Spending more time alone can be hugely beneficial for mental health, study finds

New research claims to have discovered a link between short periods of solitude and good mental health.

According to an American study carried out by the University of Buffalo, opting to take regular bouts of ‘me time’ can stimulate creativity – which inadvertently reduces the risk of stress and depression.

The report found that ‘creative behaviour’ can go a long way to improve a person’s sense of fulfilment, wellbeing and general happiness.

A number of artists and creatives were asked to share their thoughts on the study.

Dawn Crothers, a UK artist and painter, said: “I am not in the least surprised by the results of this survey, and I really do believe we all need to relax for our health’s sake.

“I think everyone needs to take time out for themselves although we don’t always do it.

“Taking time out to unwind can inspire you and make you more creative. I think it’s when you are relaxing that you get new ideas.”

Meanwhile, Una Brankin, Ireland-based writer, also opened up about the creative benefits she has managed to extract from ‘me time’.

She said: “A 20-minute stroll is an ideal way to unwind mentally and physically after the desk-bound hours and the endless calls, texts and emails.

“Sometimes good ideas emerge as I walk along and I tend not to take the phone with me, unless I fancy calling a friend or one of my sisters,” she says.

The study found that not only can ‘intentional time alone’ improve wellbeing, creativity and mental health, but that stress reduction can also potentially reduce the risk of developing conditions such as dementia.