Niksen Is the Dutch Lifestyle Concept of Doing Nothing—And You’re About to See It Everywhere

by Lionel Casey

First, there has been hygge, the Danish idea that made staying in and getting relaxed cool. Then there has been lagom, the Swedish mindset of approaching existence with a “the whole thing moderately” attitude. Now there’s every other Northern European fashion that’s being embraced as a way to fight our an increasing number of busy and often disturbing lives: Eriksen. The Dutch concept is as easy as, nicely, doing not anything.’

Niksen “actually way to do not anything, to be idle or doing something without any use,” says Carolyn Hamming, managing director of CSR Centrum, an education middle within the Netherlands that allows customers manipulate pressure and get over burnout. Practising Eriksen may be as simple as merely placing round, searching at your environment or being attentive to tune — “as lengthy because it’s without motive,” she says, and now not done that allows you to achieve something or be efficient.

Think “honestly sitting in a chair or searching out of the window,” says Ruut Veenhoven, a sociologist and professor at Erasmus University Rotterdam inside the Netherlands who research happiness. Whereas mindfulness is about being present in the second, Eriksen is more excellent about carving out time to be, even letting your mind wander instead of focusing at the info of a movement.

“We need to have moments of relaxation, and relaxation may be blended with a clean, semi-computerised hobby, inclusive of knitting,” Veenhoven says. “One element of the ‘artwork of living’ is to discover what approaches of enjoyable fit your needs first-rate.” There’s now not always a one-size-suits-all technique; instead, you’ll find which behaviours are best for you although trial and errors, he provides.
What are the potential benefits of niksen?

In the Netherlands, Eriksen has historically been disregarded as laziness or as the alternative of being efficient, Hamming says. But as pressure tiers climb in the U.S. And globally and their crushing health effects, like burnout, are getting more significant reputation from the medical network, doing not anything is more and more being framed as an advantageous, strain-combating tactic.

“Everyone is looking for some manner again to ease and connection,” says Eve Ekman, director of education at the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley, who calls the countrywide stages of pressure among adults and teens inside the U.S. “daunting.”

But Ekman, who studies pressure and burnout, says the research is influential about the blessings of slowing down, from emotional perks — like lowering tension — to physical blessings — like curtailing the ageing technique and strengthening the body’s ability to fight off a common cold. These potential health consequences might be sufficient to inspire even the tensest and overburdened among us to bear in mind carving out time to practice Eriksen.

Another advantage of Eriksen is that it may help humans come up with new thoughts, in line with Veenhoven, who’s also the director of the World Database of Happiness, an archive of studies related to life leisure. “Even while we ‘niks,’” or do nothing, “our mind continues to be processing records and can use them to be had processing strength to remedy pending problems,” he says, which in flip can enhance one’s creativity. This ought to manifest in having a leap forward solution to a hassle on a stroll or a top-notch enterprise idea display itself while daydreaming.

Research also supports the idea that doing easy responsibilities that permit your mind to wander can foster innovative trouble fixing, even improving your potential to paintings through a hassle you might have been stuck on in advance. A 2013 study published in Frontiers in Psychology, on the pros and cons of wandering thoughts, showed that this process could help a character get inspired approximately achieving his or her dreams and gain readability about the actions to take to meet those goals in the destiny.
How do people exercise niksen?

For many, doing nothing isn’t as easy as it sounds. In reality, it can be challenging to sit still and stare out a window, for example. Hamming says it can even sense “quite creepy” at the start, while people are used to doing something at all times. She encourages her clients to push through the pain, taking a couple of minutes each day to exercise Eriksen (she recommends the usage of this aid for accountability) and to work as much as longer stretches,

 

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