- Spending time alone can induce fear in a lot of people, which is understandable. At the same time, the difference between moments of solitude and loneliness is often misunderstood.
- As a psychologist, I study solitude – the time we spend alone, not interacting with other people. I started this research more than ten years ago and, up to that point, findings on young people’s time alone had suggested they often experience low moods when alone.
- On social media, television or in the music we listen to, we typically picture happiness as excitement, enthusiasm and energisation. From that perspective, solitude is often mistaken for loneliness.
- In psychology, researchers define loneliness as a distressed feeling that we experience when we don’t have, or are unable to get, the kind of social connections or relationships we hope for. Solitude is different.
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