We talk about meditation a lot in mental health. Meditation is a time to reflect internally and to shut out the outside world as a method to center yourself. But, did you know that research has shown that there are positive impacts on your brain that are tied to meditating? Meditation can positively impact the areas of the brain related to attention, regulating emotions and controlling fear/anxiety.

Research has now taken their findings one step further and evidence suggests that there are additional positive impacts simply from spending time by yourself. Voluntary time alone helped people with overall creativity, shyness and anxiety sensitivity according to research conducted at the University of Buffalo.

Rather than thinking of a long time as a depressing, withdrawal from society – try looking at it as a short term, beneficial break. This break away from social activity allows your mind to wander and be more creative. (Think about all the group projects that would benefit from the knowledge that comes from your alone time!)

Take a step away and schedule some much needed alone time throughout your week. You may just find that you’re actually more productive after taking time to yourself.