The Do Nothing Project
By now, you’ve heard about mindfulness/meditation. It’s a hot topic in the ‘wellness community’ with vast research supporting it for stress reduction, improved focus and mood, memory improvement, better sleep, decreased blood pressure, increased immunity, increased grey matter in the brain. There aren’t any real negative side effects of taking up a meditation practice other than that people may be mad at you for not answering their texts/email immediately (to mitigate this, practice in the early morning).
BUT, if you are like me, the image I have of what meditation is ‘supposed’ to be makes me so irritated. Cue eye roll. It feels unachievable and woo woo. People who love it sound preachy to me, “you know what you should do? Meditate!” More eye rolling.
To consider a mindfulness practice I had to reframe the situation into “I’m doing nothing.”
In his TEDtalk, Andy Puddicombe, the mind behind Headspace (book, app, website), discusses the importance of 10minutes of doing NOTHING daily. If you’re like me, 10 minutes of nothing sounds so hard and boring and frustrating. You can watch his TEDtalk here
If we change our ideas of meditation to ideas of DO NOTHING we can still get the benefits of meditation. To do NOTHING means to be in a moment without productivity, attachment or outcome. This can be staring off into space, walking, sitting in meditation, listening to music, folding laundry, staring at the clouds...
Read about Why it’s so hard to let ourselves do nothing here.
My challenge to you (and myself): For ONE week (7 days in a row) set a timer for 3 minutes and DO NOTHING.
Tips for success:
o Schedule it for the same time everyday (morning is often easiest for many people)
o Be upright so you won’t asleep
o Use the restroom and drink some water before starting
3 minutes doesn’t sound long but many people will find it difficult and frustrating to start. That’s ok. Keep going and keep practicing every morning. I will be doing it with you.
Love meditation? Tell me about your practice
Want more? Check these out:
Headspace app for phones
Podcast: 3-minute Hypnosis