“WITH INCREASING ACCESS to travel, including solo travel, as well as constant connectivity, thanks to communication technology, it’s more important than ever to unplug and reconnect with the self every now and then, without the relentless noise of the social world,” social psychologist Eric Julian Manalastas, said.
Manalastas is a faculty member at the Department of Psychology at the University of the Philippines-Diliman. He conducted a session entitled “Oras Para sa Sarili, Oras Mag-isa: The Psychology of Solitude and Time Spent Alone” last Jan.24 at Science Complex (SC) 110.
According to Manalastas, the benefits of solitude involve freedom, creativity, intimacy, and spirituality.
Manalastas said that his research focuses on the benefits of solitude, what it is like to go on a date with the self, and those who enjoy some quiet alone time.
His research suggested that people who enjoy solitude are also emotionally stable, introverted, and original thinkers or imaginative.
Manalastas also shared how his research topic came about.
“As we say in psychology, research is often me-search. In my 20s, I was surprised to discover that not everyone enjoyed solitude as much as I did,” he said.
Manalastas added that when he got the chance to teach a Theories of Personality class, he and his students discussed solitude and its psychological benefits.
“Teaching about it led to research about it, as it sometimes does for nerdy academics like me,” Manalastas said.
Manalastas also has research interest on sexuality and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Queer Psychology.