Scheduling Alone Time
For many people, life is but a blur. Activity, activity, and then the big crash – or is there one? Often when we are too busy it becomes difficult to unwind. Did you know that relaxation is a necessity in life? So is time away from the electronics. Do you give yourself time to simply let your mind go to where it wants to go?
It’s true that Psychology is the study of relationships, but have we ever considered our most important relationship – our relationship with ourselves? Spiritually speaking, everything outside of us is make-believe, so as we “tune out” and “tune in” to ourself we now lay smack dab in the reality of everything.
Strange to pull away from obligations, the “have to’s”, the chores, the distractions, and other busy-making tasks, to suddenly we find ourselves with us. How are you with yourself? Do you even know the person that looks back at you in the mirror? Or do you even look into the mirror at all?
It is interesting to use a mirror as a metaphor. According to Sigmund Freud, we are all mirrors of each other. What you see in another person, is really inside of you. He coined the term “Projections” because like a film projector we project our qualities onto others. If you only see bad, you have some house cleaning to do on yourself. On the other hand, if you see good, it shows that you have a good relationship with yourself.
What is a relationship with yourself like? Basically, it is learning how to care about you. Well, let’s face it, you are stuck with you for the rest of your life and there are two paths that you can walk down – the one where you are critical of yourself (and others), where you can only see faults or one that sees the beauty of you, of others, of life, and to coin an old phrase “sees the glass as half full”.
Many people try to fool themselves into believing their cup is half full, all the while they blast the wife, the boss, and even the child. Until we let go of our outward focus and simply tune in is where real peace can be found we will continue to take out our frustration on others.
Alone time is the key. If you have to schedule some time to be with you then do so. Alone time is just as important as exercise. With alone time you are actually perfecting your connection with yourself deep within.
Meditation is a great tool to use. It doesn’t mean you have to be seated in the lotus position or lay down on your back. Meditation can be active in the form of slowly moving your body as you dance, doing Tai Chi, or walking barefoot on the grass. Alone time is simply time spent with yourself with no distractions. You might find this exhilarating actually, since how you are with you is how you will be with others.
I tell clients that we have been plopped into a backward planet. Being taught to treat others the way we want them to treat us is backward. It is actually treating ourselves the way we want others to treat you, creates a magnet which is called the “Law of Attraction”. I am sure you have heard the phrase: “People will kick you when you are down.” But, we fail to realize that when we are up people will love us! The point is we need to learn to love ourselves because in doing so others will do the same.
Now back to my original question: How are you with you? What do you like or even love about yourself? Now, obsessive love like Narcissism needs to be avoided. This is love of ourselves to the exclusion of others. As we love ourselves and others this energy goes out into the world and we have found that others around us become happier.
There have been countless studies proving that when a group gets together and prays for peace the crime rate goes down over 30% in the area. Since this study continues to show the same results maybe there is something to this positive energy that is created when we focus on love and happiness. This is the real peace, the real harmony that can be nurtured within and seen externally. Again the key is spending alone time with oneself to create this mood.
If you are looking for others to make you happy this is called Codependence – which is basically being dependent on what other people do. You can waste a lifetime sitting and waiting on others to get with the program when all the while you have the ability inside yourself to be happy.
Try this: stand in front of a mirror and force a smile on your face. Come on… go ahead and do it. What happened? 9 times out of 10 it will make you happy due to something we refer to as muscle memory. When down, do the things that make you happy. Be silly. Do an impromptu crazy dance. Break away from the habit of depressing yourself and free yourself once and for all.
Schedule time to be with yourself. Just you and your thoughts and emotions. Accept yourself fully. If you need to be upset, then be upset and make it okay. If you need to laugh at yourself for ridiculous thoughts then laugh. Unconditional love towards yourself easily translates to unconditionally loving others.
Compassionate Care is Always Available
There are many more tools and strategies you can use in your pursuit of happiness. Here is where we come in. Contact us at Basic Steps Mental Health and let us support and educate you on this journey back to your loving heart center. Imagine living a heart-centered life, regardless of what is happening externally. We’d love to be of help.
For 25 years, Dr. Scott Alpert, the clinical director of Basic Steps Mental Health, has treated over 7,000 people with mental health and addiction problems, using a Psychological approach that mixes and matches ten of the top approaches used in the industry. We are here virtually and in-person to help you get through this COVID-19 pandemic and many other difficulties you may be experiencing.
May you have good mental health.