Magazine article Psychology Today

The Lost Art of Disconnecting

Magazine article Psychology Today

The Lost Art of Disconnecting

Article excerpt

AS OPEN-OFFICE floor plans abound and everything is Instagrammed, time to oneself has become a precious commodity. In his new book, Solitude, Michael Harris (author of The End of Absence) advises us on finding and spending time alone, turning to history, neuroscience, and his own life. -Pimrapee Thungkasemvathana

Why aren't people better at being alone? We haven't been given the opportunity to exercise our solitude. In raising our children, we put a premium on collaboration and concentrated thinking and ignore things like daydreaming and reverie. Concentrated thinking and daydreaming need to be exercised in tandem. You need collaborative thinking in school, but you also need time that allows for free association.

How should we think differently about the role of solitude in our lives? Our bodies are built to hoard sugars and fats, but in an age of plentitude, we've had to design healthy diets to counteract the excessive amount of sugar and fat available to us. …

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