Doing absolutely nothing.
I kinda mentioned this in a previous post, but that was more in the context of taking a break. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE doing stuff. Especially right now where all I can think of is all the stuff I’m waiting to do as soon as exams are over. But there’s a real simple joy in doing absolutely nothing. Just…sitting there, you know?
Of course I don’t mean literally nothing where you switch off your brain. That’s what you do when you watch TV (which I heartily endorse). But I mean putting down the book you’re reading or pausing that video, sitting back and getting lost in your thoughts. Maybe you’ll ponder the deep philosophies of what it means to be alive, or create an imaginary world you can adventure in.
If you don’t feel like exploring the inner workings of your mind, then get lost in your surroundings. Have you ever really taken into account what you see, hear, smell, taste and touch? Bernard Werber talked about a relaxation technique called “Opening your senses” in his books, which involves you systematically saying out loud everything you experience in the moment with each sense. For example, close your eyes and say everything you hear, to the smallest detail. Then do the same with all your other senses, you’ll notice that you’ve been missing out a lot of things in this world.
Sherlock Holmes stated that there is a great difference between seeing and observing. Try this out sometime. Have a cup of coffee at a cafe by yourself and look around you. You might see a boy and a girl making idle chit chat, but you might observe the two showing various subtle body language signs of mutual attraction. See if you can figure out a person’s job or personality or health condition just from observation. People-watching can be very fun, as long as you’re not being…you know, creepy.
So go on, drop what you’re doing, go lie in a patch of grass or sit at a cafe or wherever and just do nothing.