Solitude Feeds Our Relationships - Deepstash

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How Solitude Can Change Your Brain In Profound Ways

Solitude Feeds Our Relationships

Sherry Turkle, author of the book Alone Together:

“You end up isolated if you don’t cultivate the capacity for solitude, the ability to be separate, to gather yourself. Solitude is where you find yourself so that you can reach out to other people and form real attachments. When we don’t have the capacity for solitude, we turn to other people in order to feel less anxious or in order to feel alive. When this happens, we’re not able to appreciate who they are. It’s as though we’re using them as spare parts to support our fragile sense of self.”

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When you're by yourself, you make choices without outside influences. Making choices on your own will help you develop better insight into who you are as a person.

Improve your relationships

Spending time with friends, family and colleagues contributes to a "we vs. them" mentality. 

Spending time alone breaks down those barriers. Studies show you'll develop more compassion for other people when you set aside time for solitude.

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Elements to help you reach a state of flow.

  1. There are specific goals every step of the way.
  2. There is immediate feedback to your actions.
  3. There is a balance between challenges and skills.
  4. Action and awareness are merged.
  5. Distractions are excluded from consciousness.
  6. There is no worry of failure.
  7. Self-consciousness disappears.
  8. The sense of time becomes distorted.
  9. The activity becomes autotelic.

To allow this deep work to occur requires you to be vigilant about outside interruptions.

The ability to face distractions

Solitude can initially make you squirm but later becomes a bedrock for intense concentration and creativity. Deflect distractions and use solitude to your advantage:

  • Listen to the sounds of nature. It calms the storm of thoughts and allows you to focus on the task at hand.
  • Accept imperfection. Don't chase an "ideal" work environment; accept what you have.