Niksen: the Dutch Art of Doing Nothing

Doing nothing isn't lazy — it's an art, according to this Dutch concept.

Do Absolutely Nothing

Niksen is the Dutch lifestyle concept of literally doing nothing and letting your mind wander. Psychotherapist Katie Krimer says it can help promote creativity/reduce stress and anxiety. Krimer says niksen’s stress-reducing benefits are similar to mindfulness and meditation — but there are some key differences. In theory, this means “doing something without a purpose, like staring out the window, hanging out, or listening to music,” Carolien Hamming, a coach at CSR Centrum, an organization devoted to fighting stress and burnout according to Woolly Magazine.

Instead of constantly occupying your mind with what you need to do next or bouncing from one task to another, niksen is the practice of slowing it all down. It’s supposed to be a reprieve from societal expectations about work and productivity that permeates the culture. Niksen is similar to mindfulness, a word that’s been the subject of countless self-help books and articles over the past few years. But unlike mindfulness, niksen is not about staying in the moment and being conscious of your surroundings; it’s about letting yourself do nothing, about letting your mind go where it will without guilt or expectation.

The Danish trend ‘Hygge’ was all about creating a cosy retreat at home, and the Swedish trend 'Lagom' was all about decluttering to live with just what you need, and the Finnish concept Pantsdrunk was all about being comfortable and drinking wine in your underwear to relieve stress. Niksen is the antithesis to these active concepts and gives you permission to do nothing. The biggest benefit of niksen is that by allowing ourselves to take the time to disconnect from the world, release ourselves from expectation and goals, we allow ourselves to truly relax and recharge. It also allows us to reconnect with activities that bring you joy, and process difficult thoughts or emotions positively.


08/18/2019 10:19 AMupdated: 08/19/2019 2:24 PM


  • Sankalp Dharge
    05/17/2021 11:14

    I'm pro at Niksen then.

  • Abina A.
    05/17/2021 04:17

    I'm so good at it... Is this a competing art by any chance? 🤔

  • Arp A.
    05/16/2021 14:41


  • Sohag B.
    05/16/2021 01:56

    ... dekh I should have been born Dutch

  • Deep D.
    05/14/2021 16:46

    You're a specialist in this

  • Debjit S.
    05/14/2021 03:17

    Ei dekh lyadh khete bolche.. 😂😂

  • Prabhat M.
    05/13/2021 20:18

    Living in holland, i dont see this as an art🤣🤣. More as now it time for me.

  • Vinod Y.
    05/13/2021 14:04

    In India it can be described as 'Thala', 'Vellah, 'Bekar' 'Mungeri Lal'...etc.

  • Joseph M.
    05/13/2021 13:11

    i have been practicing it without naming it !

  • Sarbojit D.
    05/13/2021 12:30

    There is a bengali word for it too - lyadh

  • George K.
    05/13/2021 12:14

    Nike - Just do it.....and Niksen - do nothing! Interesting!

  • Yahya S.
    05/13/2021 11:36

    In india its called Kaamchor

  • Eldon M.
    05/13/2021 10:56

    Been doing this since 2991.. 🤪 I'm not from the future.. 😏😎

  • Kalpana S.
    05/13/2021 10:05

    In india it's called stress, well I am perfect in niksen daydreaming plz adopt me 😔🙏

  • Hervé F.
    05/13/2021 09:31

    I like this art. Relax, take it easy and enjoy it 🙂

  • Wankhede A.
    05/13/2021 08:54


  • Darshan
    05/13/2021 08:47

    your style 😅😂

  • Amos M.
    05/13/2021 08:34

    All are doing Niksen in pandemic.

  • Vinay A.
    05/13/2021 08:07

    'Niksen' is a dutch word. It means 'doing nothing.

  • Theresa M.
    05/13/2021 07:57

    The Goans call it Susegad Just lazing, doing nothing

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