Niksen: The Art Of Doing Nothing



It sometimes seems that the world we live in today is engineered to stress us out. Through overcrowded cities to deadlines at work, we all experience stress to some degree and it has become inevitable in our daily lives.

Of course, you would like to think that being stuck in a 40-minute traffic jam wouldn’t stress you out.. but the reality is that even the little things can cause a response from us.

A goal to strive towards, however, is to learn how to respond better to these stressful events and find ways of managing stress effectively.

From exercise and entertainment to meditation and yoga, different cultures around the world approach managing stress uniquely, each with varying degrees of effectiveness.

Quiet Thunder is all about promoting physical and mental wellbeing, so in this blog, we will explore the Dutch wellness trend that is growing in popularity: Niksen.

What Is Niksen?

Niksen is the new form of mindfulness that everyone can easily do. To engage in the practice, all you have to do.. is nothing. It’s that simple.

This means doing something without a clear purpose or end goal. For example, sitting on the sofa for half an hour, listening to music or staring out of a window.

You may think that doing something without a purpose is utterly pointless and a waste of time, however, it’s been found that Niksen works wonders for people that are suffering from burnout.

Instead of constantly occupying your mind with the next objective, taking time to just do nothing can increase your creativity and productivity.

Stress and burnout coach, Carolien Hamming, often will tell clients that are worn-down to spend more time doing nothing aka Niksen.


Niksen Vs Mindfulness

You may be thinking that Niksen sounds an awful lot like mindfulness and you’d be partially correct. The difference between Niksen and mindfulness is that there is a lack of purpose with Niksen.

Constantly bringing your awareness back to the present moment can be somewhat challenging if you have an overactive mind.

The beauty of Niksen is that you can let your mind wander freely and not feel guilty for doing so. Having no goal, objective or purpose for just 10 minutes of your day can be extremely liberating and relaxing.

Slowing down a hectic life and mind is one of the keys to relieving stress and Niksen is the perfect way to achieve that.

This doesn’t mean you should spend your days doing nothing with no goals, it simply means in your day make some time for yourself where you recharge.

Why Is Niksen Important?

While many cultures are based around work and productivity, sometimes, it all just gets too much.

8 am, you take your kids to school, the next 8 hours are spent slogging away at work, after work, you are cooking tea for 5 and then afterwards trying your best to stay awake through a below-average film on Netflix.

These things are obviously all important in the grand scheme of things, but making 20 minutes just for you in your day where you do nothing, has been shown to replenish your energy and achieve a state of calmness.

So, what will your Niksen be? Sitting in the garden? Enjoying a cup of tea? People watching?

Whichever way you choose to do nothing, be sure to feel completely guilt-free and know that you’re one step closer to achieving peace.

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