While there's growing evidence that working from home can reduce stress and increase productivity
, there's reason to believe that spending too much time alone is a recipe for anxiety. Psychiatrist Edward Hallowell, M.D., leading authority on ADHD and author of CrazyBusy
, says that face time with another person can have a grounding and calming effect, and you should do it every four to six hours. A study done at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine (and reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
) suggests that a change in brain hormones due to social isolation was responsible for aggression and anxiety in mice
. "Research is beginning to show what has been a largely unrecognized importance of human connection," says Hallowell.
How to do it:
Commit to regular daily doses of human moments, says Hallowell. Whether that's coffee with a friend or a hair appointment—interact with a real person in the flesh, not on your phone.
Try it when:
You don't remember when you last spoke a word out loud to another person.