GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

Breaking News

Lifestyle

May 10, 2013

Simple solitude's healing power

Problem: You fear you’re becoming anti-social because you constantly crave solitude. While you are racing to work, running with the kids and meeting husband, wife or partner, and extended family, friend and community obligations, you dream of being alone in a quiet place. You are not alone in this longing for solitude.

According to studies conducted at the University of British Columbia, everyone experiences moments when they need solitude. Researchers there found that people actually require a certain degree of solitude — time to be completely alone — in order to meet a variety of psychological needs.

One of those basic and essential needs is rejuvenation. When we spend time alone, in quiet, eliminating the noise and stimulation of our everyday lives, we give our mind and body “time off” to heal from stress, and to recharge and recoup energy and strength. The University of British Columbia research found that individuals with many demands on their time and attention seem to need solitude more than those with fewer demands. So, if you are always busy, your craving for solitude is not only appropriate, but a healthy signal to meet that need.

It doesn’t really matter what you do while you are in solitude, the researchers found. Simply being completely alone helps you restore yourself to a healthier state of well being, as measured by reduced stress hormones, improved immune functioning and other positive physiological changes.

Solution: Accept your need for solitude as natural and healthy. Then find ways to build time for solitude into your life. Here are some suggestions:

In the morning, awake a half hour earlier than the rest of your family. Then do nothing while you spend that time alone, in quiet.

Take advantage of unexpected periods of solitude. When everyone else is out of the house, stop what you are doing and just find a comfortable place to sit in silence.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Lifestyle

Your news, your way
Pictures of the Week
Comments Tracker
AP Entertainment Videos
Married Couple Seeks 'Satisfaction' in New Ways Cast on Love, Weather and Stunts of 'Outlander' Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure 'The Bachelorette' and Her Beau Go Public Tatum Says Filming 'Foxcatcher' Was 'tortuous' Was That Harry Potter at Comic-Con? Fox Dons 'Bondage Strap' Skirt at Comic-Con Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con 'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out The Rock Brings Star Power to Premiere Uzo Aduba Says Emmy Nod Is 'Crazy' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bush: Don't Worry, Sugarland Isn't Breaking Up Mirren Not Thrilled to Play 'The Queen' on B'way The Rock Finds His Inner 'Hercules' ShowBiz Minute: Hoffman, Oberst, Box Office Shawn Mendes Jumps From Vine to the Music Charts Cook Shifts Gears in 'Planes: Fire and Rescue' ShowBiz Minute: Stritch, Marvel, Beyonce ShowBiz Minute: Cole, JWoww, Box Office