaches you to be more self-sufficient, and you feel most like yourself when you’re all by yourself. 

You have a strong sense of self-awareness and introspection, enjoying the opportunity to reflect on your thoughts and feelings when alone.

“Now, more than ever, we need our solitude. Being alone gives us the power to regulate and adjust our lives,” writes psychologist Ester Buchholz

“It can teach us fortitude and the ability to satisfy our own needs.”

6) You love having your independence

You are independent and self-reliant, and solitude brings that out in you. 

Reminding yourself that nobody else will do it for you isn’t a downer for you, it’s an upper:

Realizing life is ultimately up to you to do your best to shape into your vision is an empowering and comforting realization. 

You feel comfortable making decisions and solving problems on your own and love having your independence to do so. 

7) Being alone connects you to spiritual and religious experiences

You value deep, meaningful connections with others but also appreciate the importance of spending time alone to connect to spiritual and religious experiences. 

You feel closer to the divine intelligence and spiritual dimensions of life when you are alone and deep in contemplation. 

As Buchholz notes:

“In religious terminology, ‘solitude’ typically meant the experience of oneness with God. 

Yet all current meanings of ‘alone’ imply a lack of something.”

8) You feel a lessening of social anxiety when you have solitude

While you may enjoy socializing, you sometimes experience social anxiety in very extroverted situations. 

Time alone away from the madding crowd is a boon to your soul. 

You love it and you feel a kind of reassurance in the freedom of being alone that you often don’t feel around other people in your life. 

Iskra Fileva, Ph.D. is an associate professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder who studies the intersection of philosophy, psychology, and psychiatry.

As she writes

“There is a kind of freedom in solitude that we rarely if ever experience in the company of other people. 

The presence of another is a limit on freedom. Nietzsche wrote that some people steal our solitude without offering us company. 

There is truth to that.”

9) Time alone is a way for you to set healthy boundaries with others

You find time alone a wonderful chance to think more deeply about your relationships and boundaries. 

This is the time you set aside for yourself and decide for sure what to do about your relationships, about a breakup, about a fight. 

When you’re in the hustle and bustle of your normal, social life it’s harder to do:

But when you’re alone you have the clarity and space to really see things as they are. 

“We cannot see things in perspective until we cease to hug them to our bosom,” notes the late Thomas Merton, O.C.S.O., in his book Thoughts in Solitude.

10) Time by yourself lets you recenter and find greater emotional stability

You have a strong sense of emotional stability and being alone helps you tap into that. 

You don’t rely on others for constant validation or support and this makes you happier and more secure. 

Watching others who complain a lot or seek for others to salve their emotional distress makes you sad, because you want to encourage them to do what you do:

Seek out time alone, make friends with yourself and everything else will fall into place as best it can. 

11) Being alone encourages you to engage in crucial self-care

You love to spend time alone because it’s a chance to look after yourself. 

You prioritize self-care and make time for activities that nourish your mind, body, and soul.

You also encourage others to do the same, noting that no matter how much we care about somebody it’s ultimately up to each of us to look after ourselves and prioritize ourselves. 

This journey towards deeper self love is highly meaningful for you and vastly improves your life. 

12) Inner peace tends to come to you most often when you’re alone

You experience a sense of inner peace and contentment when alone, rather than feeling restless or anxious.

At first you may have found being alone a bit awkward or immediately reached for your phone or tablet. 

But now you actively seek out solitude and time alone. 

It’s meaningful and deeply rewarding to you to spend time by yourself and it’s become a vital part of your life. 

“It might take a little bit of work before it turns into a pleasant experience,” notes psychoanalytic theorist Matthew Bowker, Ph.D

“But once it does it becomes maybe the most important relationship anybody ever has, the relationship you have with yourself.”

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