by Dr Richard Cawte for The Q Wealth Report
Do you really need to fill your day with action and noise?
Many adults become terrified at the idea that they might not have something to do! Those that are parents transfer the terror to the children. The lines: “Oh my god, what do I DO with the kids?” are spoken with a shudder, as though every second of the child’s day MUST be filled with some entertainment or other.
Some children literally cry if the world they face is not a full-on bombardment of video games or fast moving TV shows. Whatever our status or our age, we all seem to live in a world that regards “nothing to do” with horror.
We are afraid of silence. We are afraid of confronting (or meeting) our true selves!
Leave the television on and there are no awkward pauses in conversation (because there is no meaningful conversation!). There is no time to reflect, to create humour, to recount a story. But hey! If we were all to do “nothing” more often, we might find ourselves more relaxed, more in control of our thoughts and emotions, and more able to communicate effectively.
Down-time is vital. Being still and quiet in the midst of a moving, noisy world is in itself a good thing. It encourages thought. It encourages self-awareness. And the onus is on the mind to be creative, truly creative: to make something of nothing, rather than having everything plonked in front of it ready-made.
My advice is simple… make time to do absolutely nothing. Provide no distractions. Switch off the mobile phone, take the landline phone off the hook, have no TV, newspapers, radio, no loud music, no toys, games – in short, nothing! nada! zilch!
Otherwise your engine-speed gets accustomed to being highly-revved. Without down-time, you will find it harder to unwind as you grow older.
And if the idea of really, really having nothing to do is just too scary, then here’s another alternative: Take up a meditation or yoga technique that you can practice alone, and in silence.