Staying within limited confines and being apart from each other is something humans have done from time immemorial. People have always been seeking solitude as a way to get away from the pressures of daily life. Even today, hermits, monks, and practitioners of Yoga and meditation live in quiet and apartness. They do so for specific time periods to reflect and build their peace of mind.
While self-isolation right now with mobile phones and the internet is not the same thing, we can learn from people who prefer their inner world. Introverts are people who prefer to stay indoors and on their own as ways to recharge.
There are powerful lessons to learn from them as they are creative and sensitive people with great insights. They offer tremendous gifts to their friends and family, such as loyalty and listening, and also make for great coworkers.
Let’s look at some of the most important lessons we’ll learn from introverts to help us thrive while self-isolating.
There’s a common picture of introverts that people hold in their minds – that of a person at a home doing ‘nothing’. Interestingly, these acts of nothing include reading, journaling, drawing, playing games, or merely sitting still to think in silence.
While that may look like one is doing nothing, what’s happening is actually challenging and rewarding – being present.
There’s an incorrect belief that it’s necessary to be busy all the time or you won’t accomplish anything. On the contrary, profound knowledge and strength comes from deep internal searching. This is only possible during silence, self-reflection, and solitude. Here is a significant lesson that we can learn from introverts – the gift of being present and mindful.
How can you practice being more present while at home? Let’s look at a small exercise to help you do that.
Find a comfortable seat and settle in. Begin by paying close attention to your breath, then move your notice to the temperature of the room for a few seconds. Shift your concentration to the texture of the clothing against your skin. In this way, try to ‘feel’ and experience physical sensations. Or merely notice details in your room with heightened attention.
Doing so for just a few seconds at a time will have a profound effect on your wellbeing. In his book, Positive Intelligence, Shirzad Chamine encourages 10-second blocks of being present, which you can do 100 times a day. Even as you’re reading this, let your toes wiggle and observe the physical sensations of doing this.
Staying focused on physical experience such as breathing grounds you in the moment. When intrusive thoughts appear – and they will – let them roll away. As you become more present, you’ll feel several positive changes including better sleep, waking up with energy, and increased happiness.
Practice Soul Searching
Introverts don’t ‘miss out’ by not socializing as much as extroverts do. This is because they know that there’s a world of interesting information and conversations right where they are. Getting to know yourself more is one of the most exciting and rewarding experiences you’ll have.
Soul searching during quarantine is the perfect opportunity to assess your life and to consider making important changes. It’s essential to check in on yourself from time to time.
So, how do you do soul searching?
Journaling: An easy way to carry out soul searching is through journaling. Writing down your thoughts, feelings, and analyzing them will help you gain insight into your own life. Create a private blog or use a paper journal to jot down your thoughts. Ask questions and try to answer them with regard to important aspects of your life including:
- Your career – Is your career fulfilling? Do you need a change or to grow in the same space? How can you make your work more meaningful?
- Relationships with family – explore the lessons you’ve learned from them
- Friends – what the state of your friendships is at the moment and how to improve it
- Yourself – do an internal assessment of how you feel about yourself. Take note of areas where you’re satisfied and where you need to grow.
Meditate: Meditation is a powerful tool to aid you in your soul searching. You’ll reflect on your state of being and will feel more grounded. Make use of mobile apps as well as online courses to do group meditation sessions. At present, there are many activities taking place online and it should be easy to find one for you.
Read: Reading is often an introvert’s favorite activity. There are books for every need and desire including self-help books that can change your life. Reading and thinking about what you’ve read is a powerful way to do some soul searching.
Soul searching brings up important matters to the surface of your consciousness. One of the reasons why introverts prefer their own company is because there’s so much to uncover in their own lives. You’ll get helpful insights from soul searching that will help you move in new directions when normal life resumes.
Self-Isolation is a Time to Thrive
Introverts know that there are rich experiences to be had when self-isolating. We’ve looked at two powerful insights that will help you transform your own experience while quarantining.
By being present and soul searching, you’ll ensure that you fill your time and will also grow as a person. Now that we’ve looked at how introverts use isolation as a gift, you can try it out in your own life.