In today’s society being busy is almost glorified. Those who aren’t busy are oftentimes seen as lazy, not ambitious or successful enough. There is so much work, so many things to do, so many people to meet and we can’t forget to exercise, of course. Doing nothing is generally regarded as a waste of time.
Doing nothing vs. being busy
But in reality, doing nothing is at least as important as being busy because it’s extremely beneficial for our body, mind and soul – especially in hectic times like these.
Doing nothing doesn’t mean sitting on the couch and scrolling through Instagram and Facebook, however. It’s more about doing something that gives you mental space and the possibility of just letting go. Maybe even getting into a “flow state”, this state of mind that has you completely focused on one thing and makes you forget about everything around you. Maybe yoga or meditation is your way of doing nothing, cooking, going for a walk, drawing, laying in the grass, watching the clouds – find something you like and really take time in your day for those “do-nothing breaks”.
Learning to do nothing is easier said than done
Why? Because we are used to the fact that our mind is constantly working. And because always being busy is seen as the “normal” way of living. Also, it is much easier to let ourselves get distracted by social media, tv, social interaction or work instead of being alone with our thoughts.
In my opinion, however, the ability of consciously doing nothing is incredibly helpful in order to stay healthy in our overstimulated world. Here are four reasons why:
1. Doing nothing makes you more creative
Meeting after meeting, call after call our creative muscle gets weaker and weaker because we don’t really use it. But once we give our brain the possibility to calm down by doing nothing we create space again for inspiration and creativity.
2. Doing nothing makes you happy
Studies show that doing nothing and the relaxation that comes with it can make us happier. Why? A meditative state stimulates our brain’s hypophyses, which leads to the release of endorphins, our happiness hormones.
3. Doing nothing prevents stress
The relaxed state of mind that we get into once we consciously do nothing makes our stress levels drop, which can in turn decrease headaches, anxiety, high blood pressure, burnout and depression. Doing nothing can also help to improve already existing stress diseases.
4. Doing nothing makes you more productive
There is this prevailing belief in our society that more work and business lead to more productivity. If we put too much on our plate, however, our stress rises, we exhaust ourselves more easily and our work becomes less effective. Consciously creating breaks throughout the day in order to come back to ourselves can help us recharge, empty our heads and then go back to work and our tasks with a fresh and inspired state of mind.
What about you? Do you already take time to do nothing or are you still busy? From today on, why don’t you try to do nothing for only 10 minutes a day and see what happens.