The Importance of Doing Nothing

Four-thirty mornings, full time job, grad assistant and student. Then there’s doing work around the house, exercising, and trying to maintain a social life. Ay-yi-yi! It seems like every hour of the day I’m doing something—except rest.

So today, I took the pleasure of doing absolutely nothing other than writing this blog post. My day consisted of waking up at 11 in the morning, eating breakfast and watching Zootopia (twice) with my mom and sister. I must say it feels good to not worry about what needs to get done and giving my brain and body a break. In today’s society, “doing nothing” is viewed as counterproductive and lazy, but it’s much more beneficial than we think:

  • It can boost creativity. Earlier today, my sister was telling me that she feels more creative when she’s bored doing nothing. Ironically, studies have shown that when people are bored they find interesting ways to stop their boredom—hence, allowing those creative juices to flow.
  • It allows you to face thoughts and feelings you’re avoiding. When you’re always busy, it can be used as a defense mechanism from confronting thoughts and feelings that bring and can keep us down.
  • Our brains can relax. The brain is dependent on downtime, so it can recharge, process data we take in, support our memory and learning. However, by the expectation of “doing more,” our brain is denied this need.
  • Strengthens our nervous system. Constantly doing something adds stress on our nervous system. As the nervous system continues to be over exerted and pushed to fatigue it can lead to health problems. For optimal health and healing, we need to give our nervous system time to recover and restore its energy.

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Taking time out to do nothing can be a challenging thing to do at first (that applies to me too), but it’s definitely one of the best things to do for your mind, body and soul. So, I encourage you to carve out some “do nothing” time and do just that, nothing.

 

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