For many of us we are all too aware of the effects of stress and an overly packed daily To Do list. Priorities are put on the list and everything is pushed to the back burner for when we “find the time” and before we know it life so chaotic and we just need a moment to ourselves to recharge. Most people tend to link being alone and creating solitude means being lonely, but the reality is the two are so vastly different. One can be lonely in a crowded room and completely content by themselves. It is important that we all stop every so often and take time to ourselves and be comfortable with just ourselves; no technology or distractions. Solitude allows us to really listen to our heart, our spirit, and our soul. It provides us the outlet we need to take a journey toward inner peace and find ways to self - heal from the trauma of life.
Taking time in solitude can be a scary thing at first. Most of us our so consumed with social media, work, kids, spouse… that even contemplating being alone seems rather frightening. I believe that being okay being alone demonstrates the level of love we possess for ourselves and the level of need for distractions or stimuli. Being alone can trigger so many emotions, but it is important to allow those emotions to come to the surface to begin the healing process. There are many different exercises one can do to fully reap the benefits that seeking solitude has to offer.
- Make yourself a praise list of all of your best qualities
- Make yourself a gratitude list of everything you are grateful for in your life
- Light a candle and gaze at the flame
- Sit with a journal and free write anything that is speaking to you
- Deeply inhale and exhale audibly so that you can hear the rhythm of your own breath
- Practice your favorite yoga style
- Sit in front of the mirror and give self - affirmations out loud. Examples: I am loved, I am safe, I am at peace, I am one with the universe.
- Try visually creating your happy place, and go there in your mind. Train your brain to work on a different level than it normally does
Outside of your home:
- Go to a museum or art gallery and absorb the beautiful work
- Go to a park and observe the sounds, colors, and smells.
- Lie down on your back and look up at the clouds to marvel at the wonder of all that is
- Go for a walk or hike in nature
- Express gratitude to be able to enjoy such a special time to yourself
Some of these exercises may not sound like they would do much, but the benefits will be so noticeable you will wonder why you haven’t taken the time to do this sooner. Try not to put a time frame on your time of solitude, but if you must try and give yourself at least 2 hours. Allow yourself to really contemplate your journey. With so many things pulling at us in our daily lives, it is easy to lose sight of what truly matters, and what is truly important for us to thrive as human beings. I encourage you to try and seek solitude daily to gain all the insight and benefits that seeking solace in solitude has to offer.
Lindsey McNamara is a traditionally Hatha based yoga teacher who strives to share the simple beauty of yoga with her students in a way that allows them to achieve greater awareness, gratitude, mindfulness, and balance. She believes that we each have the power to heal ourselves and become our best selves through the practice of yoga and is passionate about guiding students through the process of self growth utilizing yoga and mediation practices.