CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Have you been feeling lazy lately? If so, it's not a bad thing. In fact, European health experts say it could be good for you.
And stop calling it laziness. Instead, refer to your behavior as "niksen," which is Dutch for "to do nothing, to be idle or doing something without any use," according to Carolien Hamming, the managing director of a CSR Centrum, a coaching center in the Netherlands that helps people manage stress.
Niksen is the latest European mindset that is catching on as we search for ways to cope with our increasingly busy and stressful lives. Hamming also says niksen is good at preventing burnout, which was recognized as an "occupational phenomenon" by the World Health Organization in 2019. The WHO noted that burn-out refers "specifically to phenomena in the occupational context and should not be applied to describe experiences in other areas of life."
According to Hamming, practicing niksen can be whatever you want it to be, as long as you aren't being productive and don't have a purpose. Ironically, niksen is considered laziness in the Netherlands, but Hamming says it can be a good way to battle our stress and anxiety.
"Dare to be idle," Hamming said. "It is all about allowing life to run its course, and to free us from obligations for just a moment."
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So there you have it. Feel free to kick off your shoes, take a seat and do absolutely nothing. It could be the best thing you "do" all day.