I Think It’s Very Healthy to Spend Time Alone

I think it's very healthy to spend time alone
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“I think it’s very healthy to spend time alone. You need to know how to be alone and not defined by another person.” – Oscar Wilde

In this pro-social age where solitude is often misunderstood as loneliness, a study has shown that many people would rather administer electric shocks to themselves than sit in quiet contemplation for 10 minutes. The study, published in the journal Science, reveals how people find their thoughts painfully dull.

We humans are indeed social animals but spending some time alone can be good for us. A growing body of research on solitude has discovered the amazing benefits of going solo once in a while, and even kids can reap the benefits! Several studies have found that studying solo promotes better recall than studying with a group, and kids who spent between 25 and 45 percent of their non-class time alone were more likely to have more positive emotions than their socially active peers. They may have missed some bonding moments, but they were less likely to self-report depression and were more successful in school.

Life has always been about balance: a time for socialization and a time for solitude. Several research have found that certain tasks and thought processes are best carried out alone, and this results to having a fully developed personality and a capability to focus and think creatively. This suggests that a well-functioning social life is not all about parties and meeting with people every day; it’s also about wandering in the streets alone and enjoying one’s own musings.

In a way, solitude is about loving oneself. To quote Oscar Wilde: “To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.”

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