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Niksen Is the Dutch Lifestyle Concept of Doing Nothing - And You're About to See It Everywhere.

First there was hygge, the Danish concept that made staying in and getting cozy cool. Then there was lagom, the Swedish mindset of approaching life with an “everything in moderation” mindset. Now there’s another Northern European trend that’s being embraced as a way to combat our increasingly busy and often stressful lives: niksen. The Dutch concept is as simple as, well, doing nothing.

What is niksen?

Niksen “literally means to do nothing, to be idle or doing something without any use,” says Carolien Hamming, managing director of CSR Centrum, a coaching center in the Netherlands that helps clients manage stress and recover from burnout. Practicing niksen could be as simple as just hanging around, looking at your surroundings or listening to music — “as long as it’s without purpose,” she says, and not done in order to achieve something or be productive.

Think “simply sitting in a chair or looking out of the window,” says Ruut Veenhoven, a sociologist and professor at Erasmus University Rotterdam in the Netherlands who studies happiness. Whereas mindfulness is about being present in the moment, niksen is more about carving out time to just be, even letting your mind wander rather than focusing on the details of an action.

“We should have moments of relaxation, and relaxation can be combined with easy, semi-automatic activity, such as knitting,” Veenhoven says. “One aspect of the ‘art of living’ is to find out what ways of relaxing fit you best.” There’s not necessarily a one-size-fits-all approach; rather, you’ll discover which behaviors are most effective for you though trial and error, he adds.

What are the potential benefits of niksen?

In the Netherlands, niksen has historically been dismissed as laziness or as the opposite of being productive, Hamming says. But as stress levels climb in the U.S. and globally and their crushing health impacts, like burnout, are getting more recognition from the medical community, doing nothing is increasingly being framed as a positive, stress-fighting tactic.

“Everyone is looking for some way back to ease and connection,” says Eve Ekman, director of training at the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley, who calls the national levels of stress among adults and teens in the U.S. “daunting.”

But Ekman, who studies stress and burnout, says the research is strong when it comes to the benefits of slowing down, from emotional perks — like reducing anxiety — to physical advantages — like curtailing the aging process and strengthening the body’s ability to fight off a common cold. These potential health effects might be enough to encourage even the most hectic and overburdened among us to consider carving out time to practice niksen.

Another benefit of niksen is that it can help people come up with new ideas, according to Veenhoven, who is also the director of the World Database of Happiness, an archive of research related to life enjoyment. “Even when we ‘niks,’” or do nothing, “our brain is still processing information and can use the available processing power to solve pending problems,” he says, which in turn can boost one’s creativity. This could manifest in having a breakthrough solution to a problem on a walk or a great business idea reveal itself while daydreaming.

Source: Time Magazine.

Needless to say I'm a 12th Dan in this art :D :D :D
 

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'Niksen' is more than the translation that is given. It's not a mere word but a concept. In a work environment it's almost always a negative. But most of us cloggies can relate to it. Sometimes when I take a day off, colleagues ask me what I'm going to do on that day, as if it must have a purpose. "Absolutely nothing" is often my reply. A one day vacation :D
 
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Reminds me of a scene in an old Seinfeld episode:

Jerry: So what did you do today?

Elaine: Nothing

Jerry: Well I know, nothing, but literally what did you do?

Elaine: Literally nothing. I sat in a chair and stared

Jerry: Wow that really is nothing

Elaine: I told you
 

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Liking this concept a lot Frans ! :bounce::clap2:

Nowadays it seems like it's just so difficult for so many of us to do though sir.
I mean there's barely a minute, or two that goes by without people checking
their phone, or doing something of some sort. Then even when they actually
are relaxing, they are thinking of something to do in the next minute, hour,
day, or week. It's like they actually can't not do anything. :eek:

But have to say, think I'm actually pretty good at this Niksen. :) Although
right this second I guess am doing something with purpose. So I am not
doing a good job right this second. :anim_63:

Honestly is really neat to learn about Frans. Thanks very very much !!!
 

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My wife would say I'm in a state of Niksen for the last 17 years we have lived in Arizona!

But it's more like "what do you do every day?", Not nothing but, whatever the hell I want to do, or not do!
 

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Drinking my brandy puts me in a state of Niksen every time! I think of all the things I should be doing but staring out the window in my trance seems to be most pleasant and relaxing..:cool:
 

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So they did mention that niksen can be combined with a leisurely activity such as knitting. It's winter in the southern half and I need a jersey, so needles and wool it is but first I'll take HB's advice above ^ and have a brandy!
 

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I never really cared for Niksen or Agnew
Nixon was kind of a paranoid Wacko, but Spiro actually kind a a great guy, he was the favorite of all the Secret Service agents back then for sure!
 

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Nothing against Agnew really. But Nixon should have practiced Niksen.
They say in his final days in office he could be seen talking the paintings of the previous Presidents on the wall,

The paintings were telling him "Tricky, you should have burned those tapes!"
 
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Liking this concept a lot Frans ! :bounce::clap2:

Nowadays it seems like it's just so difficult for so many of us to do though sir.
I mean there's barely a minute, or two that goes by without people checking
their phone, or doing something of some sort. Then even when they actually
are relaxing, they are thinking of something to do in the next minute, hour,
day, or week. It's like they actually can't not do anything. :eek:

But have to say, think I'm actually pretty good at this Niksen. :) Although
right this second I guess am doing something with purpose. So I am not
doing a good job right this second. :anim_63:

Honestly is really neat to learn about Frans. Thanks very very much !!!

As soon as Niksen becomes a purpose in itself, it loses its 'purpose' :D Go with the flow...
 

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There's a watch relegated to the cheepies section of for sale watch cases
It's the Skagen IMO more people have trod the moon than buy Skagen!
Am I wrong? Do people buy Skagen? Why are the poor sellers? DAMIFINO!!!
Same Skagens in cases week after week.

Lou Snutt
 

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There's a watch relegated to the cheepies section of for sale watch cases
It's the Skagen IMO more people have trod the moon than buy Skagen!
Am I wrong? Do people buy Skagen? Why are the poor sellers? DAMIFINO!!!
Same Skagens in cases week after week.

Lou Snutt
I get it...they're Danish watches. Do I win? :D
 

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There's a watch relegated to the cheepies section of for sale watch cases
It's the Skagen IMO more people have trod the moon than buy Skagen!
Am I wrong? Do people buy Skagen? Why are the poor sellers? DAMIFINO!!!
Same Skagens in cases week after week.

Lou Snutt
I have a nice looking Skagen square dial, super thin case, super-thin Milanese strap. nice sharp looking dress watch. Battery died a couple of years back and haven't worn it since, probably should, it's really a nice watch, the problem is, I don't do "Dressy" unless it's a wake of a wedding!



 
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