Solitude & Creativity

Published 15. September 2014.

I'm the type that enjoys being alone with my thoughts. Yet I still find it hard sometimes to be okay with choosing to do something alone instead of being social.

Yet there seems to be a powerful connection between time spent alone, with our own thoughts, and creativity.

Forest Bathing

An idea garnered from conversations with a friend. Both of us, from time to time, feel a pull towards a natural space—to relax, to think, to move away from the noise and distractions of daily life. But it's not so much about escaping all noise, I think, but rather about creating the space for our own noise; our inner voice or whatever you prefer to call it (intuition or otherwise).

By allowing for the time and space to mentally wander one seems to open the doors to greater creativity and discovering synergistic solutions to whatever is preoccupying your mind.

In my own case it's those times when I find a quiet space (usually in nature, if I can) or walk through the woods that I gain the greatest clarity or get those little creative insights—jotting them down in a notebook in hopes of finding a use for them later.

But, and maybe this is partly because of some stigma against intentional solitude, I find that I don't proactively create these quiet spaces. Instead they are sought once I can't not do so, because I need to de-stress to avoid feeling overwhelmed or uncertain.

Lately I have created that space more frequently and feel far better, on average, than I have in the past, despite plenty of stresses to worry about. Turns out there's a bunch of good research on the subject, so to end this (still) open-loop of thought I'll leave you with a couple of excellent articles to explore: