Find out why you need to start doing nothing


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Between holding a job, family commitments, and social obligations, our lives are jam-packed, with social media, round-the-clock news coverage, email, and hobbies consuming every ounce of free time. It’s difficult to find any spare time that isn’t scheduled for optimum production, but it turns out that doing nothing has considerable benefits.

Doing nothing is healthy – at least every now and then! In Germany, the trend of doing nothing is called “Niksen” and comes from the Netherlands. Find out what the benefity of Niksen are and how you can integrate it sensibly into your everyday life.

What is Niksen?

Out with Danish “Hygge” (focus on cosiness) and the Swedish “Lagom” (focus on balance)! Niksen is the name of the new trend and it comes from the Netherlands and translates as “the art of doing nothing”. While you consciously turn off the brain, the subconscious takes control.

But it’s not that easy to just do nothing. Because even in their free time, many people feel the need to pursue meaningful activities. Whether it’s sports, meeting friends, cleaning the apartment or going to the hardware store – the supposed free time quickly becomes an endless to-do list.


Why is doing nothing important and healthy?

Taking a break from any activity is important to regain strength. Niksen doesn’t mean staring holes in the wall, just doing something for no purpose. Everyone has to decide for themselves whether it’s a day on the sun lounger or a series marathon.

The effect on the subconscious is the same: Conscious breaks allow you to perceive things that get lost in everyday stress – and provide many a flash of inspiration.

Anyone who nods now and then has more energy, is more balanced and sleeps better. Those who feel mentally exhausted cannot be productive. Regular breaks ensure that body and mind can recharge their batteries. This prevents burnout and helps the brain to stay fit.

If you clear out your appointment calendar regularly, you don’t waste time and energy on unimportant things. In the long run, this helps you to recognize which things are really important to you.

1. Doing nothing encourages creativity

Even with the Niksen, our brain still processes information. The resources freed up by the Niksen can lead to the solution of existing problems. It can also promote the creativity of the individual. This can For example, it can be seen in the finding of a groundbreaking solution to a problem while walking or a great business idea being revealed in daydreams. “

That means: through Niksen we solve blockages in the head and create free spaces that can move us forward. Be it professionally or privately.

2. Doing nothing lowers the stress level

Niksen can have positive effects on health. We can go down again, free ourselves from emotional lows and overcome fears. But we can also physically benefit from it: for example, to slow down the aging process or to regenerate physical abilities to fight colds.

Five tips for successful doing nothing in everyday life

1. Marker test: what is really important?

Don’t have time to do nothing? This is the most common argument against the Niksen. Take your diary to hand and plan your week ahead.

  1. Write down everything you plan to do during the week, both professionally and personally.
  2. Which of these can you move, delegate or simply leave out? Now cross that out with a thick black marker! Only the most important activities and tasks are allowed to stop – and that includes a daily break from the Niksen.

2. The Pomodoro Technique

To stay focused and productive on large projects, it’s important to always have a break in sight.

  1. First, identify the task that needs to be done.
  2. Set your minute minder to 25 minutes.
  3. Work with concentration and without interruption until the clock rings.
  4. Take a five minute break! Do what you want – as long as it doesn’t involve work.
  5. After four pomodori there should be a longer break.

3. Just listen to music

Are you having a hard time doing nothing? Then music could help you. Make yourself comfortable on the couch – and consciously listen to your favorite playlist.

If necessary, close your eyes, breathe very consciously and concentrate only on the music. And already the thoughts take their course …

4. Observe consciously: raindrops, people …

When was the last time you watched the drops running down the window on a rainy day? An exercise that can be done at home, on the bus or at work. Just watch the drops and let the time go by.

Alternatively, you can also watch people. What do you like about the hurrying passers-by, what stories are hidden behind their faces? Make up the stories for this!

5. “No” to social stress

The weekend has barely come when the social stress starts. Is that all too much for you? Then say “no”! Or you can at least persuade a good friend to nick with you.

If you want to be on the safe side, you can put your mobile phone in flight mode for individual periods of time. Then you will definitely not be disturbed.

How do you practice Niksen?

The great thing about the Niksen is that it doesn’t need any tools. There are countless places in our environment that are suitable for Niksen. In the beginning it can even be a challenge for us not to do anything consciously. These initial difficulties must be overcome in order to fully benefit from the positive effects of Niksen.

Niksen in nature

Many people are familiar with the natural experience of relaxing – and yet younger people in particular are taking less and less time for it. Strolling outdoors is great for Niksen. Especially when it doesn’t have a clear goal.

Niksen in your own four walls

Here you can be “yourself” and cut yourself off from all potential distractions. Turn off your TV, turn off your smartphone. Music is even allowed, but only if it doesn’t demand too much of your attention but calms you down. Do you have a nice view? Then sit down by the window and just look. Or lie down on your sofa and look at the ceiling. It is only important that you let your thoughts run free.

Niksen in the hammock

Relaxation is not only a fundamental element of the Niksen, it is also inextricably linked to the hammock. So it’s no surprise that hammocks and hanging chairs are ideal for Niksen. The gentle vibrations support you to free yourself from everything and just to be.

Michelle Halterman
Michelle Halterman
USA, China, South Africa and now Munich - Michelle has come a long way in the world. She is an outdoor person and loves to be in nature with friends and on her mountain bike. Or she meets up with friends for pasta, vino, cappaccino & Co.


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