Is spending time alone good for us: New research indicates that people will feel better when they are alone than if they are with others.
As humans, social interaction is essential to every aspect of our health. But taking time for yourself is also important for growth and development. So which one is preferred?
A new study by researchers at Bar-Ilan University in Israel has found that the element of choice in our daily social interactions plays an important role in our well-being. According to the findings, people will feel better when they are alone by choice if they are with others not by choice. Yet being in the company of others of your choice contributes the most to improving one’s sense of well-being at any given time.
The new study, published in the Journal of Happiness Studies, suggests that our sense of choice to be with others (or to be alone) is a central factor that shapes our feelings in these contexts. The research notes that choices matter more “with others” than alone because experiences with others are more powerful.
- Study finds Covid can shrink the Brain as much as a decade of aging
- How to get YouTube Premium Free
- Great Chance to Win Rs 3 Lakh For Class 9 to 12 Students
- Why do lakhs of Indians go abroad to study? Cause of Brain Drain?
The research consisted of two studies: an experiment that manipulated the social context and state of choice, and a ten-day experience-sample study, which explored these variables in real-life settings.
The experience-sample study examined 155 students. Each participant reported on episodic social experiences three times a day for ten consecutive days. Participants were asked to report on their social status (alone/with other people) in each “sample”, whether or not they were in the situation by choice, and their feelings (positive or negative emotion, satisfaction, meaning, sense of, and a sense of control).
In all, over 4,200 episodic reports were received. Of these, people were with others 60% of the time and alone 40% of the time. They were by their choice in 64% of these situations, and not by their choice in 36%. This indicates that students spent about a third of their day in non-chosen social (or alone) situations.
Participants expressed greater happiness in the company of others than in being alone. However, there was a considerable difference in the experience of living with others. The greatest degree of happiness was felt when in the company of others by choice, but the lowest happiness was felt when in the company of others not by choice.
Dr. Liad Uziel, who led the research, also conducted a previous study on the topic. The earlier findings revealed that social situations intensify emotions while being alone was linked to calmer emotions and to a more relaxed overall experience. “The current research expands upon these conclusions by learning about people’s experiences in real life, outside the lab, and by addressing the choice element as an important moderating factor,” Uziel said. “In both cases, social experiences are more intense, for better or worse.”