The best treatment for depression lies in our evolutionary history

Thanks in no small part to the digitization of our social lives, depression is becoming a bigger and bigger issue in western societies. So how do we reverse it?

Thanks in no small part to the digitization of our social lives, depression is becoming a bigger and bigger issue in western societies. In the space of just one generation, we've closed ourselves off and now spend more time in front of screens — on average, 10 hours a day according to a Neilsen report — than we do with our loved ones. Author and journalist and author Johann Hari explains that this isn't at all how the human species is supposed to behave. He suggests more actual face time with people, more community, and above all: becoming the social creatures that we have been for millennia. Johann's new book is the fascinating Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression – and the Unexpected Solutions.

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15 minutes of solitude "deactivates" your stress, researchers find

Boredom has benefits. New research finds that device-free solitude deactivates high arousal emotions while reducing stress and promoting relaxation.

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Mind & Brain

Before You Can Be with Others, First Learn to Be Alone

Time on your own means time to tell the difference between right and wrong.


 

 

Nighthawks by Edward Hopper (1942) via Wikimedia Commons

In 1840, Edgar Allan Poe described the ‘mad energy’ of an ageing man who roved the streets of London from dusk till dawn. His excruciating despair could be temporarily relieved only by immersing himself in a tumultuous throng of city-dwellers. ‘He refuses to be alone,’ Poe wrote. He ‘is the type and the genius of deep crime … He is the man of the crowd.’ 

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Personal Growth

The difference between solitude and loneliness

We're more lonely than ever and this is horrible. Equally horrible? We can't bare to spend time alone. 

Credit: Pixabay

All man’s miseries,’ wrote the French mathematician Blaise Pascal, ‘derive from not being able to sit in a quiet room alone’. Often in our busy lives this is caused by having too much to do. Sometimes it is our own inability to set down the smartphone and sit. Our go, go, go lives often leave us with little time for solitude. This is a shame, as many great minds argue, for being able to be alone with your own thoughts is a great skill that more people could use.

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