The society we live in tends to consider rest as indulgent. However, rest is important for replenishing energy and recovering from strain. Some of the key benefits of rest are increased memory function, concentration, and overall mood. Relaxing recharges the ability to face your commitments, relationships, and your overall health with more energy and vigor. Here are a few tips that can help you relax and get real rest.
One study concluded that fatigue occurs after three hours of non-stop time on a task. Other studies have found that your brain needs a break every 90 minutes. Burning up mental resources without replenishment causes poor performance, burnout, and stress. Stress limits the brain to focus on a perceived threat thus making it hard to concentrate on anything else or make smart decisions. Recovery opportunities could range from taking breaks during the day to diversions that shut of the mind when you go home in the evening. Mental rest can also be achieved through weekend activities, vacations, and sleep. Mental rest has been seen to change blood pressure, body temperature, and heart rate. The aim of mental rest is to get occupied in a simple undertaking that the big stuff does not bother you.
Brain scans have revealed that you can expand parts of your brain through meditation. Meditators have fatter frontal lobes and are able to build more grey matter in their midbrain. This is important for concentration, focus, attention, blood circulation, and breathing. Studies have further shown that the brain reacts the same way to prayer as it does when you meditate.
Social rest implies spending some time with your friends and relatives. While sometimes shutting yourself out from the world is important, it is also healthy to set aside some time to socialize. A study in the seventies revealed that socializing is necessary for survival. Sociable people have a lower risk of heart disease and other fatal illnesses. Recent studies also show that social support can help you fight off infections, survive a diagnosis of cancer, and reduce your risk of getting a heart attack. Chatting with friends has been linked to low levels of stress hormones.
While many people associate a desire for solitude with loneliness or sadness, it has numerous physical and psychological benefits. Solitude increases productivity and gives you a chance to reboot your brain. Solitude also helps you work through problems and improves productivity. One way to have some alone time is to unplug all the ways you connect with other people. Turn off the internet, TV, and cell phone. Mark off some time on your calendar to spending time alone.
The growth hormone levels that help your muscles recover work at their best when you are asleep. The recommended sleep pattern is eight hours of night rest. Studies have shown that sleep increases one’s ability to concentrate, memorize information, maintain healthier body functions, and a better appetite.
A Change is As Good as a Rest
Sometimes all you need is a change of scenery to relieve tension. If you are stuck with the same routine, try doing things differently. Try to go to the gym, going for a walk, or engaging in a sporting activity to relieve the frustration or monotony of daily activity.
For a long time researchers have thought of ways that people can achieve complete rest and relaxation. The health benefits of rest go beyond the physical and impact one’s mental and spiritual well-being. Studies have shown that rest is crucial for preventing diseases, and helps people lead more productive lives.