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Make Time For Alone Time

May 13, 2008
"Alone time" has become something of a catchword in today's culture--something like "personal space." Today's individuals, often warn down by too much company, too many crowds, and too much noise, need their personal space and their personal time, their "alone time." Even the people who deeply love each other may need a few days apart every once in awhile, to return to themselves, before they can return to the ones they love.

When someone asks for some alone time, our first reaction may be to call them a jerk. But, to be fair, we all need alone time. That's not just a throw-away statement, it's scientific fact. Psychologically, humans have a need for privacy; too much society, over time, can grate on a person's nerves, make them irritable, make them, so to speak, "not themselves." Only after a period of retreat can they rediscover themselves; and only when they find themselves can they find the people closest to them.

Alone time is important for anyone, of any age and any walk of life. Spending some time in solitude can be a valuable opportunity to take stock of one's life, to reevaluate one's priorities, and look at things from a broader perspective. Funny how "alone time" is often used as a punishment for rambunctious children, when, for adults, it's often viewed as a real reward! Remember how we all hated nap time as children? Now we'd give anything for a nap during work! As we mature, alone time becomes a crucial element of our lives.

At the same time, human beings are social creatures. This is a fact of our genetic programming. Anyone who spends too much time alone, or who is downright frightened by the idea of venturing out into society, or who fails to establish any meaningful human contact, might have cause for concern. Ironically, too much solitude can produce the same levels of stress as too much social interaction. Obviously, moderation is called for here--a healthy balance between one's social life and private life. No one wants to feel lonely, and if we have too much alone time, feelings of isolation can take over. These feelings can produce chemical imbalances in the body that are actually physically unhealthy. This can disrupt sleep and even lead to heart trouble.

Solitude can be a painful experience. If you've ever been on the outside looking in, you know that hurtful feeling all too well. Scientists have demonstrated that the feeling of being excluded from society is closely related to the feeling of actual bodily pain.

So, while seeking our own council during alone time is important, having people who are close to us to turn to for advice is also a crucial element in our own wellbeing, both spiritually and physically. The experiences of those around us can prove invaluable whenever we come to an impasse in our own lives. Changes are, some of them have been through similarly trying circumstances in their day. Tossing ideas and possible solutions around with trusted friends or colleagues can be a tremendous help in times of trouble.

So, strike a balance; as with all things in life, seek out the golden mean. Combine alone time with social time; seek your own counsel, and the counsel of others. Retreat into yourself, then return to society.
About the Author
I am Kaled Asmri, the founder of The Success Elixir Blog. Visit now and read the most popular article: How to Improve Self Esteem? & Speed Reading Tips
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