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Solitude And Silence

And why you should practice it sometimes

By Gal MuxPublished 2 years ago 5 min read
Solitude And Silence
Photo by Toni Reed on Unsplash

Issac Newton was able to conceptualise gravity in solitude and silence. While seated under an apple tree alone one day when an apple fell, he pondered on it and figured out the concept of gravity.

Archimedes the ancient Greek scientist and mathematician is said to have discovered the method in which to determine the volume of irregularly shaped objects while alone in a bath.

Albert Einstein was a day dreamer. As a theoretical physicist, he was mostly lost in his own head in solitude and silence trying to conceptualise the theories he came up with such as special relativity.

Writers too require a lot of solitude and silence to come up with the master pieces that they produce.

JK Rowling shared that while writing Harry Potter she would go to a nearby cafe to sit on a table alone and write.

George R. R. Martin while attempting to finish The Winds of Winter a book in his A Game of Thrones series shared recently on his social media that he had isolated himself in a cabin in the woods writing.

A lot of memoirs have been written in prison and many ex-prisoners have shared that in addition to the rehabilitation they receive from prison, they used their times in prison in solitude and silence to self reflect.

A lot of creative people such as painters, artists and songwriters are more productive in solitude and silence. Michael Jackson shared that when his song Billie Jean came to him, he could hear the melody, the strings and all the other accompanying instruments. Solitude and silence must have been needed for him to hear it clearly and to transfer what he was hearing in his head to tape.

Monks and many religious people that have chosen to live pious lives spend a lot of their waking hours in solitude and silence praying and meditating.

Meditation an exercise that takes place in solitude and silence is said to be beneficial to the human mind.

Among other benefits, meditation helps in reducing stress, promoting emotional health, controlling anxiety, enhancing self-awareness, lengthening attention spans, it can help generate kindness, it may help in reducing age-related memory loss and may help in fighting addictions according to

Also, the concept of “thinking” where human beings have to ponder over thoughts in order to come up with solutions to the problems they may be facing is best effective in solitude and silence in my opinion.

By Sven Scheuermeier on Unsplash

It’s sad that solitude and silence are used as a form of punishment.

Kids are given a time out when they misbehave. Some are told to go sit in a corner, others are told to stand alone facing the wall, and some are ordered to go outside or to their rooms. All translate to moments of solitude and silence.

Have they ever been proven to be effective?

Do we socialise children to loathe solitude and silence by using it as a form of punishment? Can we find a way to make solitude and silence a positive thing even when a child is on the wrong?

I suggest that rather than ask a child to stay in solitude and silence as a way of punishing them, we should also ask them to think about what they have done and to come back with solutions or remedies. This way their time in solitude and silence will be turned into a positive moment of self-reflection and self-awareness as opposed to mere punishment.

Solitary confinement has for decades been the sternest form of punishment in many prisons all over the world. It is reserved for severe offences or for those that break prison rules. Even though this has received a lot of condemnation in recent times after studies have shown how damaging it can be to the mental health of prisoners.

Humans are social animals.

Our survival as humans is highly dependent on cooperation and sharing. Needing each other and spending time with each other is essential for the perpetuation of the human species.

Negative effects

Social ramifications have however brought about individualism in societies that have also brought about negative effects such as loneliness making solitude and silence not such a pleasant thing after all.

Loneliness can lead to feelings of abandonment and self-loathing. It can also lead to anxiety and depression.

The high paces of city life particularly for the younger people leave little room for proper interaction. This also leads to them having less time to socialise with the elderly in the society which can lead to feelings of loneliness among this demographic.

Nursing homes and homes for the elderly have been solutions that have come up to help navigate through this.

Some countries such as the Netherlands have programs where young people and students share houses with the elderly in a symbiotic relationship. The elderly get to have company, and the youngsters get affordable housing in return. This model should be emulated in other parts of the world.

Technology can also help with loneliness. With the various online chat forums, you can always find someone to talk to in real-time from any part of the world on the internet. Technology also helps people to communicate with others that may be far away and in various formats such as chats, videos or voice calls, and this can help ease the feelings of loneliness.

There is a big difference between “being alone” and “being lonely” though. Some people are surrounded by thousands and they still feel lonely, while others spend a lot of their time alone and they still end up feeling fulfilled.

As a person who spends a lot of my free time alone, I always remind myself whenever I tend to feel lonely or alone —

You are never alone when you have you

I might even turn it into an art piece and hang it on my wall as a constant reminder.

Leaning into solitude and silence helps me avoid unnecessary drama and unnecessary interactions that may not be fruitful. It also helps me build inner strength by learning to lean inwards. In addition, it helps me to listen to and to trust myself.

Too much of solitude and silence may be unhealthy though. A healthy balance is needed for one to lead a fulfilling life.

In addition to reaching out to someone who can help when you fall into some trouble when you feel angry, sad, discontented or confused, look inside yourself. Some answers are found in solitude and silence.

self help

About the Creator

Gal Mux

Lover of all things reading & writing, 🥭 &

🍍salsas, 🍓 & vanilla ice cream, MJ & Beyoncé.

Nothing you learn is ever wasted - Berry Gordy

So learn everything you can.

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