I Learned The Most About Myself, While Being By Myself

I Learned The Most About Myself, While Being By Myself

Being alone doesn't mean you're lonely.
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Sure, this quote is so cliché, "you learn the most about yourself while being by yourself" and I absolutely hate cliché sayings, however I'm going to have to reiterate this one and dedicate an entire article to it in hope for everyone to understand there are positive aspects of being alone that many people overlook.

I learned to like/appreciate alone time

I used to always think I was the most myself while in a big group or with my close friends or my significant other, which all may be true cases, however, I lacked spending time with myself and realizing I can appreciate myself with others not around too. In my last relationship, I constantly wanted to spend time with my partner which didn't always work out. In this case, it was easy to get down on myself and feel lonely, or when all my friends would say they're busy I would sometimes take it personally. I've just recently had the realization that I don't always have to be doing something to be happy. In fact, since spending more time on my own I realized I am comfortable with science and don't need the voice of others to keep me company. I appreciate the moments now when I can just plan my own day and live it without the worrying of what others may be doing. There are so many activities that involve major me time that I didn't appreciate while being in a relationship, like going for runs, listening to music, taking baths, and writing.

I learned to appreciate my friends more

As nice as it is having a boyfriend/girlfriend, it is much nicer surround yourself with friends. Your friends are the people who literally put up with all your crap and still chose to spend time with you, compliment you, and make sure you are at your best always. While boyfriends and girlfriends can do all those things there is still a major difference between the relationship a friend can offer. Being in a relationship it is so easy to spend the majority of your free time together and even though it might not seem like it, we put our friends to the side when it comes to dividing our time with one another. This is one of the things I regret most out of my past relationships. I didn't realize I was doing it in the moment but I will admit I chose my relationships over my friends in many situations and I wish I didn't. I wish I would have focused more time with my friends creating memories while we're still young because I have the rest of my life to find a man to live with and spend my life with. Friendships are so important especially at a young age because there are so many fun things to do that only friends can share the moments with. I want to look back at photos and memories when I'm old and see my friends to bring back the good memories not see my ex-boyfriends and bring back bad ones and feel awkward. I now appreciate how patient my friends have been with me as I never liked to listen to them and take their advice, trust me when I say your friends really do know best. I appreciate the times I would vent to them about all my problems and they would listen for hours. I appreciate all their extra effort they would put into making me feel better because of stupid boys and I realize how annoying I may have been but this all is just another reminder of how much my friends care about me and how lucky I am.

I learned to love myself more

Being in a relationship it is so easy to rely on your significant other and hope they give you love and affection but sometimes that fades and when it does it sucks. It sucks relying on someone to boost your self-confidence and no one should have to rely on anyone in that way. The best way to boost self-confidence is simply by promoting self-love. I've learned that no matter who has walked in and walked out of my life I will no longer let anyone affect the way that I feel about myself. It's easy to think certain ways about ourselves because of the things other people say to us or the way they treat us, but that is a crazy way of living life. I've learned we should live our lives to please only ourselves because at the end of the day that is who will be there for you. In life, there is so much pressure to fit a certain standard and my mind has now completely squashed that Idea. The only standard I want to fit is my own, no boys, no girls just my own. In fact, I don't even have certain standards that I now want to make because I respect myself enough to know what I deserve. I love the way I look at life and the views I have especially more so now that I have no one to disagree with them, or at least I won't allow anyone to. Loving yourself is 100 percent not selfish and 100 percent necessary to live life happy.

I learned I am mature for my age which is a blessing and a curse

I think I've always had a leader type personality, and in a relationship, this can be looked down on. Ending relationships is never fun, the encounters are awkward and exes try and make each other jealous however this was never my forte. I was taught to always love people and to never hate and I carried that over into my relationships and ending of them as well. Coming out of my relationships, I've learned not everyone has the same mindset I do and situations have been blown out of proportion because of hate and jealousy and basically just an immature way of handling things. It sucks being so mature for my age because I then get mocked and laughed at by people my age, not many people my age handle things in the way I do but I know I am handling things in the right way. Even though I don't get to make sassy comments and say things that are funny and immature I am proud of how I handle issues and carry myself.

I learned I don't need someone else to live my life happily

It's always nice to have someone to tell everything to, to cuddle up to, and to do life with, but if you haven't found the right person for you yet that's OK too. I always depend on people too much and like attention but I'm starting to realize I don't need the attention of others to feel happy and worth something. I like being able to do things on my own, work on my own and make myself proud. It's nice to tell people how proud I am of myself and it doesn't have to be a significant other I have realized. I know I have a great support system of friends and family and now even from myself feeling the most confident I have been in a while. I feel as if though a weight has been lifted off my shoulders now that I don't rely on anyone else or have to constantly keep up with someone who wasn't trying to keep up with me. I am proud of the person I have become and I am happy to learn even more about myself and especially learn to love myself before I love anyone else.

Cover Image Credit: Sierra Gardner

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The Truth About Protein In A Vegan's Diet

Why you need it, and how much you need.
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I’m sure any Vegan or Vegetarian out there can attest that one of the biggest comments they received about their diet tends to be concerned with the amount of (or lack of) protein they receive from their diet. Now whether this fact is true or not depends on each individual’s protein needs and protein consumption. America’s infatuation with protein (and meat) is crowding health media. In my opinion, this information is negatively influencing our food choices and the way we view this macronutrient.

Protein is incredibly important for our body to function. Proteins provide the structure and support for cells, which are tiny functional units that make up who we are. Proteins help form all of the hormones are body needs, building lean tissue, and repair our body from injury or illness. However, there are negative effects from consuming too much protein in our diet. Our body does its’ best to eliminate excess nutrients in the urine, but excess protein that is not eliminated can actually be stored as fat.

The amount of protein a person needs each day is individualized and is based on body weight and activity level. The amount of protein our body needs (roughly) in one day can be calculated using these formulas:

If you are sedentary: 0.8 x body weight in Kg = # of grams you need per day

If you are moderately active (2-3x a week): 1.2 x body weight in Kg = # of grams you need per day

If you are very active/athlete: 1.6 x body weight in Kg = # of grams you need per day

To find out how many calories of protein you need, take your number of grams needed and multiply it by 4.

Another important thing to note about protein is that the protein you consume is that it should be spaced out evenly throughout the day. Consuming all of most of the protein your body needs all at once is noble, but not effective because our body can only metabolize a certain amount of protein per hour. Again this amount is unique to each individual and depends on individual metabolism.

One huge myth about protein is that you need to eat meat/animal products to consume protein, or even consume enough protein you need per day. This is a lie. Protein is in most of the food we eat. Beans (including soy), vegetables and whole grains, contain a surprising amount of protein per serving, and eating a balanced diet with these ingredients in the proper amounts is sure to give you enough protein you need per day to sustain your body functions. The protein we get from animals is actually coming from the protein stored inside the animal from eating grains and vegetables that contain protein. It is not imperative that you eat animal products to get your needed amount of protein per day.

Here me out also on what I am about to say next. By no means am I against eating meat, eggs, or dairy in a healthy diet. It true those animal products tend to pack more protein per serving than non-animal protein sources do. So if you want to get the same amount of protein in plant protein as from animal protein, it is totally possible, you just need to consume more quantity of that food item. You may need to consume 3 servings of plant protein to get the same amount as 1 serving of animal protein. But keep in mind that this is not a straight forward comparison and each food item has its own values of protein that differ.

The 9 essential amino acids are nutrients that our body cannot make on its own so it needs to be consumed by an outside source. A strength about animal protein is that it contains all 9 essential amino acids that our body needs in one item while plant protein does not.

Don’t become cynical yet.

Vegetarians and vegans can still get all 9 essential amino acids without consuming any or very little animal product. Plant protein does in fact have the essential amino acids we need, it just doesn’t have them all in one food item. For example, black beans contain certain amino acids but lack others. Whole grains lack the amino acids that black beans have, but contain the ones that the beans lack. So if you combine to two in one meal, you are still consuming all 9 that you need! Achieving all 9 is doable as long as you have plenty of variety in your diet. Fun fact, soy products (like tofu or edamame) actually do contain all 9 essential amino acids, and are perfect for vegans and vegetarians because they don’t contain any animal protein.

In sum, remember that you want make sure you are eating the proper amount of protein per day (not too much or too little). Space out your protein consumption throughout the entire day rather than smashing it all into one meal. Eating animal products and a variety of plant proteins will give you all the protein you need to sustain proper bodily functions.

As always, this article is my own opinion based on previous knowledge. For individualized advice for your body’s needs, please consult a doctor, registered dietician, or other certified professional.

Cover Image Credit: www.reebokcrossfitcoastalcarolina.com

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Your Confidence Will Soar If You Adopt These 15 Habits

Everyone has insecurities, don't let them rule you
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It is just easier to live life when you are confident. Being insecure takes so much energy that could be spent doing something productive, like actually getting something to eat alone rather than waiting around for someone to go with you.

Not to mention, we all know that confidence makes everyone more attractive. Now if you are not super confident, don't worry, that does not mean you are automatically ugly, there is just something alluring about a confident person.

Now, I am no model for confidence, but there are a few things that I am trying to do or have done that helps exponentially. If you struggle with confidence these few things can help boost you in the right direction, and you will be rocking your world in no time!

1. Chin/Head up

If you keep your chin up and head out, it shows that you are comfortable with who you are and you aren't afraid for people to see your face. Most confidence radiates from the face and if you hide your face it is easy to assume that you are uncomfortable in your own skin, WHICH YOU SHOULDN'T BE!

2. Make purposeful hand movements

I am definitely guilty of this one ALL THE TIME... but if you have constant flourishing hand movements, people may think you don't know what you are talking about or are not confident in what you are saying.

But if you have precise and concise hand movements there are fewer distractions from what you are saying and people believe and want to hear what you have to say!

3. Eye contact

Eyes are the place of vulnerability as they are known as the windows to the soul, and looking straight at someone directly in the eyes shows that you have nothing to hide. You have accepted everything about yourself and are not afraid if people can see it. It takes time I know, but I think this one is most important!

4. Actually, listen to other people

The one way to sound confident is to listen to what others are actually saying so in turn you can reply with something substantial and you don't have to sit there in awkward silence.

Even if you don't really know what to say if you listen, you can at least make something up!

5. Stand up straight

One of the main insecurities among teenagers, young adults (and even some full-grown adults) is their body. We don't know how to hold ourselves, and we think we look awkward just by standing there and we second guess every movement.

Tall people have it bad because they feel TOO tall and slouch to cover up their height, but good posture oozes confidence. ROck your body cause no one actually cares what you look like if you love yourself!

6. Try not to think about other people

Insecurities are born from us obsessing over what other people think about us, which is ridiculous. Over 75% percent of individuals we encounter in our lives we only see ONCE, so who cares what they think??

This can start with you not judging other people. I know this isn't particularly easy either, but if you practice with intention, soon you won't even notice other people and you will stop comparing yourself to others!

7. Hygiene

I feel like this one is pretty self-explanatory; If you feel pretty and clean then it makes it so much easier to be comfortable with yourself. Anyway, people don't really like to be around someone who smells, so don't be that person.

8. Exercise

I really am not the model for success here, but I do notice that when I go to the gym I just feel better, mentally and physically. Even if you can't see results, the endorphins released during a workout reduce stress and just help you feel happier with yourself!

So even if you just go every once and a while (like me) it will improve your confidence energy exponentially.

9. Mirror the other person

When talking to other people, it is proven that if you mirror their actions and laughs, they will feel more comfortable around you, and nothing can put you more at ease and confident than everyone else liking you!

Obviously still be yourself, but a laugh here and then, even if you don't think what they are saying is funny, goes a long way!

10. Smile

I don't know about you, but I am always more inclined to be around people who smile a lot. Sometimes it can get creepy, yes, but smiles are associated with positivity and happiness. No one wants to hang around a negative Nelly. So smile more, you will appear more approachable and your confidence will soar!

11. Dress the way you want to dress

If you love what you are wearing and you are comfortable, it is a reflection of how comfortable you are in your skin, because really clothes are just a second skin.

This can go along with not caring about what other people think. Don't dress to follow trends or impress anyone, if you want to wear a crown and cape that will definitely show confidence.

12. Don't cross your arms

If you cross your arms it signifies to others a very closed off and stand-offish personality. If you keep your arms uncrossed your body language is much more inviting. Also, people who cross their arms a lot are generally more unhappy with life in general, which is no way to live.

Not to mention this also helps with bettering your posture!

13. Don't fidget

Fidgeting is the biggest give away of insecurities. JUST SIT STILL (or stand still whatever). I can assure you that no one notices how you stand or sit, and fidgeting will only draw more attention to it, so just stop moving.

When someone fidgets, it rubs off and then others feel uncomfortable for you. Keep your hands to your side and stand still, with direct eye contact, does that not scream confidence?

14. Keep your hands out of your pockets

If you constantly have your hands in your pockets, it reflects that you have something to hide. Obviously, we don't want everyone to know our deepest, darkest secrets, but you want to exhibit confidence so people feel open to maybe being close enough to one day hear those secrets.

15. Try to avoid "um", "uh" and "like"

Confidence comes from believing in what you say and being strong with the statements you make, but if you say "um" after every two words, no one is going to take you seriously. Try to think before you speak, that way you won't include those filler words and people will again want to hear what you have to say and believe in your confidence.

Cover Image Credit: Photo by Dino Reichmuth on Unsplash

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