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Finally, time to Niksen: How Dutch wellness teaches us to do nothing

Time to Niksen: How Dutch wellness teaches us to do nothing

When do you actually do nothing? Almost never. That's why it's time to celebrate doing nothing. Just sit down and just do that: Niksen.

Niksen is the Dutch concept of absolute deceleration. And it is becoming more and more popular. The idea: do nothing at all and enjoy pure relaxation. That sounds as fantastic as it is simple. So, what's the story behind the new Dutch wellness trend?

Happiness formula made in Scandinavia

The Scandinavians have perfected the art of slowing down. First there was hygge: the Danish trend celebrated staying at home and coziness. Cuddling was suddenly cool. In general, our Nordic neighbors do most things in moderation. The Swedes even have their own word for it: lagom.

Loosely translated, it means "just right" and represents the Swedish philosophy of keeping everything in life in balance. No wonder the Danes and Swedes are among the happiest people in the world. But the Dutch go even further when it comes to achieving a happiness balance.

The Dutch simply do nothing for a change and call it "Niksen." Doing nothing without a specific purpose. Scientists have found that the body recovers best when you do absolutely nothing.

You don't need a reason, a plan or a goal. What at first seems like sitting around and daydreaming for no reason at all, gives a lot of new energy. For example, it helps particularly well with burnout to completely rediscover the feeling of happiness.

How does Niksen work?

Doing nothing can be incredibly exhausting. Because we are not used to doing absolutely nothing. Isn't it almost a bit absurd that you need guidance to do nothing? Niksen, by the way, is not about sharpening mindfulness. Rather, the idea is to be consciously mindless.

Most people forget to enjoy doing nothing in their hectic everyday lives. Because, let's be real, you're always doing something: reading, Netflixing, spinning, or planning your next vacation. All of this pursues a goal, which calls for concrete actions: finishing the book, getting through the series binge, breaking a sweat or booking a ticket. Not to mention the normal madness of everyday life with a job, family and social life.

Doing nothing without a guilty conscience

But Niksen really means leaving everything behind and enjoying your own personal “airplane mode” without a guilty conscience: Really doing nothing at all. At best, you sit on your armchair and look out of the window without a plan. Your thoughts wander, you concentrate on nothing until you suddenly realize that you haven't thought of anything.

You don't actively sneeze, it just happens - while you're lying in the grass and looking up at the sky or calmly watching the boats drifting on the rocking water by the river. By the way, the Dutch don't Niksen all day long. Niksen works best in small doses.

With this Dutch happiness formula, you’ll refuel your body and mind. This helps to face the daily grind in a more relaxed way. After a round of Niksen, it's much easier to concentrate, make decisions or get creative.

So, there's nothing wrong with sitting right here and now, staring in front of you and putting your thoughts on the back burner. More Niksen is good for all of us.