Mental health refers to emotional, cognitive, and behavioral well-being. The World Health Organization (WHO) explains mental health as “a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.” Wellness is an active and dynamic process of change and growth to reach one’s fullest potential and strives to enhance overall well-being. According to The National Wellness Institute, wellness is a “process through which people become aware of, and make choices toward, a more successful existence” by focusing on its eight dimensions. While research has shown that social connections are vital for both emotional and physical well-being, spending some time alone can be as important to one’s mental health.
There are a multitude of studies that boast the benefits of solitude, some of which include the following, provided by Forbes Magazine:
- Increases productivity: Studies show being surrounded by people reduces productivity, which implies we are more productive when we are alone.
- Sparks creativity: Becoming comfortable in your own company provides your brain with the opportunity to wander, which can strengthen your creativity. One study found that people who tend to purposely withdraw to spend time alone also tend to be highly creative people. In a 2020 study, researchers found that perceived social isolation led to increased activity in the neural circuits linked to imagination.
- Relieves stress: A 2017 study, found solitude to have a deactivation effect on people’s affective experiences, decreasing stress and enhancing relaxation.
- Increases mental strength: Being able to sit with your thoughts, fears, anxiety, hopes, dreams, and all the other emotions that may arise while alone will build your mental strength. Studies show the ability to tolerate alone time has been linked to increased happiness, greater life satisfaction, and improved stress management.
- Personal exploration: Spending time alone gives you the space to explore your own passions without interference, and gain a better understanding of your choices, likes, and dislikes, all of which will help you develop more insight into who you are as a person.
The ideal amount of time spent alone is variable and will depend on each person. Extroverts tend to feel energized by social experiences, so solitude might be more challenging for them. Introverts, on the other hand, gain energy from being alone. Regardless, it is evident that having time to yourself now and then is critical for growth and personal development, and is essential for mental health.
For Information and Support
Every family in need of mental health treatment must select a program that will best suit the needs of their family. When one member of a family struggles, it impacts everyone in the family unit. To maximize the benefits of treatment we work closely with the entire family to ensure that everyone is receiving the support they need through these difficult times. Seeking help is never easy, but you are not alone! If you or someone you know needs mental health treatment, we strongly encourage you to reach out for help as quickly as possible. It is not uncommon for many mental health difficulties to impact a person’s life, long term. Pursuing support at the beginning of one’s journey can put the individual in the best position to learn how to manage themselves in a healthy way so they can go on to live happy and fulfilling lives.
OUR KNOWLEDGEABLE ADMISSIONS TEAM CAN BE REACHED 24/7 AT INFO@PACIFICRTC.COM OR CALL: (866) 602-5512