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Doing Nothing: The Benefits

3 Minute Read

Sometimes doing nothing is the best thing you can do.

Key Points
  • Taking a break can be beneficial
  • Automating activities can free up your time
  • Rest matters to physical and mental health

Is A Change As Good As A Rest?

Old English wisdom says a change is as good as a rest, and that can definitely be true. If life is going on for too long as a repetitive pattern, especially if it is one you’re not enjoying, a break of any kind to the negative pattern can alleviate some of the ennui.

And while it can be true that any sort of disruption can inject new energy into a situation, there are times when you don’t want more excitement of any kind – it’s simply not what you need. What you need is to do nothing, and take a pause.

Practicing the pause is important – doing nothing is a gift of peace, and time, and ease for yourself.

The Importance Of The Pause

Some steps to take yourself out of a moment that’s causing you stress include mindfulness and deep breathing. Each disrupts the thought pattern that’s making you unhappy, and with enough practice you may find that even a simple moment to reflect, draw in a deep breath, and release the feelings creeping up your spine are all you need.

What Do You Do? Doing Nothing

So what does “doing nothing” even mean? If you’re used to running after a family, running a corporation, taking care of others and taking care of a business, the idea of doing nothing can seem overwhelming in and of itself.

If it seems too overwhelming to simply stop for ten minutes and stare into space, extending grace to yourself, try doing something that has focus but removes any sense of urgency. Trying meditation is an excellent choice, because it helps stop your mind from racing while it helps you focus on nothing. Meditation can be conceived of as waiting for a download from the universe, and you just let thoughts flow through your head without judging them or holding on to them.

Running On Empty, Practice The Pause

Some people describe running as their ultimate pleasure, especially after they push past the part where they hate it. And there is something to be said for the runner’s high, because a state can be reached where the mind is so engaged it becomes unengaged, and that’s really what you’re going for. But if running is doing something other than helping you achieve enlightenment, this may not be where you do your nothing.

If you’re running on empty because life is overwhelming, and you’re tired, you may need to do nothing-nothing.

Take some time to yourself and find a quiet space. If your family is always around and you can’t find a spot in the house, consider taking a moment to yourself in the car, or outside under a tree. Find somewhere that you can have a little space to yourself. If you’re in a car, you might not want to light a candle or burn incense, because it’s an enclosed space and your neighbors might look at you a little funny. But chances are if they’re out there it’s because they’re looking for some space as well.

A Moment To Yourself

The most important thing you can do when you’re overwhelmed is grant yourself some grace. Too often, people look at their lives, their bank accounts and retirement funds, their car and the neighbor’s car, their homes and their neighbor’s homes… and find themselves lacking for some reason. But why? You are where you are. It is. Take a moment to appreciate what you do have. And if there are things you want, or things you want to achieve, you can visualize them during a regular meditation practice, during a regular practice of the pause.

Work on yourself, your peace of mind, your patience, and your whole sense of self. Grant yourself some grace and extend some forgiveness to yourself. By doing so you are teaching yourself, and those around you, that you are willing to release stress and not carry negative energy forward without cause. You’re willing to forgive yourself and that is one of the greatest things you can do.

By resting in the pause you can find yourself and answers to whatever questions and stresses you are carrying. By resting in the pause you can grant yourself and your mind a few seconds or moments of respite before you restart your busy life. Hopefully, with a greater sense of peace.

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