Doing nothing is a great way to relax and enjoy life, while maintaining your mental health and decision-making abilities. It may not seem like it, but sometimes doing nothing is the best action to take.
The idea of doing nothing may seem like a radical approach, especially in today’s rise-and-grind culture — but truly doing nothing is important. With the infinite options in restaurants, hobbies, jobs, vacations, TV shows and more, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by choice. We are constantly making decisions and processing information, which in turn exhausts our brains. Now more than ever, we must remind ourselves to rest because it’s important for your brain to get downtime. This can help boost productivity, concentration, creativity, and overall health and happiness.
Benefits of Doing Nothing
While hustle culture insists that we must operate at full capacity at all times, research shows this isn’t the best way to live. Giving yourself a break to do nothing has several benefits which can help solve some of your typical day-to-day problems.
- Increased productivity: giving yourself downtime actually translates to greater productivity. Resting lets your body reset to avoid burnout. Taking breaks to do nothing increases concentration and creativity, which in turn makes you a more productive person in the long term.
- Decision-making is often made easier by doing nothing as well. Have you ever spent an extensive amount of time deliberating over a problem you were facing, only to have an aha moment when you were spaced out driving to the grocery store? This is an example of how giving your brain time to rest often reaps the best results. The absence of conscious thought is necessary to give your brain a break and come back to a topic later. Research shows that even when you are doing nothing, your brain is working subconsciously to contribute to your creative decision-making.
- Improved mental health is a massive benefit of doing nothing. Doing things like taking naps and being careful not to overwork yourself helps improve alertness, lower stress and anxiety levels, and decrease risk of depression. Giving yourself downtime also allows your brain to make memories.
- Most importantly, taking time for yourself allows you to live a happier, more fulfilling life. We all know it is exhaustingly difficult to fulfill the “work hard play hard” mantra. Not only is taking downtime actually better for you and your productivity, it’s also just more enjoyable.
How to Do Nothing
For some people, it is difficult to simply sit and do nothing. If you believe that your value comes from your work, it can be difficult to put a project to the side at the end of the day, or even to take a proper lunch break. Like anything else, doing nothing is a habit you must learn over time. You can do this by scheduling downtime and engaging in self-care.
While it’s important to spend time with loved ones, when we talk about doing nothing, we mean truly doing nothing. We recommend taking time for yourself without the any social interaction. Leave work on time and do what makes you happy! This might be taking a nature walk, putting on some cozy pajamas and watching TV, taking a bath, or curling up with some homemade hot cocoa. All that matters is that you take the time to check out. Don’t check emails or texts, and no peeking at your to-do list for the next day. Take the time to properly disengage with the world for a while, and your body will thank you.
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