Solitude in moderation is beneficial for mental health

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ART BY ANNA MACIAS

By VINCENT CORTES
STAFF WRITER

 In the unwavering enormity of school work and social expectations, it is easy to lose oneself in this tsunami of everyday pressure.

 The vast majority of people undergoing numerous demanding activities hide under this illusive facade to suppress the fact that they are coping. Consequently, individuals will sometimes turn to self destructive habits to handle their problems; in reality, the best way to confront these everyday hurdles is to give oneself alone time, a physical, and therefore mental, solitude.

 Solitude gives individuals a way to disconnect from the problems in their life, opens the gateway for both creativity and self expression and gives the mind time to focus.

 For example, solitude helps people temporarily cut off the problems in everyday life. To elaborate, solitude is not a way to run away from the challenges, but a way to relax and “take a break” from maintaining the mundane tasks.

 To illustrate, individuals with anxiety succumb to these day-to-day pressures and need to shield away from their problems as a way to unwind. This is further exemplified in Robert Kull’s novel, Solitude, about his complete isolation in the Patagonia wilderness. Kull says, “Instead of relaxing into life, I’m often needlessly tense and worried… Even when things get really nasty—like my foot getting ripped off in the motorcycle crash—life continues. So why not let go of the worrying?” Kull’s reasoning demonstrates that individuals are able to find relief in their solitude..

 In this “we vs them” society, many conform to the mannerisms and habits of a particular group. However, by distancing oneself from society’s voices, one’s own voice is able to be heard, thus allowing for self growth. Individuals are able to discover their true selves, paving  the path for self expression, a unique creativity.

 By reflecting, individuals are able to look past their socially  cultivated shell, returning to their real persona. More often than not, the works of the most creative individuals came from their thoughts during solitude, as Apple co-founder, Steve Wozniak elaborates upon when he says, “Artists work best alone—best outside of corporate environments, best where they can control an invention’s design without a lot of other people designing it for marketing or some other committee.”

 Furthermore,  in Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s book Flow , he explains that “flow” is the concept when an individual loses oneself in his/ her work., thus transcending any creative boundaries and epitomizing productivity. By experiencing solitude, one can channel their inner artist to achieve “flow” and unlock their creativity. From this, individuals can build on their self confidence by being confident in their own skin.

 Finally, the most practical reason for isolating oneself is to become more concentrated. For many in this socially unified society, it is easy to be distracted by the technological overload. To illustrate, with today’s youth having the uncontrollable need to use their phone, it distracts them from their work, leading to both procrastination and low quality work.  Individuals need solitude as a way to clear their minds from their social media apps and other distracting influences, consequently giving rise to a more focused and determined individual.

 Ultimately, solitude is imperative to your state of mind and even helps you break away from the shackles of societal expectations. As a result of obtaining solitude, one will be a happier, creative and productive individual. In order to be at their best, they need to separate.

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