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Quick Tip: 'Niksen' Or Do Nothing And Be Ok With It

For my today's quick tip I chose a concept known to a Dutch-speaking world as Niksen. Which, apparently, once translated into English means literally 'doing nothing'.

I love using words that are foreign or made-up and mean nothing to other people. It's like being a child once again and using an invented language so your parents won't understand. Have you ever tried it? I spent half of my childhood annoying everyone by using words I've created myself. So not a massive surprise that I went after a degree in philology, which involves studying words that no one's used for eons.

So back to Niksen. Niksen is an act of doing completely nothing and being ok with in. It should aid you with boosting your creativity as by allowing our mind to be idle we switch on certain processes that that free up certain reserves. It is similar to daydreaming, and I wrote about it here.

“Dare to be idle. It is all about allowing life to run its course, and to free us from obligations for just a moment.” - Carolien Hamming

I've come across this word while listening to Self Care Club podcast. The presenters were reading out extracts from scientific journals, discussing what they think about the concept and trying it out in their day-to-day routine.

It's not an entirely new concept to me. I practice doing nothing as much as I can. And mind you, it's not about being completely and constantly idle. It's about consciously allowing your brain not to do anything.

Think about going for a walk as an example. You might listen to a podcast or your favourite book. Which are entirely amazing ways to spend free time. But those activities demand certain brain power - as in our brain is still active. That means we don't give it an opportunity to simply be and wonder along the pathways of it's own neurons and neurotransmitters. But if you go for a walk and enjoy the silence (or the noises of the surrounding landscape) you will give your brain an opportunity to run free and recharge.

Compare this with putting your TV on as a background noise when you are alone or when you are doing household chores. Yet again, your brain is not resting, it's trying to multitask by engaging with a task at hand and trying to catch the essence of whatever drama is unfolding on the TV.

And now remember those times when you'd switch everything off and clean your house doing nothing in parallel. Do you remember that 'aha' moment when you manage to find a solution to a problem that's been bugging you? This phenomenon - an insight - is similar to experiences most of us have in a shower - when we allow our brain to do nothing, it comes up with ideas on its own.

So next time you are about to press play on your TV set or radio - pause - and decide to do nothing brainy. And see if you come up with interesting ideas and if your brain will feel more refreshed and rejuvenated at the end.

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