Interview: RealSimple Magazine

How to Find More Time Alone—Without Feeling Lonely

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If you’re one of the rare people who like spending time by themselves, enjoy this article as validation of your natural instincts. If, on the other hand, you’re among those who would rather endure physical pain than spend time alone with your thoughts (true story: in a 2014 study published in Science, many of the participants preferred to give themselves electric shocks rather than spend 6 to 15 minutes by themselves with nothing to do), we’d like to change your mind about solitude.

People who value their alone time are often accused of being antisocial, aloof, or just plain weird. But recent research has uncovered positive benefits of solo time. “Studies show people feel rejuvenated when they are alone,” says Julie Bowker, PhD, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Buffalo in New York whose 2017 study revealed that unsociability—defined as deliberately withdrawing from social situations and choosing to be alone—was linked to an increase in creativity. To read the entire article by RealSimple reporter Melanie Mannerino, click here.