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How to overcome unwanted thoughts
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In adolescence we spend the most time with our parents, siblings, and friends; as we enter adulthood we spend more time with co-workers, partners, and children; and in our later years, we spend an increasing amount of time alone.
To understand how social connections evolve throughout our lives we look at survey data on how much time people spend with others, and who that time is spent with.
We often tend to look at the amount of time spent with others as a marker of social well-being, but the quality of time we spend with others matters even more for our feelings of connection and loneliness
Data shows that as we become older we tend to spend more and more time alone.
However, loneliness is not the same as feeling lonely.
Surveys that ask people about living arrangements, time use, and feelings of loneliness find that solitude alone is not a good predictor of loneliness.
Older people spend a large amount of time alone and it is understandable why – time spent alone increases with age because this is when health typically deteriorates and people lose relatives and friends.
We often tend to look at the amount of time spent with others as a marker of social well-being; but the quality of time spent with others, and our expectations, matter even more for our feelings of connection and loneliness.
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