In America we view doing nothing as being lazy, but in Italy it is considered an art.
Dolce far niente, “the sweetness of doing nothing” helps bring life back into focus.
As the pace of society continues to increase, it is important that we remember how to take a step back and disconnect from the noise.
There are often signals in my life that indicate I am failing to do this.
- -a desire to stay in bed
- -feelings of frustration and being trapped
- -a desire to just run away, be it mentally or physically
- – depression
If I don’t heed these warning signs, I eventually have a melt down of explosive proportions and that doesn’t bode well for anybody.
Like meditation, dolce far niente is meant to help one relax, take a step back, and simply enjoy being without necessarily doing. However, unlike meditation, you can do it while in the company of others or through an activity – such as taking a walk or talking to a friend while enjoying a cup of coffee. It’s about stepping away from the busy “to do” list and doing something just because.
I found some wonderful tips through my research for this blog to help one discover the beauty in this Italian art of living.
- Disconnect. Turn off the TV, the social media, even your phone, and just step away from the noise for a little bit. Though we can relax by watching a show or scrolling through Facebook, it doesn’t always quiet our minds.
- Be Present. During the time that you disconnect, reconnect with the world around you. Look out the window, take a walk, sit on the porch. Use all of your senses to be in the moment and fully engage your surroundings.
- Guilt-free. It has been drilled into us that doing nothing is bad, but in truth, being bored is a time of self-discovery and rejuvenation. It is often after a time of rest that we are most productive and creative thus making our days more efficient by giving ourselves permission to do nothing.
It is acceptable to relax while on vacation or observing a designated “day of rest,” but what about all the other days of the year? Instead of waiting, practice “resting” everyday. Docle far niente allows one to experience simple pleasures of life anytime, anywhere, however, you have to make the effort to do it.
With a bit of practice, you will soon realize the rewards of dolce far niente and realize why Italians have made it a way of life.
With the tips listed in some of the articles below, I know I plan to incorporate the sweetness of doing nothing into my daily routine.
For tips and reading:
Let me know what you think of this concept in the comments below. If you would like to do nothing together in an effort to find inner peace and balance, subscribe to my blog as well.