The art of doing nothing

All of us experience situations when we end up doing nothing like for example on a weekend morning or maybe when we come back early from work.  However when one does nothing we usually think about what we are missing out on and tend to dwell on this situation. As a result, we are missing out on the beautiful area of nothingness which is an amazing experience if one can practice this.
Doing nothing and just focusing on the present is what is required especially with the amount of stress which most of us go through each day of our lives. Here’s how to become a master and in the process, improve your life, melt away the stress and make yourself more productive when you actually do work
Start small
Doing nothing is something one needs to practice and the best place to do this will always be in the comfort and privacy of one’s bedroom or living room. Focusing on nothing and not getting distracted by any of the electronic gadgets or people is initially difficult but with a little practice one can master this in no time. Now close your eyes and just be in the present without thinking about anything or getting distracted. By doing this for small amount of time, say 5 minutes every day, one can make a beginning and over a period of time, maximize the fruits of doing nothing. Try to do this every day as mastery can be achieved only by practicing regularly.
The first place to begin doing nothing is by focusing on our breathing; remember meditation is different from doing nothing. Here one is just focusing on one’s own breath and not thinking or visualizing just about anything. Focus on your breath moving in and out of your body and do not think about anything else at all. To begin with you can practice doing it for a couple of minutes a day at an appropriate time. In case you do tend to get distracted then just bring your thoughts back to the breathing which is happening at the present moment.
Remember the important part of doing nothing is just about relaxing and being completely relaxed. If we are tensed then the whole idea is lost. Find a comfortable place, be it your room or office cabin or at times even a quiet conference room. Next try the breathing technique and ensure that you are relaxed for the duration of this exercise. Sometimes tensing your different muscle groups starting from your leg to the neck region and then holding the tension and slowly releasing the tension also helps as I have figured out. You can come out with your own way of relaxing. Just ensure that you are comfortable doing it.
Doing nothing in Nature:
Once you have practiced for couple of days in the comfort of your living room, move out and try to get into a park or anyplace close to a water body where you are not likely to be distracted by vehicle honking or people talking loudly. Start connecting with nature and try to be a part of nature by doing nothing. It is a magical feeling especially when one does the exercise of doing nothing in midst of nature. I have done this at some unbelievable places like the world’s highest motorable road or at the edge of the Indo- china border which is the first place to receive the sun’s rays on the Indian continent before covering other places. The feeling is magical and nothing can come even close to this.
Incorporate this art in your daily life
Once you have mastered the art of doing nothing amongst nature then it is time to make use of all this experience to do this in midst of our chaotic world of insane traffic and chaos. Start by doing nothing while waiting for your bus, cab or even your plane. When you are checking your email or reading the newspaper or even talking to somebody, be present in the system and try to observe in your mind’s eye as to what is happening around you. Listen to the conversation or the sounds coming from around you and try to enjoy the moment of doing nothing.
Last try doing nothing in the middle of chaos either at your workplace or in other stressful environments. Just shut everything out, close your eyes, and think about your breathing. Do this for 5-10 minutes at a time, building up to 20-30 minutes. If you can do this, in the middle of a stressful day at work or with the kids, you will allow yourself to focus more fully on the task at hand. You will be relaxed, ready to concentrate and bring yourself into a state of flow. (Warning: Doing nothing could get you in trouble with your boss, so be careful! But if it makes you more productive, you boss might not mind.)
Finally, the Art of Doing Nothing cannot be mastered overnight. It will take hours and hours of practice and hard work (doing nothing isn’t easy!). But you will enjoy every minute of it! Try it today.