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Can you stand doing nothing?

In her post on The importance of doing “nothing” WelliesAndPearls points out that scientific research shows that the brain needs downtimes to regenerate. She goes on to mention a few nice ways of doing “nothing”: taking a walk, reading, watching a movie, doing simple arts and crafts projects. I like these manners of doing “nothing” but all of them are still an activity of some sort and this got me wondering: Can I stand really doing nothing? If I were locked up in a completely empty room for three or four hours, would I be okay or would I go crazy?

Some time ago I was very busy, lots of work, lots of pressure, and all that kept me going was looking forward to a one-week-vacation, a vacation that I planned to spend doing nothing, just relaxing. When it finally came, this long-awaited vacation, I finally sat down to rest – and I felt rotten.
It was like all the thoughts and feelings and the exhaustion that I had been suppressing the weeks before now bubbled up and overwhelmed me. And it was too much for my brain to take, too much to process in that moment. So I had to get up and find some distraction from myself.
Locking me up in an empty room at that time would have been a disaster.

When I have the chance of providing my brain with small downtimes on a regular basis by enjoying some of those doing-nothing-activities that permit my thoughts to flow freely, clearing out my brain, then: Yes, you could lock me up in an empty room for a few hours and I would be okay just thinking and daydreaming and really doing nothing. I might even enjoy it for a while.

(Side note: This is a zero to hero day 12 post.)

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Discussion

One thought on “Can you stand doing nothing?

  1. I can relate. It’s a challenge. You have to start small with maybe 1 minute of doing “nothing”. I still feel anxious in the one minute, but hopefully one day we can both work up to a good chunk of “nothing time”.

    Posted by The Cold Penguin | 15. January 2014, 10:48 pm

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