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The world is always-on; we want to accomplish as much possible in less time. It’s great to be productive but doing nothing, at times, could do wonders. - By Nikita Arya
When was the last time you spent your time in idleness: no phone, no social media, not stressing about fast-approaching work deadlines or the next meal to cook for kids? Unable to recall, isn’t it? In a fast-paced lifestyle, just a thought of switching the world off for a while could never really cross our mind. That’s because it’s already crammed with too much of worries and stress. A crammed mind doesn’t have much room for anymore thinking. So, it’s perhaps difficult to use the fullest potential of your mind while it wanders directionless. Here comes the importance of nothingness — the art of doing nothing.
Why do we keep saying that it’s ‘an art’ to be doing nothing? From where you see it, it might look like just a way of killing the precious time of your tight schedule. But from where we see it, doing nothing is a mindfulness practice that adds value to your time. It’s funny how doing nothing is often considered a mindless act and is always associated with wastage of time. But if done with a little awareness and purpose, it could actually be more counterproductive than keeping busy yet achieving nothing. Our fast paced lifestyle demands from us to be right on the toes while doing nothing allows us exactly the opposite - being present in the moment.
For Italians, this kind of idleness is a way of life; they call it Dolce far niante. It’s an expression that has a deeper significance in their lives than just sitting idle. Dolce far niante literally means pleasant idleness. It’s a concept that embraces nothingness and captures the essence of doing nothing. It allows you to realize how nothingness could be a pleasant experience of enjoying time with your imagination taking over. It may look like idleness but it’s actually taking a break from the rat race, decluttering the mind, unwinding and putting your personal and professional lives at bay, and allowing you to be with yourself in the moment.
Being on the edge of your seats has become such a symbol of hyper productivity nowadays that the notion of doing nothing seems quite unproductive and inefficient. There is an urge to fill in even a teensy bit of time that left unfilled during the day. If we do nothing in that unfilled time, we feel guilty for not pushing ourselves enough to fill it with something productive. The art of doing nothing allows us to look beyond the parameters of what’s productive and what’s not. It helps us realize how doing trivial things like breathing, meditating, bathing, listening, waiting, laying down in bed while watching the ceiling, or watching sunsets and sunrises over the horizon, could make you feel good, and most importantly, alive.
Nothingness is perhaps the only art everybody can master in. However, it could be a little hard for you, initially, to shed away the social conditioning you’ve been accustomed to up till now. But once you do it for a few times, you would love how enjoying nothingness declutters your mind and make room for creative thoughts to come by. Here are some easy ways to relish nothingness and become the master of the art:
1. Switch Off the Digital World: There is no place for any kind of digital interference while enjoying nothingness. You already give a whole lot of time to digital devices throughout the day, and now you would not want it to slide into your ‘me time’. Snooze off all your digital devices for sometime and just sit alone for some time. Don’t let the bothers of digital world come into your mind. This will allow you torecharge yourself with new and fresh thoughts.
2. Focus on Trivialities: While running to chase big things in life, we often overlook the trivial things that surround us and make us who we are. But sometimes, these trivialities remind us the simplicity of life. Focus on trivial things like breathing, listening, bathing, waiting, and moving. Feel the wind in your hair, hear the sound of water flowing, observe the flight of a bird or just simply be.
3. Allow Your Mind to Form Imagination: When your mind is constantly running, how would it divulge into fantasies? Doing nothing gives you a moment to allow yourself a moment of dive in the world of fantasy. It’s a world where you don’t really have to make sense, unlike in this world.
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