“Doing Nothing” Doesn’t Mean “Do Nothing”! It Is So Much More!

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More and more people nowadays feel totally uncomfortable with the idea of dedicating a bit of their precious time every day to rest their body and mind by doing nothing.

Many of them claim they feel a sense of guilt in the prospect of doing nothing even for an hour. No doubt this sense of guilt comes from confusing the valued attitude of doing nothing with “do nothing” lazy behaviour. The “do nothing” attitude, which implies a total lack of activity, is often criticised, so it stands to reason that a person would view “doing nothing” it in a negative light.

Nevertheless, this is a very dangerous misconception for human behavior. And it is implanted in our minds in a most masterful manner by the modern financial system. According to this system, we need to be absolutely convinced to produce non-stop, because the system needs constant product and for that it demands people constantly work.

So, our society has come up with a whole notion of “worthiness” that is associated with continuous work and production. If you do not work, you are automatically considered lazy, uninteresting, and even a burden to society. Dare to keep calm and  contemplate! You are instantly treated as an outcast.

I have ascertained that many clients of mine suffer from this exact concern. Though they many times feel tired, they feel a deep urge, in the limits of compulsive behavior, not to rest but to keep working, simply because that makes them feel useful and worthy.

Nonetheless, this compulsive behavior keeps them exhausted mentally and physically, and in the end totally disorganized and stripped from any creative motivation.

The art of “doing nothing” (le farniente, as the Italians nicely put it), is a vital behavior for human life and creativity. It was a natural habit of humans for many centuries, but sadly during the 20th and 21st century it has been socially “penalized” for the aforementioned reasons.

According to the farniente tradition, it is important to dedicate a certain amount of time every day to this process of “doing nothing”.

Its benefits for your well-being and creativity are enormous:

1. The body rests and its physiological systems are restored.

2. The mind relaxes and stops producing useless thoughts that usually fester stressful reactions.

3. The emotional state betters and more positive emotions arise.

4. The mind clears and new creative ideas flow.

5. The mood for realising these ideas gets high. This provides the necessary motivation for creative action.

6. Stress levels get low and the physiology of a relaxed state is reinstated.

7. The body is relaxed which means less probability for errors in judgment and more flexibility of thought.

8. Imagination is refreshed, which reinforces the creative visualisation of the goal-setting process.

9. Most importantly, during le farniente the individual learns how to be mindful and have a conscious mind.

“Doing nothing” doesn’t necessarily mean you are sleeping. One can be very much awake and conscious while in the farniente state. In fact, when a person does “nothing” it greatly enhances their attention and concentration. These cognitive functions are the most indispensable skills for any successful cognitive task.

Le farniente is a vital aspect of human life and should be applied on a weekly basis. Choose a day out of the seven and dedicate at least six of its hours to this beneficial procedure. Once a month you can dedicate an entire day for the same cause, preferably near nature.

On your most busy days, you can even dedicate a single hour to doing nothing. It can really help lower your stressful rhythms and allow you to continue your daily activity in a more relaxed and efficient manner.

Some may protest that they do not have time for any of this. That’s exactly the point! Once you adjust your lifestyle in such a way that promotes your farniente habit, you will observe the degree to which this practice changes your life for the better.

Doing nothing on a regular basis actually pays off!

If you are keen to adopt this creative behavior, you can contact me via email:

info@uplifepsychology.com or by phone: +30 6983 282 252 & +30 210 4675543 or by Skype. 

My sessions take place at my offices in Athens and Salamina Island or via Skype and Hangouts. 

After a longstanding career in research at the National Centre of Scientific Research of France (CNRS) and the prestigious Collège de France of Paris, I have spent more than  a decade focusing my activity in the successful treatment of phobias, panic and stress disorders, as well as the personal development and reinforcement of personal strengths, soft skills and emotional intelligence. I am a trained and expert therapist of these conditions. 

My therapeutic approach is based upon the application of scientific and psychotherapeutic proven techniques for a comprehensive and successful approach to dealing with the aforementioned issues. 

I am a certified Cognitive Psychologist and a Member of the official Association of Greek Psychologists (SEPS). I am also a Certified Member of the European Federation of Psychological Associations (EFPA), and hold a European Certification of Psychological Practice (EuroPsy) in more than 19 countries of the European continent. I am also a member of the International Society of Emotional Intelligence and Member of the International Network of Teachers of CEB (Cultivating Emotional Balance).

I provide Individual Consulting and Therapy for Personal Development and Self Awareness, EQ education (including for the professional field), Life Coaching for successful living and career, Meditative Techniques for Mindfulness, Concentration, Relaxation and Equanimity, as well as group seminars on the topics of Personal Development, CEB, Life Coaching for Successful Living and Goal Setting. 

I would be happy to hear your story.

Contact me today!

Panagiota

Last modified: September 23, 2018

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