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NPR

How solitude can help you regulate your mood

How solitude can help you regulate your mood

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Over the past few years, researchers have devoted significant study to the concept of solitude — its potential benefits, its role in our lives, even its basic definition.

So, here are a few takeaways from their recent work — with an eye toward how you can embrace alone time and make solitud...

Where is the line between "together" and "alone"? This question isn't easy to answer, and to date, psychologists haven't settled on a single definition of solitude or the nature of its "active ingredient".

But many agree, at least when conducting their studies, that the key rests with wheth...

When we feel lonely, it's because our desire for company exceeds our ability to find it. This process can work in reverse as well: If our desire for solitude exceeds our ability to find it, we can also struggle with feelings of discomfort.

"If we're not satisfying that need, there might als...

But that bolt from the blue need not arrive for solitude to show some psychological benefits. And you don't need to emulate a medieval hermit to get the kind of time and space needed to feel those effects either.

Paul Salmon , a psycho...

Funny as it may sound, pursuing your solitude may help develop your sense of community. By asking others for the time to yourself, and explaining why this is no reflection on their company, Salmon says you are bringing others into your trust, which they may appreciate.

"Explain that it's no...

And if even this does not help you obtain a separate space of your own, even for a little bit, remember that in many ways, solitude is what you make it. According to Salmon and his wife, Susan Matarese, a political scientist, also at Louisville, one doesn't need to be physically alone to experien...

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