When Was The Last Time You Did Nothing?


Did you know that doing nothing is one of the best things to do for yourself?

To sit back and do nothing. No to-do lists, no social media, and no music or podcasts. Simply come home after a long day and put your mind at ease. Oftentimes than not it can be challenging to do nothing. To silence your inner voice telling you about all of the little things you didn’t do today. Whether the tasks are important or not, it feels rare to have a silent mind. But you’re not alone in that matter. Many people can’t even remember the last time they did nothing.

Be alone with your thoughts. Try not to analyze them so much. When I’m relaxing I’ve learned it’s best to become the observer of your mind. Just pay some attention to what your inner voice is going on and on about but don’t feed into it just listen. Then sooner or later the voice will go silent.

Quieting your mind is a form of meditation that will help improve your focus, breath, and emotions. Not only does it play a larger role in your mental health but also your physical. Studies have shown that meditation can improve your pain tolerance and help fight substance addiction urges.

Many things play a part in why it is so challenging to do nothing and one would be because of the constant need to be doing something. But not only to do something but to do it quickly.

Gandhi said, “There is more to life than increasing its speed.”

Looking at a city from afar is the perfect example of what my mind would look like. People scrambling around bumping into one another and always looking for the next thing to do. But why are we always in a rush? Why does it feel like it’s so hard to slow down? I feel like the older I’ve gotten the more society has normalized the idea of us always having to stay busy. Instead of slowing down, we focus on getting more done in less time.

When did we start allowing quantity over quality? When we worry about how much work we are producing it could easily build up stress and anxiety. When in reality we should be working towards having a clear mind so we can produce better work and do whatever we are doing more efficiently.

Andre de Shields once said, “Slowly is the fastest way to get to where you want to be.”

We are so caught up in wanting things to go faster that we’ve convinced ourselves that life is short. We have 24 hours in a day, 1140 minutes, and 86400 seconds to do whatever we want. We are to blame for truly believing life is short. We control the tempo. Meaning life is as long as we choose to make it.

One way I like to slow down my life is by changing the way I react to small inconveniences. We hate morning traffic and red lights because they slow us down. What if we stopped yelling at the red light and instead took the time to quiet our minds. Think of it as a positive rather than a negative. When we yell and allow ourselves to freak out about something so small as a red light we put ourselves into a panic. Doing so will only force us into wanting to move faster. I try to think of morning traffic and red lights as signs that I need an extra couple of minutes to focus on my breathwork. Or to gather my thoughts before I get to where I need to be.

I read a quote from Anne Lamott saying, “Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.” Unplug, detach, and remove yourself from the outside world. Slow down and try to enjoy the little things that usually give you a headache. Give yourself a reset button and watch how efficiently you get things done. Doing so might help you remember where you are going and why. But most importantly, it might remind you how much more life you have time for.