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as a hobby

I see niksen as a form of self-care that is easier to put into practice than other kinds of relaxation.

Olga Mecking, author of Niksen: Embracing the Dutch Art of Doing Nothing

Feeling overwhelmed? Unwinding doesn’t have to be complicated. Discover Niksen, the Dutch art of mindful doing nothing. Relax, reduce stress, and boost creativity by simply allowing yourself to be present. Start small with short breaks throughout your day to unwind and reconnect with yourself.

Helpful content to start niksen as a hobby

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YouTube | Niksen, or the Dutch Art of Doing Nothing | Brut
Niksen, or the Dutch Art of Doing Nothing | Brut

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Spotify | What is Niksen?
Spotify Embed: What is Niksen?
Spotify | Practicing Niksen: The Art of Doing Nothing
Spotify Embed: Practicing Niksen: The Art of Doing Nothing

As with many other good ideas, doing nothing was recruited by western culture to serve its core values. Niksen is often sold as a productivity enhancer, for example. While this might be true, we believe Niksen should be valued for itself. After all, we are trying to be productive in order to be successful. And strive to be successful in order to be relaxed and happy. If Niksen can get us there directy, why go around about it?

📜 Terms

Basic lingo for orientation.

  • Niksen: Verbification of niks, Dutch for ‘nothing’. The practice of doing nothing as a means of relieving stress; idle activity, as staring into the trees or listening to music, with no purpose other than relaxation.

How to start niksen as a hobby

First moves for getting acquainted and breaking the ice.

  • Make use of life’s natural pauses, such as a bus ride, for Niksen.
  • Schedule dedicated Niksen time.

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Never put off till to-morrow; what you can do day after to-morrow.

Mark Twain, The Galaxy

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YouTube | How To Master The Art Of Doing Nothing
How To Master The Art Of Doing Nothing

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I want to say, in all seriousness, that a great deal of harm is being done in the modern world by belief in the virtuousness of work, and that the road to happiness and prosperity lies in an organized diminution of work. [… Work] is emphatically not one of the ends of human life.

In Praise of Idleness, Bertrand Russell

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YouTube | PERFECT DAYS | Official Clip | Now Streaming
PERFECT DAYS | Official Clip | Now Streaming


Get a clue.

Is doing nothing really a hobby?

Your mind is never really doing nothing. Niksen is better defined as ‘doing nothing with a purpose other than relaxation’ – and we believe it to be one of the best definitions of a hobby.

Moreover, Niksen can, although it doesn’t have to, be combined with other hobbies such as knitting, listening to music, and walking, and serve as a platform for more hobbies, creative ones for example.

And if it is a challenge you’re looking for in a hobby, you’ll probably find Niksen quite challenging. As we are conditioned to believe and feel that we must always do something, doing nothing becomes not easy at all. No wonder Niksen is often referred to as an art.

What is the difference between Niksen, mindfulness and meditation?

While mindfulness and meditation are essentially about stopping your mind from wandering, Niksen is about letting your mind wander.

What if, left wondering, my mind can’t stop worrying?

That’s a good question. One thing that could happen is that by letting the bad thoughts run their course every once in a while, without repeatedly stopping them, they might eventually ease.

But our minds are different so no such thing can be guaranteed.

However, we do believe that easing our worries is the key to happiness and that repressing them forever by keeping our minds busy (and exhausted) is possibly not the best way to do so. Letting the bad thoughts surface every once in a while might not be a bad idea.

What are the benefits of Niksen?

Niksen can reduce stress, improve focus, boost creativity, and enhance your overall well-being by allowing your mind and body to recharge.

How can I incorporate Niksen into my daily routine?

You can dedicate scheduled Niksen times. You can also try utilizing natural pauses during the day – for example when waiting for the bus – for Niksen, instead of reaching for your phone.

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Yet it is in our idleness, in our dreams, that the submerged truth sometimes comes to the top.

A Room of One’s Own, Virginia Woolf

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