Portrait of the Artist as a Man
July 20, 2014

Why Is It So Hard for Us to Do Nothing? - WSJ

Why Is It So Hard for Us to Do Nothing? - WSJ

The following comes from personal experience. When I turned 30 I started setting aside time to think more via journaling or walking and, in the last few months, started including meditation too.

I find this article fascinating in the face of all the thinking and meditation I’ve been doing since I turned 30. I want to get the original article because I hope it is more detailed than this.

I think there us a difference between rumination and obsessive thinking and much if that depends on the person. People with anxiety or depression spend their alone time with the latter which I would expect to make them less desirous of solution. Spending your time replaying the day’s events as could haves or should haves is a terrible way to spend your time.

Rumination or directed thinking is hard to do with anxiety or depression. You’re constantly re-evaluating what you’re thinking about and any conclusions you draw. Am I doing this right? Is that conclusion real? Am I deluding myself? Why am I bothering, I can’t even think right?

Inevitably, you spend your thinking time tearing apart yourself rather than allowing yourself to think what you think.

It is hard to ruminate when you barely tolerate yourself.

What I’ve seen since I started is that it takes months to get past the filter, to allow yourself to think about anything without self judgment, so you can piece things apart.

If you’d asked me if I wanted a shock or to spend 20 minutes alone in my room, I’d have taken the shock too.

Eventually, though, you get through it and start to understand yourself.


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