Giving Your Mind What It Needs - Deepstash

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How Solitude Can Change Your Brain In Profound Ways

Giving Your Mind What It Needs

Time alone allows us to order our priorities according to what we need, rather than the needs of others.

When you’re able to disengage from the demands of other people, you’ve suddenly freed up the mental space to focus on longer-term, bigger-picture projects and needs.

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Working alone
Working alone

Being in a space that's free from distractions while managing your time may sound perfect. But working alone is not a cure-all. Remote work can make you realize that the battle was never external; it's internal.

Working alone is about creating a space where concentration becomes accessible. However, sitting in solitude for a few minutes makes you get up to grab a snack or check Twitter. Or you don't know when to call it a day.

Going with the flow

Elements to help you reach a state of flow.

  1. There are specific goals every step of the way.
  2. There is immediate feedback to your actions.
  3. There is a balance between challenges and skills.
  4. Action and awareness are merged.
  5. Distractions are excluded from consciousness.
  6. There is no worry of failure.
  7. Self-consciousness disappears.
  8. The sense of time becomes distorted.
  9. The activity becomes autotelic.

To allow this deep work to occur requires you to be vigilant about outside interruptions.

The ability to face distractions

Solitude can initially make you squirm but later becomes a bedrock for intense concentration and creativity. Deflect distractions and use solitude to your advantage:

  • Listen to the sounds of nature. It calms the storm of thoughts and allows you to focus on the task at hand.
  • Accept imperfection. Don't chase an "ideal" work environment; accept what you have.
Difference between solitude and loneliness

We use the two terms interchangeably because we’ve been conditioned to think of them as the same state.

Loneliness is being alone — and not liking it. It’s a feeling. Solitude is being alone — and content. It’s a choice. If you can master solitude, you’ll never feel lonely again.

Connected but alone

From the telegram to the phone to the mobile to the internet, all major cultural inventions have served the same purpose: to bring us closer together.

Today, we’ve reached peak hyper-connectivity. We can cross oceans at the touch of the button, speak to someone, anywhere, 24/7. And yet, statistics report that we’ve never felt so lonely. The technologies connecting us are isolating us.

The truth about loneliness

You can be surrounded by people, at a party, or in the office, and still feel lonely to your core.

And you can be alone, millions of miles away from any human contact, and still feel joyfully connected to the world.

It’s less about our circumstances, more about how we react to them.

The paradox of Technologies

Technologies connecting us are actually isolating us. From the telegram to the phone to the mobile to the internet, all major cultural inventions have served the purpose of bringing us closer together. And yet, today, in a work hyper-connected, statistics report that we’ve never felt so lonely. 

Loneliness
It doesn’t  depend on external factors. It’s largely unrelated to what’s going on around us. It’s less about our circumstances and more about how we react to them.
Fear of solitude=fear of boredom
We’re scared of where boredom will take us. We want to be entertained, constantly. The alternative,  introspection , intimidate us. And so, we drown out our discomfort with distractions.