“Niksen” Dutch philosophy of happiness that teaches you to loaf away your time with health benefits

People these days are afraid to do nothing. If you are not in a hurry to go somewhere or do something, you get the feeling that you are ineffective and useless. Doing nothing is condemned in our society. That’s why the Dutch came up with Nixen philosophy – a way to become happier and not burn out in a busy schedule of life.

We decided to figure out what Nixen is and how to practice it.

What is Nixen?

The word “niksen” derives from the Dutch language meaning “to do nothing”. This is a way to deal with a busy lifestyle when there are no tasks and goals, just a break in the cycle of affairs and events. Relaxing and chilling is also a goal and achievement, without which it is difficult to achieve the desired result in your daily affairs and tasks. The constant desire to succeed in everything leads to stress, nervous disorders, and breakdowns.

That is why everyone needs nixen. Its main principle is to be able to do nothing, but do not confuse it with ordinary laziness. A lazy person consciously does not want to do one thing, giving preference to something more interesting. Nixen, on the other hand, forces a person to temporarily stop thinking about business and to devote time to the very process of idleness.

Nixen does not require preparation, nor certain conditions, nor a special mood. Here, you don’t need a fireplace, a blanket or a cup of tea to relax, as for a Danish “hyugge”. No need to look for meaning and joy in everything around, as in Japanese “ikigai”. There is also no need to seek a balance in all areas of life, as in Swedish philosophy “lagom”. The only thing the Nixen needs is you and a few free minutes.

Nixen techniques

Practicing nixen is generally quite simple. You just need to distract from all affairs and allow thoughts to wander in your head without any purpose, not to focus on details. No need to strive to achieve any result. You can take a break at any time when you feel that you are already “overheating”.

Find your activity for doing nothing:

look out the window;

observe what is happening on the street;

listen to music;

study patterns effects on wallpaper or tiles;

watch your pets

you can go even further and have “idle parties”: invite friends and indulge in idleness together.

What is not allowed to do during nixen

It is important not to seek benefits in your actions and not expect anything from them. Therefore, during nixen it’s not allowed:

read books;

view social networks/series;

surf the internet or phone (which give the illusion of idleness, but actually load the brain);



yoga or sports

You can’t get up and run to do something until the end of the pause. And moreover, in no case do not blame yourself for laziness and “futility” at these moments. You must accept your right to idleness and realize the benefits of it. After a while, you will see that doing nothing is more beneficial than it seems.

The introduction of nixen in your life

Realize that doing nothing is good for your future achievements.

Get rid of your desire to be productive and rewarding every second of your life.

Find your own way to do nothing.

To get started, learn to stay idle for a short time.

Set up a notification on your phone or set up an alarm to take breaks in time.

If you are under heavy stress or severe stress, spend more time on nixen (up to an hour a day).

To apply the Nixen philosophy in your life, you need very little time. To get started, practice for a few minutes. Daily pauses of 15-20 minutes will help stabilize the psyche, reduce anxiety, improve sleep and mood.

At first, you may feel very uncomfortable, especially if you are used to constantly doing something. You can easily overcome the discomfort, doing a few minutes every day at the time of burnout. No need to wait for an instant result from Nixen, but after a couple of weeks you will already notice how you and your life have changed.

The benefits of Dutch idleness

Oddly enough, but idleness has a great effect on creativity. Without doing anything, we are easier to change our view of things that are familiar to us, we can more easily find solutions to everyday problems. If you do not strain the brain, it is easier for the brain to process the incoming information.

The regular release of the brain from the need to think and make decisions helps reduce anxiety and relieve nervous tension, increase energy levels, which ultimately leads to tranquility and harmony.

Thus, the ability to idle away makes us more productive and reduces the risk of professional burnout. It also leads to the understanding that it’s useless to hurry somewhere all the time and overestimate the importance of time for work, and not for ourselves.

Do you agree with the nixen philosophy? Do you allow yourself some time to do nothing?


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