Being alone with your thoughts on a regular basis can improve your mental health. By being alone with your thoughts, you allow yourself to process things that require healing. Just like when you sleep, your body needs time to repair the damage done to your body throughout the day. Similarly, your emotions need time to repair the inevitable damage that was done. Part of this healing requires that you stay awake.
Many people dread being alone with their thoughts, so much so, that they cannot bear a moment without distractions such as phones, spinners, computers, video games, and television. Ruth Baer Ph.D., is Professor of Psychology at the University of Kentucky and an author of The Happiness Practicing Workbook, explains the importance of being alone with your thoughts. She posits that it can lead you to a greater state of mindfulness. Being able to process your emotions on a regular basis frees your mind from being over occupied with thoughts and ruminations that you continuously push aside and refuse to think about.
Additionally, being alone with your thoughts allows you to practice your emotional intelligence; you become more in tune with what your body is feeling and why. With practice, you will only increase your vocabulary of feelings you may be experiencing. Enough work makes it easier to take control of your emotions since you know what they are, where they came from, and what about them acts as triggers for you.
It’s time to meet yourself again. Get to know the journey you traveled. Hear your own story, the hurt that may be hard to face but has ultimately played a role in how you became yourself. Avoiding those thoughts and memories is only distancing from yourself. I bet you will find a lot more compassion for yourself and the actions you have made in the past. Be proud of who you are and the life you had; do not hide from the person you truly are. As hard as it may feel at first, it is worth every bit of time and effort you invest in your wellbeing, especially your mental health.
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