While staying in one day, nursing a cold, and getting caught up on my reading, I found myself watching the few pairs of squirrels who live in my yard. They’re quite comical, looking for nuts to crack, and often getting into tiffs on the branch outside my kitchen window. You might say I was doing nothing.
This is something I have allowed myself to do, or not do as I’ve gotten older. Thankfully, unstructured time stimulates what neuroscientists call the “default-mode network” in the brain, where creativity and problem-solving happen. _ Heather Rogers, “The Upside of Downtime” Experience Life Magazine.
Idleness stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, which brings a host of healthful outcomes, including a reduced heart rate, good digestion, and better moods, says the article.
I truly agree.
Some argue that our society is on the whole “addicted to busyness” – always seeking to get it done, or seeking to stay in constant connectedness to the latest gadget or app. I find that many of my customers are consumed with being, doing, having everything all to the edge, no margin or time for the necessities in life. Studies vary on the average checks to their phones by smartphone users of 85-150 times a day. Social Media accounts for 15-40 of those checks. This equates to 1/3 of a normal day of waking hours. Busyness at work, employees are limited to very strict break times that barely allow for a bathroom break or time to eat.
For those of you with activity goals, here are some simple strategies for you: Put away your phone. Try some type of repetitive activity that allows your mind to wander like going for a walk, running, mowing the lawn, weeding, cleaning or doing the dishes. Keep the tv, phone, radio off and just let your mind wander, and wait for the creative juices to begin flowing, and of course move your body.