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Niksen: Learn All About the Latest Relaxation Technique from The Netherlands

Americans lead a very hectic lifestyle. They are always busy and never seem to have time to take a break. Living like this can cause you to be the victim of constant stress and anguish, and there is nothing worse than feeling like you always have something to do.

To fight that feeling, the Dutch have created something that will set you free. Niksen is the practice to relax and take some time for you, in which you do not have to think about the expectations of others or the work you have to do.

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The literal translation of Niksen refers to idle, lounge about, or hang out. And when practiced deliberately, it becomes the understated art of doing nothing, which can be used as a stress reduction technique. When you overload your schedule with work, meal prep, carpooling, and social events, it does not leave any free time to just relax. Going against the productivity culture that surrounds us and taking a well-deserved break … sounds simple, doesn’t it?

Doing this happens to be incredibly beneficial for your mental health; this practice is a way to maintain yourself healthy and to be able to recover. People may thing that only physical rest is necessary, but having mental respite is also very important and useful. If you are too mentally exhausted you will see that it impacts your overall productivity. If you feel that you simply do not have time to “just do nothing”, you can do the “niksen” when bathing. There is always time for everything, so remember to include this moment and do it for your health.

In recent years, scientific reports have tried to figure out exactly what niksen does for humans on a neurological level. While researchers typically study brain activity while participants complete an activity, more and more studies just focus on the brain’s activity during this downtime. By checking the blood flow using fMRI during a relaxed state, scientists have encountered that even while on rest mode, a person’s brain is incredibly active. Disruptions in the usual patterns have been associated with different diseases such as Alzheimer, autism, and more.

Are you ready to try it for yourself? Then, remember to be fully committed, this means that you have to forget about your phone, avoid checking emails, stop zapping channels, and embrace the art of doing nothing. Just look out the window, meditate, listen to some music-but whatever you do, avoid to do anything in particular.

Currently, the Netherlands
is ranked as the sixth happiest country according to the 2017 World Happiness Report, so who knows, doing nothing may be the best thing you do for yourself today.


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