Last week, upon arriving in Singapore from the United States, I was immediately placed in quarantine in a hotel for two weeks. Once I have checked in to my room, no visitors will be allowed, I can't leave the room, and I will have no physical contact with another human being for the next 14 days. Three times a day, the hotel staff would knock on my door and leave my meals outside my room. All these only made me feel that I am serving time in a "glorified prison cell."
The thing is, I am prepared for this. Rather than decrying the time being alone, several emerging research suggests there are upsides to being secluded.
But first, we need to know the difference between SOLITUDE and LONELINESS. We often confuse the two and used these words interchangeably.
Loneliness: Negative State of mind
Solitude: Positive State of mind
Loneliness: Missing people
Solitude: Finding self
Here are more proven benefits of solitude:
• It is the best way to get to know yourself.
• It removes the clutter and purifies your mind, thus enhancing your concentration.
• It helps in lowering your stress levels.
• It enables you to dig deep within and brings out the best.
• It helps in better self-awareness, self-control, and self-discipline.
• It helps in recouping the lost energies. Besides, it also enhances creativity and innovation.
• It helps in exploring yourself analytically, thus improving your personality for all-round success.
History reveals that several great leaders preferred solitude whenever they were in distress. One example is King David of Israel. Amidst the stress of running the country and fighting his enemies, he would, through God's leading, retreat into "green pastures and still waters" to restore his soul (well-being).
Jesus often sought solitude too. Moses spent 40 years in the wilderness, while apostle Paul went to Arabia after his encounter with Christ. Seeking time alone with God does not just happen. Solitude is a choice. And it is a healthy one to make.
To sum up, it is essential for individuals to regularly go for a time of seclusion because, while society tells us what we are, solitude shows us who we should be.
So go to the movies alone, download your favorite music, go for a run or walk, or do your favorite activity. Whatever it may be, do something nice for yourself. Take some alone time, whether it be 10 minutes, 1 hour, three days, or an entire week, or like me, two weeks, spend some time with you. No one knows you better than you do, and the only way to know yourself deeper is to embrace your solitude.
Yes, I have 9 more days to go in my "isolation ward." I am not getting bitter, but better!
And He (Jesus) said to them, "Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest awhile. For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat." Mark 6:31
"Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10
"You cannot be lonely if you like the person you're alone with."
― Wayne W. Dyer
"Loneliness is the poverty of self; solitude is the richness of self."
― May Sarton
Fred Tokè aka Dr. Tokèmon