“The mind is sharper and keener in seclusion and uninterrupted solitude. Originality thrives in seclusion free of outside influences beating upon us to cripple the creative mind. Be alone – that is the secret of invention: be alone, that is when ideas are born.”

– Nikola Tesla

Solitude vs Loneliness

Most of us have an unmet need to spend some time alone, but we simply fail to set sufficient time aside that we can dedicate to ourselves. Solitude is a vital part of nurturing good mental health. Finding solitude is not the same as feeling lonely – which can be a detriment to your mental wellbeing.

Many of us lead such busy lives these days that we need to take time out; from work, family, friends and the world in general. We need solitude to sort out our thoughts, rearrange our daily tasks, relax and to simply do whatever we truly enjoy. It is this latter objective that helps to nurture our emotional wellbeing.

People often complain they can’t find enough time for themselves. It often goes unnoticed, but when you don’t make time for yourself, you can become disconnected from who you truly are. It is the subtle nature of the psyche to focus on whatever you turn your attention to.

Life becomes a distraction from yourself. So people with exceptionally busy lifestyles that have no time for themselves never really get to know who they really are. The psychoanalyst Carl Jung speculated this disconnection lies at the root of neuroses.

Quality alone time is important for our mental health. If you enjoy walking, solo walking is a way to have that precious time alone and to (re)connect with your inner being.

It is desirable for every person to be isolated from time to time in order to focus on understanding himself and his own needs and desires. Solitude is then a source of pleasant feelings. The precious time we enjoy providing ourselves with what we need. 

Covid-19 And Walking

There was a rise in people that started taking walks alone during the pandemic because they needed alone time. Couped up in the house all day with your family can begin to take its toll no matter how close and loving you are with one another.

If you still work from home, in an office surrounded by people or you’re constantly engaged with family members, venturing out for a few hours of walking can relieve stress, soothe anxiety and recharge your batteries.

Doctors advise people overcoming COVID-19 to exercise at a moderate intensity in order to strengthen and return to normal life activities in a timely manner.

Healing Effect Of Nature

Walking in nature allows you to alleviate depression and restore self-confidence. Direct contact with the sounds of nature, its colours, beauty, and fragrances have a healing effect. Observing different textures and various colours like fallen leaves is relaxation for the eyes and mind.

Research confirms the benefits of simply walking and listening to nature. One study has found that those who listened to forest sounds – such as leaking streams, birdsong, or crunching leaves – reported a 30% increase in relaxation, and 40% of participants said they felt happier because of the sound.

So, the next time you go for a walk, try to leave the headphones at home and just listen to the sounds of nature. It will help you to become a better observer of your life as well.

Body-Mind Connection

The mind is connected to the body. Movement (walking) and sports release transmitters in our brain that make us feel good. They improve our sleep and help reduce stress and anxiety, encourage better memory and perception – and thus increase the chances of experiencing positive events in everyday life.

Exercise has been shown to play a role in the prevention and treatment of mild to moderate depression and anxiety. When you feel depressed, a little physical activity can help a lot, even though you have the least willpower to do so.