Learn to love your own company

Learn to love your own company

Imagine being marooned alone on an island. How would you survive such a drastic change in your social life? While the above is a hypothetical situation, the reality in lock down is that each of us is perilously close to such a situation. Ironically there are people around us and yet the lock down and social distancing rules that everyone has to adhere to, has ensured that our interactions are minimal, business like and over time stilted and artificial. Perhaps, for some, those at home could be a challenge to deal with, because of our individual quirks and the unexpected amount of time forced to share time and space with each other. Perhaps being alone is a good solution but since even that is not something most of us are used to, the effort becomes difficult and irritating.

Ironically, being alone offers one the freedom to be yourself, to spend time the way you want, to explore possibilities and to reminiscence, remember and reflect. It frees our mind of routines, gives one the opportunity to think creatively, mentally explore ways to work around problems and discovering shades of yourself that existed but remained hidden.

To learn to like to be alone and to enjoy the company just of yourself you must first believe that being alone is not a punishment but a boon. A change in attitude immediately allows you to see possibilities galore ahead of you.

The second prerequisite is to allow yourself time to do nothing without feeling guilty, give your mind space to wander and to flutter like a butterfly and be relaxed even if the mind occasionally drifts towards unwanted thoughts.

The third thing is to identify your key interests, latent passions, wishful thinking to drift to the forefront of your thoughts. This will give your mind some directions to focus upon and varied dimensions of opportunities to explore.

The fourth important requirement is that one enjoys the process of the mind throwing up ideas to explore, the dialogue you engage in with your mind, the occasional silence, the sudden bursts of anxiety, often followed by a more vigorous spurt of alternative solutions to cope with the fear.

The fifth most blissful aspect of being alone is choosing what to do. You have the time, the alternatives, possibly ample resources but most of all you have choices. When alone no one can dictate the choices but you have to be decisive and choose. You can spend it reading, sleeping, thinking, meditating, playing games, worrying, doing what is urgently needed or simply doing all of the above in a random order.  It is this freedom of choice that is at the heart of learning to enjoy your own company.

Try these:           

  1. Have you ever explored a different genre of art / literature / music/ photography/ movies/ TV shows? What has stopped you from exploring it? Now is your opportunity to do so. Give it at least an hour before you decide if you like it or want to explore something else.
  2. List out your three to five most pressing problems. Allow your mind to focus on these in any random manner (which means you actively explore solutions to any or all of these problems by thinking and identifying alternative solutions) , Not thinking of the problem will not allow you to find a solution and if by thinking about you feel depressed then the reality is the problem is really serious and hence you need to find solutions.
  3. If you feel you have wasted these days of lockdown can you identify the specific activities that you felt were a waste of time e.g. sleeping more / binge watching. Now ask yourself if that was a choice you made because you felt happy with it or was it because you had no specific routine for the day or was it because your mind tempted you to? Ask yourself if it is really a waste of time or was it a choice you made when the mind gave you alternatives?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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