By Maureen Freeman

No one needs to be told that the world is loud and fast paced, that social media invades us at every pore and that time for simply listening to our own thoughts is scarce.

But being present with your own thoughts on a daily basis is fundamental to mental health. Without time alone to digest and explore the incoming data with which we are bombarded, we are left fragmented and scattered. We become a series of reactions to incoming data rather than creating our own ideas, wishes and dreams. We are unable to witness to our own growth as humans. Many of the deep moments of satisfaction and joy in life come from realizing that we are becoming who we hoped we would be. Without quiet time alone there can be no true self-reflection, no way to know where we are.

There are fewer and fewer places in current life without access to phones, or Facebook, or Instagram or Snapchat. It is especially clear when doing psychotherapy therapy with teenagers who look at your as though you were deranged when you suggest turning off their phones and simply breathing or reflecting  on all that they  grateful for …or asking them to  just sit and do nothing.

Without space to reflect, synthesize and be grateful, we run our selves down. We lose the creative spark and the empathic ear. Quiet time with ourselves feeds ours souls and grows are hearts.

So dedicate some time to yourself each day.  A half an hour in the morning outside with the birds or with your coffee in a comfortable chair in the house is all it takes. You can start with a few minutes of inspirational reading or music. Have a notebook or journal nearby …you will be amazed with what comes to the surface!  Just write it down and get to know what is going on inside you!

Become your own friend – a friend that you want to spend quality time with each day.  You will never regret it!