According to The Boston Globe people prefer Electric Shock to Time Alone.
What do you say to yourself when you have a few minutes alone? In this day and age it’s rare that we don’t have some stimuli to keep us company. Would you prefer electric shock instead of being alone? I know I sure wouldn’t.
How can this possibly be! An opportunity for solitude and reflection and people would prefer to have an electric current run through their body rather then taking that time! Many spiritual leaders including Jesus advocate time alone. These leaders went to the mountains and farmland to get away from the crowds and be alone with their thoughts. How can it be we’ll do anything to a similar experience?
One of the reasons is probably die to what we say to ourselves once we enter that stillness. Instead of allowing our thoughts to uplift us and enlighten us, or use the time not to think at all, we allow the negative things we say to ourselves to empower us. Most people talk to themselves in such a negative way that they have to do it in their heads- they would probably never speak negatively out loud to another person!
When time alone is the opportunity to ruin your life, beat up on yourself for where you are or where you are not, and examine every wrong thing you have ever done, what sane Peter would want to be alone with that! An electric shock might be preferable to feeling as though you’ve been beaten down by the very person you thought you could trust – yourself.
Alone time is very important. The space between action and ongoing thoughts is where creative ideas are born. It’s where you may have a chance to see something about yourself you didn’t realize before. It’s where you may have your best brainstorm for how to get somewhere you want to go, or how to get out of some mess you are in. Without quiet time surrounded by constant stimulation- a lot is lost.
So If your thoughts are not the company you want to keep, what can you do? Here are some steps you can take to become better company for yourself
- Choose to spend time alone. Take a walk without your iPod or cell phone. Walk the dogs at your local shelter if you do have one of your own. Drive without the radio on, do talk on your cell when driving. The more conscious choices you make to be by yourself, the more comfortable you will become with it.
- Catch yourself in negative self-talk. Notice what you say. Become interested in it, “Hmmm… isn’t that interesting how hard I a. On myself right now. What’s that all about, I wonder?” Don’t judge it, but become aware of it,
- Choose positive self-talk. Have sayings or quotes ready. (Try putting them in your bedroom, bathroom or other places your see them easily), say things like, ‘I am a calm and confident person,” “I enjoy my own company and find I use this time alone to be morphed creative.” “I get my best ah-hah moments when I’m by myself.” You may find the things you tell yourself and the choices you made are good for you.
- Tell your mind you need answers to something. Ask your mind to work on problems while your alone. Practice pushing negative thoughts out, to make positive ideas or new creative brainstorms to enter.
- Be excited about spending time alone. Tell yourself you look forward to it and that you’ll enjoy it
Practice make perfect and with some changes, and some time, you may find that you really can be your own best friend.