A new research report from The University of Chicago finds that sitting in the house feeling weird every day actually poses many benefits to our physical and mental health.
“Humans actually require several hours per day of sitting in the same spot feeling inexplicably unsettled,” explains lead researcher Dr. Mia Ronk. “Our team has spent the past five years observing the benefits of this wellness practice and found that those who set aside at least one hour per day for mental weirdness lived healthier and happier lives.”
Participants who prioritized sitting around feeling weird in their daily routines generally reported more positive cardiac health outcomes and less psychological consumption by pesky distractors such as work emails and perception of the world around us.
The health-boosting exercise now known clinically as mental weirdness has vague roots in the ancient French philosophy of détachism – which asserts that small doses of detachment from one’s earthly duties are crucial to leading a fulfilling life.
Modern-day mental weirdness, according to Dr. Ronk, differs from meditation or new-age mindfulness in that the goal is not to be aware of one’s surroundings and presence, but to be dissociated from the physical form and all of its horrors. Ideally, when in this state, one is almost fully disconnected from their responsibilities and sense of self, creating a unique mental state that borders between calmness and existential unease.
So how can newcomers to the important practice get it right?
“It’s hard to explain, but you should sit somewhere that seems temporary, like the arm of your couch,” Dr. Ronk says. “Then sort of just feel weird and like there’s maybe something you should be doing but maybe not.”
“You’ll know it when you feel it.”
One research participant, 38-year-old Margaret Graw explains, “ I only participated in the study to indulge my avoidant tendencies, but the ritual has not only tightened my skin, but it’s also given me a catharsis for the unrelenting anguish that comes from being sentient.”
While these findings are promising, more research is needed into the side effects of mental weirdness as a daily routine. Potential side effects include moderate to severe existential crises (including thoughts of unanswerable philosophical questions), nausea, social isolation, dizziness, and binge-rewatching of beloved childhood TV shows.
Researchers declined to comment on any possible relationship between the necessity of daily mental weirdness and the mental health crises sweeping our society. However, Dr. Ronk assures us the practice is probably healthy.
“So go ahead and cancel those plans!” she says. “You need to sit in the house feeling weird tonight. It’s for your health.”