I really wish I had something to do. But solitude and silence are an oasis where living water will refresh the scorched soul and renew the muddied mind.
In the UK, the Royal College of General Practitioners says that loneliness has the same risk level for premature death as diabetes. Strong social connections are important for cognitive functioningmotor function and a smoothly running immune system.
View image of Abundant research shows the harms of social isolation Credit: Getty Images This is especially clear from cases of extreme social isolation.
Examples of people kept in captivity, children kept isolated in abusive orphanages, and prisoners kept in solitary confinement all show how prolonged solitude can lead to hallucinations and other forms of mental instability.
But these are severe and involuntary cases of aloneness. For those of us who just prefer plenty of alone time, emerging research suggests some good news: Creative space One key benefit is improved creativity.
View image of One personality trait associated with creativity is independence One reason for this is that such people are likely to spend sustained time alone working on their craft. A recent vindication of these ideas came from University at Buffalo psychologist Julie Bowker, who researches social withdrawal.
Social withdrawal usually is categorised into three types: A paper by Bowker and her colleagues was the first to show that a type of social withdrawal could have a positive effect — they found that creativity was linked specifically to unsociability. They also found that unsociability had no correlation with aggression shyness and avoidance did.
For instance, some research suggests that unsociable children in China have more interpersonal and academic problems than unsociable kids in the West. Bowker says that these differences are narrowing as the world becomes more globalised.
Still, it turns out that solitude is important for more than creativity.
But this depends — among other things, on the personalities of their employees. One study showed that in branches of a pizza chain where employees were more passive, extroverted bosses were associated with higher profits.
But in branches where employees were more proactive, introverted leaders were more effective. One reason for this is that introverted people are less likely to feel threatened by strong personalities and suggestions. Since ancient times, meanwhile, people have been aware of a link between isolation and mental focus.
After all, cultures with traditions of religious hermits believe that solitude is important for enlightenment.
View image of Many religions consider periods of solitude to be important Credit: Getty Images Recent research has given us a better understanding of why.
This can be a positive distraction. Giving free rein to a wandering mind not only helps with focus in the long term but strengthens your sense of both yourself and others. Paradoxically, therefore, periods of solitude actually help when it comes time to socialise once more.
And the occasional absence of focus ultimately helps concentration in the long run. A more recent proponent of thoughtful and productive solitude is Susan Cain, author of Quiet: To truly chart our own path or vision, we have to be willing to sequester ourselves, at least for some period of time.
A disorder has to do with dysfunction. If someone stops caring about people and cuts off all contact, this could point to a pathological neglect of social relations. But creative unsociability is a far cry from this. In addition, introverts tend to have fewer but stronger friendships — which has been linked to greater happiness.
As with many things, quality reigns over quantity.
Nurturing a few solid relationships without feeling the need to constantly populate your life with chattering voices ultimately may be better for you. Of course, that comes with caveats.
So feel free to de-clutter your social calendar.Meaningful alonetime, it turns out, is a powerful need and a necessary tonic in today's rapid-fire world.
Indeed, solitude actually allows us to connect to others in a far richer way. THE THREE AGES OF THE INTERIOR LIFE Prelude of Eternal Life by Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P. Meaningful alonetime, it turns out, is a powerful need and a necessary tonic in today's rapid-fire world.
Indeed, solitude actually allows us to connect to others in a far richer way. Journal of a Solitude [May Sarton] on arteensevilla.com *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. In this, her bestselling journal, May Sarton writes with keen observation and emotional courage of both inner and outer worlds: a garden.
Solitude does not necessarily mean that you’re lonely or a lonely person.
Sure, you have friends and enjoy socializing from time-to-time; but there are other incidents in which, after learning how to enjoy solitude for so long, you begin to crave your alone time.
Solitude is the most important thing in the world. The capacity to be alone is a valuable resource which facilitates learning, thinking, innovating, coming to terms with change and coming in contact with the inner world of imagination.