Managing Stress: The True Meaning Of Doing Nothing

Stress is by far the most out of control global epidemic of our time. The way the world is going, and the nature of modern technology, keep driving people to the edge, which is why stress burnout is affecting increasing numbers of people of all ages.

One of the prime causers of stress is the incessant demand to deliver tangible outcomes to inflexible dead-lines. You are likely intimately aware of this from your personal experience.

A standout approach to managing stress and recover from burnout is the Dutch way of ‘niksen’ –  ‘doing nothing’. Such as spending time in nature with no intention or projection to be or do anything, letting ones mind wander to wherever it wants to go, feel whatever it wants to feel, without self-censorship or exertion of any kind. Why is this such an impactful approach? There is an obvious and a less obvious answer to this question.

The Obvious

At a physiological level, creating a pressure-free space in one’s life makes it possible for the human system to return to homeostasis – the state of its natural equilibrium, for the proper function of the natural rest, repair, and regenerative mechanisms of the body to take effect. This includes extinguishing nerve-ends chemical fires, the other name for which is inflammation. Prolonged stress factors are one of the prime causes of dementia, yet another global epidemic, caused by the atrophy of inflammation-induced neural pathways. Next to this, it reduces mental fatigue – the mental state where one’s ‘mental muscles’ are overworked to a point of lethargy.

The Less Obvious

Following on from the obvious, creating a pressure-free zone lifts the pressure from a host of inner lives that are being held at bay, like a ball pushed under water. When the pressure is taken away, these inner lives spring into the open space, like a bunch of glorious fireworks, revealing oppressed aspects of self that are surplus to the requirements of the 21st century, but absolutely not so when considering the realms of human development and spiritual evolution. As these inner lives are given the chance to glow in the face of this opportunity, they also illuminate a person’s consciousness with energies, thoughts, ideas, new-found inspiration – born out of new self-discovery.

This points to the consideration of natural alignment, a state that lives at the heart of human development. Upon birth, the human system is naturally aligned and connected to the universe at many levels. Look into the eyes of a baby to experience the presence of this deeply profound connection. The human is created to develop and evolve inside of this connection, a process that has its reasoning, ways, needs, speeds, rhythms… But the world we live in says to each and every one of us: “You are needed for something else, with or without choice”. ‘Something else’ having countless faces, from the innocent to the evil. So a ‘twist factor’ is introduced to people’s lives from a young age all around the world. Think of a twisted material that when released snaps back to its natural state.

When in a state of ‘doing nothing’, whatever is twisted in us, whatever is ‘wound up’,  get’s untwisted and unwound – by degree, depending on how much space we create for these processes – and if we maintain this space as a regular aspect of our lives, it allows for a better overall balance to take effect, sorely absent in the lives of many.

Which is why doing nothing may be far from doing nothing. It is absolutely doing a meaningful something that may be a nothing to a 21st century mindset, yet an essential something to a human organic growth mindset. So put the little screen away, on flight mode, to spend a bit of time doing ‘nothing’, for a little bit of self-healing and new self-discovery, fresh every day, inside of the currency of the moving on of the Creational evolutionary impulse, the influence prompting us today to have a better tomorrow.

With best wishes,
World Copyright 2023© David Gommé

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