The Benefits of Doing Nothing

Have you ever noticed that when the great ideas come or when you decide to change something in your life, it’s during a period of stillness or while you’re sick in bed, doing nothing, or on vacation, not working? This is when you notice things about you and your life. This is when creation and change begins. When your brain is fully engaged it’s impossible to be creative. So, why are we so hard on ourselves when we’re doing “nothing”?

Doing Nothing in Nature (what's better than that?)

We live in a world that prizes productivity. Being busy is a badge of honor, telling people we don’t have any time for ourselves is a point of pride. We work, work, work. This is sometimes necessary in life, but it’s not something that benefits us in the long-term. We benefit, spirtually, emotionally, and physically from doing nothing. And doing nothing doesn’t mean watching TV and zoning out -that’s still doing something. Ironically, doing nothing is everything. It’s that time when you really allow yourself to zone out and zero in on what’s going on with you, what needs to change, what you want to create in your life.

We’ve all heard the stories of successful entrepreneurs starting companies that went on to soar only after they were fired from their jobs. Being employed and actively working to remain employed uses up most of a person’s energy. Who has the time to think about pursuing their heart’s desire when they’re desperately holding on to their current gig? These people say the best thing that ever happened to them was getting fired. It freed them up to make their dreams come true. It’s a basic truth – to create you need a lot of space and time of doing nothing.

If you feel guilty about doing nothing, get over it, and know this, you’ll be more productive (our happy word in this modern world!) and more creative in the long term, and your body will thank you too. And if you feel bored doing nothing, that’s great, it means it’s working, and it means you’re on the cusp of something big, a discovery, a new idea, some sort of enlightenment, so keep at it, hold on and keep doing nothing.

But what is doing nothing if it’s not zoning out in front of the TV or reading a book in bed? Well, the easiest way to do nothing is to meditate.
Nothing means doing nothing. It means having no agenda, nothing to accomplish, no expectations, no goals; it means having nothing that engages your mind and distracts you. Allow your mind to wander, to be free, and relax your body. Your spirit will thank you. You’ll discover you. And YOU are where the magic happens.

Remember in yoga the most important pose is savasana (corpse pose), a pose of total relaxation. This is often the most challenging pose for yogis, especially in America, where we Type A busy bees always want to be moving. But the benefits of savasana and of doing nothing are multiple. Consider this:

Benefits of Savasana

  • Calms the brain and helps relieve stress and mild depression
  • Relaxes the body
  • Reduces headache, fatigue, and insomnia
  • Helps to lower blood pressure
Doing nothing allows you to change and change is the beginning of all good things, including success!

Visualize this hammock on an island when you want a happy place to do nothing

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About the Author: Tania Van Pelt is the creator of Happiness Series. She is a writer and content creator, working in film, tv, and online. She wrote the popular lifestyle book "Ageless Diet," published in late 2015. And she is currently working on her next book. She also developed a sitcom pilot set in the restaurant business called "Employees Only TV" and is developing another web series comedy about Denver.