Why Being Alone Could Actually Be Good For Your Brain Health

Most people identify as either an introvert or an extrovert, but throughout this past year, everyone has had to deal with isolation. A University of Virginia study found that many people do not enjoy spending time alone and would even rather receive a mild electric shock than sit by themselves in a room. However, being alone can reduce stress, increase productivity, and help the brain unwind and refresh, all while improving your mood and mental health (via Lifeworks Counseling Center).

"Social interactions are taxing, caring for people takes energy, listening to people takes energy," Jeffrey Hall, a co-author of a study titled Connecting Everyday Talk and Time Alone to Global Well-Being, says (via The Hill). Therefore, there are those who are totally comfortable being alone. Those who find it uncomfortable should still find time to be in solitude.

"Set aside a few minutes each day to be alone with your thoughts — just 10 minutes a day can help. Silence your electronics and allow yourself to think for a few minutes," says psychotherapist Amy Morin in Forbes. "Creating that quiet time for yourself could be key to becoming the best version of yourself."

We can create 'an oasis' for ourselves when we make time to be in solitude

One of the main reasons that some people do not like to be alone is that it leads to thoughts and feelings of being disconnected, and it can simply be difficult to focus inward, according to Verywell Mind. Pushing past the worry and the discomfort, however, can lead to benefits such as personal exploration, creativity, and social energy.

This is especially important in today's day and age: There are emails, ads, notifications, to-do lists, plans, goals, alarms ... But stepping away from it all "can be an oasis from the constant chatter and overwhelming stimulation of the digital urban existence," says sociologist Eric Klinenberg (via PureWow).

Prioritizing mental health is vital, and since being alone can benefit this area of our lives, we all should try to regularly spend at least a few minutes by ourselves. It may not be easy for everyone, but it will be worth it.