Why Doing Nothing is one of the Best Things You Can Do
In a world filled with stressors and to-do lists, it is difficult finding time to just do absolutely nothing. When was the last time you did nothing?
By nothing, I mean absolutely nothing — no meditation, no scrolling social media, no reading books or articles, no listening to podcasts, no watching movies, TV, or YouTube videos, no cell phone, , etc…
Stop your current rat race, doing x,y,z . Then just seat or lie down and look around like babies do. No thinking, no focusing. Just contemplate the surrounding and become a mirror with the feeling of having a pause
Even when we’re not working, many of us feel obliged to do something productive: going to the gym, running errands, going to a yoga class, or taking care of bills and other duties. We feel obliged to produce out of every nanosecond from our daily lives, feeling how important we are.
And if we’re not busy running around like a hamster in its wheel, we feel stuck with guilt of being lazy, useless and selfish. It’s sad.
Our Western equates busyness with being important, smart, useful and indispensable.
Without talking on the phone, texting, checking emails, or consuming books, podcasts, or articles, signals to the world that you are not important.
But buying into these myths can eat away at our sense of self and our overall quality of life.
And it certainly can destroy our health, both mental and physical.
It’s not surprising that rates of depression, anxiety, and stress are increasing, as the addiction to doingness in life seems to have no counterbalance,
Science shows the value of spending time in silence, in nature, and in not engaging in constant external stimulation. We need time doing ‘nothing’ to be our best selves and creative human beings.
The ‘doingness’ side of our nature needs a ‘doing less’ side to be in balance.
One of the reasons meditation in all forms, including mindfulness, has become so hot is because we are so stressed out and are under so much pressure. So if you’re someone overwhelmed with doing things non-stop, the last thing you need is to add “doing nothing” to your to-do list, thereby piling on more pressure. When you’re forcing yourself to do nothing, what I like to call ‘forced resting’, you put pressure on it and you miss the whole point.
Example: if I’m trying to get myself to fall asleep, it’s much harder to fall asleep. It’s the same thing if you force yourself in doing nothing.
Don’t try too hard at doing nothing because it is very difficult for our ego to accept. So go easy on yourself
That it’s not wrong to turn off your to-do list for a day, or even 2. You’re not a horrible person if you do it, even if it means putting all your obligations on hold whatever they areas long as they’re not urgent matters. If you cool down for a bit, the whole world won’t come crumbling down.
Remember this : we always have things we could be doing so and if you wait to turn-off your to-do list, you’ll never find a moment to do nothing.
People feel guilty of doing nothing or not being productive, they might think it’s selfish, but taking care of ourselves gives us the capacity to take care of other people.
To summarize here is recent discovery from neuro imaging:
It has been shown that when the brain is not focusing on something it switches to Default Neuronal Network (DNN)
All areas are active but in slow mode using less energy. It looks like, in some way, the brain is “rebooting” itself when there is no specific task to do.
Doing nothing is simply click on pause for 1 or 2 min., stay still, be in the moment and contemplate.