For years, I operated in high gear, busy-mode, proudly wearing my “busy badge.” Like a martyr, I would tell others about my 80-hour workweeks and how much I accomplished from day to day.
Maybe it’s the plethora of articles available these days on the importance of sleep, or maybe it’s that I’m maturing, but I’ve changed my tune on “go-go-go” mode these days. I am now a big proponent of rest!
Rest can take many forms. Beyond getting good sleep, rest can be going on vacation (I’m writing this from the cabin of my cruise ship, headed for Cuba). It can also be taking a nap, or putting your feet up for a few minutes, or stepping away from work for a bit to gain a new perspective.
Physiological Benefits of Rest (Obvious!)
Rest is obviously a biological need. Lots of important things happen in our brains when we rest. This Fast Company article explains it well. In short, our brain has a system that tidies up things during sleep, sorting and filing information, making sense of things, snipping connections not being used, and reinforcing connections that are being used.
Psychological Benefits of Rest (Not So Obvious)
Rest also has an important psychological impact. I have experienced that when I stop to rest, I seem to quietly acknowledge to Life and to myself that I am safe. Think about it—when we rest, we are not wearing our power suits, we are not in any sort of a power posture, and we are not engaging with others to create or problem-solve.
Instead, we are vulnerable when we rest—we are not on high-alert. Our body posture is passive vs assertive/aggressive. And we are not protecting or defending ourselves in any psychological fashion.
In short, we give the stressors of life a time-out. In fact, you could use REST as an acronym:
It’s as though Life insists on us resting, just to remind us that, indeed, all is well…all is working out. When we rest, our world view shifts from a problem/scarcity perspective to an abundance/trust perspective. (Plus, we’re a lot more fun to be around.)
How will you REST today?!
Image attribution: Copyright: <a href=’https://www.123rf.com/profile_mimagephotography’>mimagephotography / 123RF Stock Photo</a>