Europe is pulling it out lately with their ideas to improve your life. Hygge was the popular Danish concept that encouraged staying in and being comfortable. Lagom was the Swedish way of approaching your whole life with the idea that “everything in moderation” is the best way to be happy.
And now this Dutch concept is trending, and it might be the best one yet. It’s called niksen, and it is all about living your best life by doing nothing.
We’ll be honest, there isn’t too much more to explain. Niksen is the act of doing absolutely nothing with any purpose.
This could be listening to music, going for a walk to nowhere, looking at your surroundings or simply just observing the people around you. As long as what you are doing has zero actual purpose, you are practicing niksen.
You probably practice niksen in small ways every day, like gazing out the window or watching the birds fly. Making time for niksen is what makes the difference.
How Is This Different From Mindfulness?
You’ve probably heard about mindfulness and all the benefits that being more mindful in your daily life can have, but niksen is actually a lot different.
Where niksen is all about doing absolutely nothing with purpose, mindfulness is more about being present, active, and aware at all times. A person who is very mindful lives completely ‘in the moment’ and is engaged in what is happening right there.
Someone who is practicing niksen is less about the moment and more about just being. Your mind can wander all sorts of places, your thoughts can go in any direction. There are no rules, as long as you avoid purpose or function.
How Niksen Can Change You
There are a lot of benefits to letting go of purpose and just letting yourself be for a while. It might be labeled as ‘lazy’ or ‘unproductive’ to some, but think about the way we all live our lives right now.
Stress is extreme, there is a lot of pressure on employees to deliver more for less, and burnout rates are through the roof for a number of professions. Instead of thinking of niksen as being a lazy, useless thing, think of it as a way to step back from your stress.
Slowing down your life and helping stop your stress can slow down the aging process, help fight your anxiety, and even boost your immune system. Stress plays a huge role in your life!
And it won’t just help you feel better. Letting your mind wander and allowing yourself the freedom to think without restrictions can help you solve a problem that you have been turning over in your mind or find creative solutions to issues in your life.
Allowing your mind to freely sort through the backlog of information you have been shoving into yourself could bring up new ideas or perspectives you might not have thought of otherwise. And this is all scientific, too!
How Can I Practice Niksen?
It’s easy – do nothing!
Okay, it’s not so easy.
If you’re a high-stress person who needs to always be doing something, start small. Give yourself a ten-minute window every day to people watch, wander aimlessly, or stare out into space and let your mind float around.
The better you get at it, the longer periods of time you can adjust to. Give yourself at least 30 minutes a day of relaxing niksen, and you’re going to find that your stress levels drop your productivity increases, and you may find solutions to major problems in your life you otherwise would never have thought of.