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  • Sandy Jolles

The Art of Nisken

Nisken, which translates to "nothing-ing," can be viewed as a time of mindless relaxation. While it's impossible to live stress-free (and a small amount of stress can be beneficial), reducing excessive stress can enhance both our wellbeing and life satisfaction. Indeed, "nothing-ing" can be an antidote to burnout, and can decrease anxiety, heighten creativity, and boost productivity.


When we are still with no agenda, the creativity centers in our brain centers turn on. Positive boredom is a stark contrast from where you feel like you have to kill time. Unfortunately, many of us have become afraid of boredom which is why we scroll and swipe when even an itch of free time presents itself. A digital deluge prevents us from being still and eludes us from that positive downtime.


A respite from daily life can include daydreams and journeys in our heads...but only if we allow ourselves to find stillness. Inaction is where solutions to problems and creativity are sparked. Certain practices like meditation fit the niksen idea of restoration through quiet solitude. Niksen is about discovering behaviors that may work well through trial and error, so sitting in a quiet room or just silently gazing out of the window will allow the mind to simply wander.


This is a challenging task, so I recommend when starting to combine the moment of relaxation with a peaceful activity (like knitting). Embrace the quiet solitude of niksen!

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