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


  • Salma A.
    3 days

    me an artist

  • Yo S.
    07/06/2020 17:17

    Sige po.

  • Maja L.
    05/26/2020 19:50

    i think you’re Niksen-ing 24/7

  • Thomas R.
    05/26/2020 19:18

    Daydreaming is my way of escaping the present. Sometime the present seems to be unbearable. Daydreaming and meditation are very similar.

  • Ayushi T.
    05/26/2020 12:06

    I do this🤣 everyday. Like it's actually a time pass tbh. When im idle..I would just start making life scenarios in my head. Good and bad 😅 it entertains me

  • Pepin P.
    05/26/2020 10:10

    Finally something I can call myself expert of it ..

  • Rico E.
    05/26/2020 09:42

    Just being lazy is the word , hetzelfde als niksen 😉

  • Jacqueline v.
    05/26/2020 08:49

    Yo , je dagelijkse bezigheid is schijnbaar een ‘ding’

  • Nicolas R.
    05/26/2020 08:05

    Machteld VD love Dutchies 😍 I love Niksen 😂

  • Francis J.
    05/26/2020 04:45

    Good job. Keep it up.

  • Atul L.
    05/26/2020 04:36

    Doing nothing and at the same time your mind also stop wandering, it is a great type of meditation, when you are in state of doing nothing your mind also should not do anything, thoughless mind

  • Diego B.
    05/26/2020 03:31

    you and me are just Dutch

  • Manuel M.
    05/26/2020 01:41

    This time of lockdown I think I'm Niksen hehe sorry but I kinda don't like it hehe 😀 but I still have to thank the Lord I'm still surviving hehe 😀

  • Chris M.
    05/26/2020 01:05

    Iam niksening everytime on my bed before I fall asleep

  • Justin M.
    05/25/2020 22:57

    is this isnt me i dont even

  • Theo B.
    05/25/2020 20:59

    Goh, weer even leuk iedereen met de zelfde kwast besmeurd 👍👍👍

  • Nevin S.
    05/25/2020 20:52

    sounds like Bidens' on this bandwagon already

  • Nikko V.
    05/25/2020 19:44

    That’s thinking not doing nothing

  • Martijn M.
    05/25/2020 19:28

    met dekentje

  • Joshua B.
    05/25/2020 19:25

    I’m Dutch! This is me.

Stay informed and entertained, for free with myBrut.

Stay informed and entertained, for free with myBrut.

By continuing, you agree to receive emails from Brut.