Dr. Thuy-Vy Nguyen: The Science of Solitude – Emotional Regulation, Social Perceptions, & Self-Actualisation


In this episode, we dive deep into the world of solitude with Dr. Thuy-Vy Nguyen, an expert researching the nuanced impacts of solitude on emotional and cognitive experiences. Discover how solitude, distinct from loneliness, can regulate emotions, potentially boost creativity, and influence our daily lives. From exploring the boundaries of solitude and social interactions to understanding its profound effects on personal well-being and performance, this conversation sheds light on why and how we can harness the power of being alone. 

The Science of Solitude – Emotional Regulation, Social Perceptions, & Self-Actualisation Pin

About the guest-

Dr. Thuy-vy T. Nguyen is the principal investigator of the Solitude Lab and a psychology professor at Durham University. Her research is focused on the impact of solitude on daily life, wellbeing, and mental/physical health, which is detailed in her recent book Solitude: The Science and Power of Being Alone (co-authored with Netta Weinstein and Heather Hansen). In addition to being invited to lecture about her research all over the world, her work has been featured on the Guardianthe New York TimesNPRTEDx, and other podcasts and news outlets worldwide.

Shownotes -

00:00:00 – Guest and episode introduction

00:01:57 – Dr. Nguyen’s journey into solitude research & key findings

00:07:55 – Solitude’s effect on creativity, emotional regulation, & stress relief

00:11:15 – Methodologies used in solitude research

00:15:15 – Defining and differentiating solitude from loneliness

00:18:18 – How solitude nurtures

00:21:40 – How our perceptions of solitude shape our experiences

00:26:35 – Traits of solitude-loving individuals & their life choices

00:31:50 – Limits of healthy solitude: How much is too much?

00:36:10 – Common struggles with embracing solitude

00:41:10 – Discussing overstimulation, impatience, & solitude’s potential benefits

00:47:40 – The effects of anxiety & depression on one’s capacity for solitude

00:53:00 – Rise in single adult household and loneliness (Are the two connected?)

00:58:00 – Identity & self-understanding during periods of solitude

01:06:50 – How solitude influences motivation

Resources + Guest Info

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