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The Art of Productive Solitude

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Author

Paaez Coleman

We all have different opinions about solitude.

As a result, we choose to utilize that time in different ways. 

Most times we choose an activity out of habit, sometimes we choose out of laziness, and the remainder of the time we simply fall short of ideas. 

Some people dread the notion of alone time and seek to fill those moments with others. Alternatively, others relish what they view as precious moments of solitude as they use that time to recharge themselves. 

Some find this to be the distinguishing quality between introverted and extroverted personalities. But, in all honesty, even extroverts can use moments of solitude to benefit themselves. 

If you’ve never given much thought to your moments of solitude, and how they’re utilized in a positive manner, think back to some of the great minds in history who expressed how enlightenment and clarity came during moments of solitude. A great example of this is Walt Whitman, who notes this sentiment in many of his works. 

There are many ways to handle moments of solitude in productive ways. Don’t worry if you’ve haven’t given it much thought before; we’ve got some ideas to get your creativity flowing!

Meditation To Quiet the Mind

A woman sitting on a dock doing YogaMeditation is one of the things that some of us want to try but don’t, for a variety of personal reasons. Most of us don’t attempt to meditate because we think it’s an extensive process that we need to do in a particular way, but this is not the case. You can make your meditation process all your own! 

Start by setting aside a few minutes a day to quiet the chatter in your mind. Have you ever noticed that your mind is always on—producing so many thoughts they seem to be bouncing off each other? 

A study was conducted back in 2005 by the National Science Foundation, which found that the average person can generate up to 60,000 thoughts a day. The interesting part is that 80% were negative thoughts, and 95% were those same negative thoughts repeating themselves!

This is all the more reason to meditate. With practice, you can start to reduce those thoughts and even begin to produce more positive thought patterns subconsciously. If you’ve struggled with meditation before, try approaching it from a different angle this time around. Start with a lower limit of two or three minutes and simply focus on your breathing. If your mind strays, bring it back to those breaths. 

When you approach meditation from this angle, you’re working from a perspective of mindfulness. This is the first step in achieving your meditation goals during those prized moments of solitude. 

Boost Brain Function with a Good Book

When’s the last time you picked up a good book and got lost in the narrative? It’s so refreshing when you get a hold of a book that pulls you in, and it also benefits the brain in a number of ways. 

Reading enhances our minds in many ways. It improves the way we perceive visual information, creativity, decision-making, writing skills, and reading comprehension. It even makes us better at communication in general.  

The great thing about reading is that it forces us to use our imagination to fill in the blanks of what the author is trying to say within the story. It can be such an engrossing experience. So much so, that when you finally experience it, you’ll feel like you’ve been missing out! 

There are so many genres to experience: science fiction, psychological thrillers, fan fiction, non-fiction—the list goes on! Before you know it, reading will be your favorite thing to pair with your morning cup of tea! 

Drink More Water Everyday

Many of us loathed the suggestion of water from our parents when we were younger. Yet, as adults, most of us understand that our bodies function better with the right amount of water consumption. 

Surely you’ve heard that our bodies are 60% water, right? 

That’s why it’s so essential to intake the right amount of water every day. It boosts brain function, energy levels, and metabolism. It also enables some of the most vital processes in the body, such as flushing waste through the body, regulating our internal temperature, and even lubricates your joints. 

We know, now you’re thinking how much water is enough, and honestly, it seems this is debatable. Some go with the 8×8 rule—drinking eight, eight-ounce glasses of water a day, and others believe that your daily water should coincide with your weight. 

If you want to drink water based on your weight, you should take your weight and divide it by 2; you have the number of ounces you’ll need to consume daily. 

An easy way to keep up with your water intake is to keep a bottle of water with you at all times. You’ll be sipping more than you realize, and creating a healthy habit in the process. 

Relax the Body & Mind with Yoga

Some of us aren’t so excited about “working out,” which is most likely a huge part of what makes yoga so attractive. Yoga combines a series of stretches with breathing techniques in a way that works to improve muscle tone, muscle strength, increase flexibility, decrease stress, and much more. 

Next time you find yourself alone, bust out the yoga mat or plop down on the floor to get a few good stretches in. The child’s pose, tree pose, or even a quick downward dog are great ways to release some tension and relax your muscles. 

Oh, and if you do some light yoga before bed, you’ll get some of the best sleep you’ve had in a while!

Feed Your Soul With a Home-Cooked Meal

A woman making food at homeSometimes, even the fanciest meal can’t compare with a home-cooked meal. Not to mention, there’s something therapeutic about cooking. 

Most of us don’t even realize that eating at home is much healthier because restaurants are nearly quadrupling serving sizes, so if you scarf down the whole plate, you can be looking at close to 2,000 calories! 

The next time you’re debating whether or not you should go out to eat with friends, look in your pantry and whip your favorite meal up while grooving to some of your favorite tunes. 

Besides, studies show that people who eat more meals at home live longer, happier lives!

Things To Keep In Mind 

With a little effort, you can easily turn moments of solitude into some of the most productive times. 

You’ll see that in these times of reflection you’ll be able to bring yourself inner peace, clarity, and self-love by taking care of your physical and mental well-being. 

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DID YOU KNOW?

Drinking a substantial amount of water daily enhances mental function, clarity, and can even help you lose weight.

DID YOU KNOW?

Yoga was first introduced to the US in the 18th century.

 

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