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The Psychological Benefits of Being Alone - The Atlantic

From Cambridge English Corpus. Autumn and winter are usually taken as symbols of depression, solitude and hardship.


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These examples are from the Cambridge English Corpus and from sources on the web. Any opinions in the examples do not represent the opinion of the Cambridge Dictionary editors or of Cambridge University Press or its licensors.

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To some extent this is comic relief in a tale of solitude. One becomes more selective and less interested in superficial relations, exhibiting an increasing need for solitude. The need for solitude also reaches its maximum in late life, but develops most rapidly during the first half of the adult life. He may also have found solitude out of doors. In fact, these services have been described as the four solitudes of mental health. In every other respect, the marriage has been from the start a dual solitude on a wide, wide sea. By the s, however, the solitude of walking was replaced by the gruelling competitive sports of rowing and, subsequently, rugby.

What has engendered such people's sense of ' solitude and desolation' was the loss of intellectual groundings as a result of their travels and education. It's not the paper they are scared of, it's the solitude that the paper requires. The highest holiness is not to be achieved in solitude. Noticeable, too, there is in the allusion to solitude a critique of her own earlier practice of concealing and burning poems and correspondence.

Cells were for praying in solitude and silence. On the other hand, solitude on its own was not enough to guarantee privacy in choice of reading. Translations of solitude in Chinese Traditional. Need a translator? I hope you never have to think about anything as much as I think about you. For those who are near you are far away Seek out some simple and true feeling of what you have in common with them, which doesn't necessarily have to alter when you yourself change again and again; when you see them, love life in a form that is not your own and be indulgent toward those who are growing old, who are afraid of the aloneness that you trust I'd be quite happy if I spent from Saturday night until Monday morning alone in my apartment.

That's how I refuel. To be in company, even with the best, is soon wearisome and dissipating. I love to be alone. I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude.

But also, it gives birth to the opposite: to the perverse, the illicit, the absurd. I need to ponder my shame and my despair in seclusion; I need the sunshine and the paving stones of the streets without companions, without conversation, face to face with myself, with only the music of my heart for company.

She would never be lonely again, never miss the lack of intimate friends.

Books became her friends and there was one for every mood. There was poetry for quiet companionship. Meanwhile, the care of crops and animals required so much of humans that they were forced to cease their wandering ways and remain permanently beside their fields—and so we have wheat and its cousins to thank for the first human settlements. By BCE, our disenfranchisement from nature was expressed more dramatically when the citizens of Jericho constructed an enormous wall around their city—the first of its kind.

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The purpose of this wall was probably twofold: it protected against floods as well as marauding enemies. The wall, made of stone, was five feet thick and twelve feet tall. In addition, a ditch was constructed adjacent to the wall that was nine feet deep and almost thirty feet wide. This was a true denial of the sprawling bushland that had been our home for millennia. And we never invited it back.


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In , it was announced that more people live in cities than not. According to the World Health Organization, six out of every ten people will live in cities by No reversal of the trend is in sight.

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Perhaps, goes the myth, there never was. But what really happens when we turn too often toward society and away from the salt-smacking air of the seaside or our prickling intuition of unseen movements in a darkening forest? Do we really dismantle parts of our better selves? A growing body of research suggests exactly that. A study from the University of London, for example, found that members of the remote cattle-herding Himba tribe in Namibia, who spend their lives in the open bush, had greater attention spans and a greater sense of contentment than urbanized Britons and, when those same tribe members moved into urban centres, their attention spans and levels of contentment dropped to match their British counterparts.

Linnell even proposes that employers, were they looking to design the best workforces, consider stationing employees who need to concentrate outside the city. Meanwhile, at Stanford University, study participants had their brains scanned before and after walking in grassy meadows and then beside heavy car traffic. And, just as parts of the brain associated with rumination lit up on urban walks, they calmed down during nature walks. Photos of nature will increase your sense of affection and playfulness.

Whether rich or poor, students perform better with access to green space. And a simple view of greenery can insulate us from stress and increase our resilience to adversity. Time in nature even boosts, in a very concrete way, our ability to smell, see, and hear. The data piles up.

2. Alone time could improve your relationships.

The cumulative effect of all these benefits appears to be a kind of balm for the harried urban soul. The smoke and noise of cities were seen as truly foreign influences that required remedy in the form of nature retreats. Sanitariums were nestled in lush, Arcadian surrounds to counteract the disruptive influence of cities. That vision may be changing at last, though.

Does your teen seek solitude? It could contribute to personal growth

T o walk out of our houses and beyond our city limits is to shuck off the pretense and assumptions that we otherwise live by. This is how we open ourselves to brave new notions or independent attitudes. This is how we come to know our own minds.