In a world characterized by constant hustle and bustling schedules, the idea of doing nothing might seem counterintuitive. Yet, there is a growing trend that advocates for the beauty of relaxation and idleness — it is called “Niksen.” Niksen, a Dutch concept that translates to “doing nothing” or “idleness,” is a mindful practice that can contribute positively to mental well-being. It is especially useful as we live in a world that constantly craves for our attention almost every instant.

What is Niksen?

Niksen is not about being lazy or unproductive; rather, it is about intentionally setting aside moments of time to simply be present without any specific purpose. It involves allowing your mind to wander, observing your surroundings, or just sitting quietly without any distractions. Unlike meditation, which often has a specific focus or technique, Niksen does not require any particular technique or goal.
It’s about letting go of the pressure to constantly achieve and embracing the value of restful inactivity.

The Benefits of Niksen

Reduced Stress: In a fast-paced world, taking moments to embrace Niksen can help alleviate stress and detox your mind. Our lives are perhaps now hardwired to stress and activity as our daily responsibilities increase.
Allowing our mind to unwind and detach from the demands of daily life can bring it back into balance. This would then promote relaxation and tranquility.

Enhanced Creativity: Many creative breakthroughs occur when the mind is allowed to wander freely. Niksen creates the mental space for new ideas and insights to emerge.

Improved Mental Clarity: Regularly practicing Niksen can help clear mental clutter, enabling you to approach challenges with a refreshed perspective.

Restored Energy: Giving yourself permission to do nothing can lead to increased energy levels. Just as physical rest is essential for recovery, mental rest is vital for mental rejuvenation.



Steps to Incorporate Niksen Into Your Life

1. Unplug: Step away from screens, devices, and notifications. Allow yourself to be free from the constant stream of information.

2. Designate Niksen Time: Set aside specific times for Niksen, whether it is a few minutes in the morning, a quiet moment during lunch, or a longer period before bed.

3. Find a Comfortable Space: Create a peaceful environment where you can sit or lie down comfortably without distractions. It could be sitting on your usual couch in front of the television – but without the television turned on. If you prefer the outdoors, you could find a comfortable or familiar spot in a park.

4. Engage Your Senses: Pay attention to your surroundings. Notice the sounds, smells, and textures around you. Engaging your senses can enhance the experience of Niksen.

5. Release Guilt: Let go of any guilt associated with taking time for yourself. Remember that self-care is essential for overall well-being.

Niksen challenges the notion that constant productivity is the key to a fulfilling life. By embracing periods of purposeful inactivity, you can nurture your mental health, creativity, and overall happiness. In a world that often glorifies busyness, Niksen reminds us that moments of quietude and contemplation are equally valuable. So take a deep breath, and give yourself permission to just be.