How to be alone

“Solitude is a skill. You can get better at it with practice.”

This article in Vox magazine’s Future Perfect has been written by Sigal Samuel. It begins:

“Many of us dread being alone. We find isolation uncomfortable or downright scary. If you want to know just how eager we are to avoid it, consider a scientific study that offered people a choice between giving themselves electric shocks or being alone with their thoughts for 15 minutes. Believe it or not, many chose the electric shocks.

But here’s the good news: Being alone is a skill. And, just like any other skill, you can get better at it with practice. I want to suggest that honing this skill now can help you get through the coronavirus pandemic.Instead of dreading being alone, you can lean into it.

Whether you’re self-isolating at home in an effort to flatten the curve, or quarantined in your room because you have Covid-19, you’ve probably felt at least a momentary surge of panic at the idea of being physically cut off from your friends for days or weeks or months.

That’s a reasonable feeling: Social distancing is brutal. Full stop. Human beings have evolved over thousands of years to take comfort in one another’s presence, so when we’re isolated, it hurts us on a physiological level.

At the same time, we can probably recognize that some of our fear about being alone is not unique to the current pandemic. It’s a fear that has lurked in us for years, as we’ve forgotten — or perhaps never really learned — how to sit with ourselves, including with our uncomfortable thoughts and emotions …”

You can read more from here.

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