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Don’t Just Sit There, Do Nothing


the value of doing nothingWhat I’m about to say is likely not going to be news for you, but it’s a critical reminder nonetheless. On the whole, we don’t have the cultural or individual maturity to handle the speed of innovation today. Technology is giving us incredible powers to get all kinds of information at our fingertips, but our minds don’t know how to control themselves.

We multitask to get more done at once. One incredibly dangerous way more and more people are doing this is by checking email, text, and chat while they’re driving.

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

As you read that quote you may have the common thought, “Of course, life isn’t all about increasing speed.”

Somehow our rational minds get that quote, but when it comes to the auto-pilot of everyday life, we’re drawn into a herd mentality of getting things done as quickly as possible so we can continue to get more done.

More than ever I find people (including myself at times) with a complete confusion around the notion of taking time to do absolutely nothing. Doing nothing means just sitting or lying down and resting. Why would we ever do that? Seems like such a waste of time.

Yet, this is what we long for when we go on relaxing vacations, to just sit around a pool or a park and just do nothing, sounds wonderful in that context.

I think it’s worth reconsidering how we’re spending our time. Do we turn on the tube, check our phones or get on the computer as soon as there’s a space to fill?

What about taking a short period in the week to just sit or lie down and do nothing? If you have an intimate partner, what about just lying down with them and doing nothing, maybe just free associate and talk. This is an especially great idea if you’re having relationship or communication issues. If you have kids, do this after you put them to bed. Even just 10 or 15 minutes is great.

So, what are you waiting for: schedule in some nothing doin’ today. Don’t take my word for it, try it out for yourself, and let your experience be your teacher.

As always, please share your thoughts, stories and questions below. Your interaction creates a living wisdom for us all to benefit from.

Photo by jimpg2, available under a Creative Commons attribution license.>

Don’t Just Sit There, Do Nothing


Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D.

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D. is creator of the six month online program A Course in Mindful Living, author of the book Uncovering Happiness: Overcoming Depression with Mindfulness and Self-Compassion, The Now Effect, co-author of A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook, Foreword by Jon Kabat-Zinn, author of Mindfulness Meditations for the Anxious Traveler: Quick Exercises to Calm Your Mind, the premier eCourse Basics of Mindfulness Meditation: A 28 Day Program, the Mindful Solutions audio series, and the Mindfulness at Work™ program currently being adopted in multiple multinational corporations. Join The Now Effect Community for free Daily Now Moments and a Weekly Newsletter. Dr. Goldstein is a clinical psychologist in private practice in West Los Angeles.


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APA Reference
Goldstein, E. (2011). Don’t Just Sit There, Do Nothing. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 1, 2020, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/mindfulness/2011/07/dont-just-sit-there-do-nothing/

 

Last updated: 13 Jul 2011
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