The Power of Rest
Rest not only helps your body but it also reduces stress. It boosts your creativity and productivity and enhances your ability to make decisions. When we think of rest, we automatically think about physical rest or sleep. However, we also need mental/emotional rest and spiritual rest. We’ll cover all three types of rest and strategies to help you practice them.
You will be inspired to develop a simple daily routine that will give you a cue to rest; making rest a daily habit for better mental health, a stronger immune system, and reduced stress.
What’s the Big Deal About Rest?
Rest can be a little hard to define because it looks different for everybody. It’s any behavior that can increase your physical or mental well being. It can be active (like going for a walk), or passive (like sitting down to take a nap or breathing for just a few minutes). Creating habits to rest can help you recover, recharge and improve your physical and mental health.
Physical Rest aka Sleep
Lack of sleep can negatively affect our memory, our creativity, it can impact our immune system, muscle repair, and even our metabolism. Furthermore, lack of sleep has been linked to irritability, anger and even depression. When we sleep, we repair our bodies and minds. Lack of sleep can also contribute to hormonal imbalances. Sleep not only keeps your hormones in check, but plays a critical role in processing your emotions and memory.
Constant worrying and problem solving is exhausting, right? That’s why we need mental or emotional rest. Rest helps build electrical pathways in our brain that help our minds function properly. This helps our ability to stay alert, think critically and clearly, and to learn and remember information.
Mindfulness and relaxation techniques can help with this. This is when we’re able to experience a sense of the stillness and relaxation in our bodies – with awareness and a sense of peace.
We’re not talking about religion but rather the experience of feeling a deep sense of love, acceptance, and belonging. When trying an exercise, like meditation, you connect with your inner peace. Slowing down helps you create a space so you can tap into your inner wisdom and knowledge, which can often be crowded out by stress in our daily lives.
Practice this by trying a simple body scan exercise before going to bed or as soon as you wake up.
Iterations are a fundamental part of personal growth and development. When it comes to rest, small iterations can have a big impact. These tiny steps can help you cultivate inner peace and find balance amidst the chaos of daily life:
- Practice gratitude – the little things
- Deep breathing – anywhere anytime
- Set an intention to take 5 deep breaths
- Move your body – such as yoga or gentle stretching
- Add foods that can help you relax – think about healthy comfort foods that will increase your serotonin such as a warm bowl of oatmeal on a cold day
- Take some time for creative thinking – open your brain up and relax
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