Life is hectic – there’s no doubt about it! You’re trying to maximise your time, juggle numerous tasks and please as many people as possible.
So here’s a new concept to help you reduce daily stress: niksen.
This Dutch word refers to the practice of literally doing nothing. No special equipment needed!
Feel like you can’t afford to loll about doing nothing? This may be just what you need. Once you feel calmer, the busyness won’t seem so overwhelming.
Professor Ruut Veenhoven, Emeritus professor of social conditions for human happiness at the University Rotterdam states that practising niksen can reduce stress, and increase creativity and productivity.
Think “simply sitting in a chair or looking out of the window,” says Veenhoven. Whereas mindfulness is about being present in the moment, niksen is more about carving out time to just be, even letting your mind wander rather than focusing on the details of an action.
“We should have moments of relaxation, and relaxation can be combined with easy, semi-automatic activity, such as knitting,” Veenhoven says. “One aspect of the ‘art of living’ is to find out what ways of relaxing fit you best.” There’s not necessarily a one-size-fits-all approach; rather, you’ll discover which behaviors are most effective for you though trial and error.1https://time.com/5622094/what-is-niksen/
Try it for just 10-15 minutes each day and notice the calmness it brings. Over time, it will naturally become part of your being.
Reducing stress boosts the health of your gut and your brain – for an in-depth look at the connection between your gut and your mental health, read this article by Shann Jones and Dr Miguel.
For more information on diet and lifestyle changes you can make to improve your gut health and increase mental resilience: start with our Gut-Brain Health Smoothie!