Why REST should be on your resolution list this year!
In our ever on society it’s increasingly difficult to set time aside for stillness. Research is honing in on how to better tackle stress, anxiety and burnout depression disorders that are on the rise. Two years into a very confusing and polarizing pandemic and we are head-to-head with how out of balance our mental health focus has become. So what can we do to help improve that outlook?
Rest is underrated and most definitely underutilized in our modern world. This simple act carries a host of benefits when applied mindfully and through intention. Society really does undervalue our down time, somehow it’s been equated with laziness or unproductivity or maybe even depression. However, many of the great thinkers throughout history understood the value of checking out and winding down to allow their minds that creative tract among uninterrupted silence. Nikola Tesla often sought solitude to allow his mind to process his genius inventions. “The mind is sharper and keener in seclusion and uninterrupted solitude…. Originality thrives in seclusion free of outside influences beating upon us to cripple the creative mind. Be alone, that is the secret of invention.” The great Picasso has stated, “Without great solitude, no serious work is possible.” And even Einstein himself claimed, “I think 99 times and find nothing. I stop thinking, swim in silence and the truth comes to me.”
Yet being alone in the silence seems to be the very thing individuals are trying to avoid. Even in solitude, we are never disconnected from the world outside of us and that is proving to be a very disturbing attack to our mental health.
A recent Harvard study found that the majority of individuals they studied do not enjoy being alone with their thoughts for 15-20 minutes. In the article, ‘Just think: The challenges of the disengaged mind’ Their report states that in 11 studies, it was found that participants typically enjoyed doing mundane external activities over time left for nothing more than thinking. It also states that many preferred to administer electric shocks to themselves instead of being left alone with their thoughts. What is causing this adversity to being alone with only our mind to entertain us?
Some may argue its due to a complete disconnect from our inner self. How often do we really know the sound of our heartbeat, the rhythm of our breath, our own breath? Practices such as meditation, yoga, floatation therapy and breathwork are helping us get reconnected to those basic functions of our human existence. Hiking in nature, sitting by a bustling creek, allowing for us to just breathe in the air around us is creating the very serenity we are all longing for. It’s just that simple, stillness, silence, space. The physical body thrives on resistance to grow, but it is during rest that the muscles grow and rejuvenate for the next dose of flex. Deep sleep is often limited when we do not take time to unwind before bedtime. Eating late or drinking alcohol too often or too close to bedtime can restrict our body from entering restorative deep sleep. Biofeedback mechanisms give us an insight as to how our body is responding to our habits, but are we taking those cues and putting them into action for our wellness? Steps, exercise exertion and intensity are all great measures for output, but do you know your Heart Rate Variability, sleep percentages and recovery process that are necessary to balance wellness?
Thich Naht Hanh a poet, author and spiritual leader states, “Silence is essential. We need silence, just as much as we need air, just as much as plants need light. If our minds are crowded with words and thoughts, there is no space for us.” Sometimes silence is the very ingredient we need to complete a task, think through a project or finally lasso that dream. When we can allow ourselves that stillness, that rest, our minds can be free to explore that individuality that is solely ours and that this very world is waiting for.
So when sitting down with your loved ones, or hopefully in your own solitude be sure to make rest a big priority during your resolution process. As Doe Zantamat has shared, “Taking time to do nothing, often puts everything into perspective.”
About Shawnee Powers
Shawnee has spent the majority of her life focusing on complete wellness and healing. Her nursing and healthcare background has been pivotal in understanding the mechanisms of health from a medical perspective and her own personal journey has brought her to develop her unique approach with the use of natural elements such as salt, water, heat, light and the faculties of our own body and intuition. Shawnee is a thought leader in her industry, her focus is on a future where every community has access to the combination of services Float Magic provides allowing access to beautiful facilities and impactful therapies that not only changes the individual, but the community as a whole.