The benefits of doing absolutely nothing
Weird as it may sound, even the act of doing nothing has its benefits sometimes. In this hustle-centric culture we live in, we often tend to think that we constantly need to be doing something to be successful in life. We get so lost in the hustle that we sometimes forget to take a breath and experience life. However, constant productivity is not suitable for anyone, as it can lead to burnout, or worse, depression. No one can be at total capacity all the time. We often need to rest and recharge mentally and physically to be at our optimum capacity. But is easier said than done when the world constantly tells you that your worth is directly proportional to your contributions and achievements. How can we know when to take a break when our value is judged based on how productive we can be?
Studies show that our brains are wired for laziness. In prehistoric times, cave dwellers viewed energy as a precious resource that they had to preserve to survive. They had to reserve their energy as best they could to hunt for food, flee from predators. and fight to survive in a world where only the fittest survived. They simply did not have the option to expend their energy on unnecessary things, so they learned to play it safe.
While that survival instinct kept them safe, the same cannot be said for us. You would think that since we no longer have to run from wild animals or take shelter in caves, we might take this chance to wind down and rest. However, the exact opposite is happening. We have evolved into a society that values action. If you are not creating something or engaging in any kind of productive activity, then your time has no value. We cannot seem to shut down our brains, even for a few minutes. We are constantly doing something, whether that be mindlessly scrolling on social media or turning on a movie just to have some noise in the background. In order to survive in this highly competitive society, we push ourselves to the limit. Consequently, we sleep less, we eat less, and we even socialize less, all in the name of being "productive."
But that is where the fault lies. The irony of the situation is that the harder you work, the less productive you become. The less time we give our body to rest and recharge, the more mistakes we are prone to make. Taking a break and doing nothing, even for a couple of minutes per day, can help our brains retain more information, refocus, think more clearly, or even gain a fresh perspective. How often have you had the most brilliant ideas pop into your head while taking a shower or right as you are about to fall asleep? In moments of rest, or moments when you are relaxed, your brain truly excels.
The bottom line, it is okay to be lazy sometimes. It is okay to take a break from time to time. Even after knowing about the multiple benefits of doing nothing, it can be easy to fall into the trap of constant productivity. So instead of thinking of it as being "lazy" or "not productive," think of it as taking a necessary break to recharge and be your best self. Go on then, do nothing. Treat yourself to a couple of minutes of rest and be rewarded for it in the long term. It truly is as simple as that.
Sara Kabir is a dreamer, a literature major, and a writer. She is often found juggling academics and her countless hobbies. Help her figure out what to write about next @scarletfangirl on Instagram.