It is common knowledge that you need to rest when you are tired. However, science has shown that it is not only your body that need the rest, your mental health is also at risk if you do not rest. Read on to find out about Rest And How It Affects Your Mental Health
Rest And How It Affects Your Mental Health
So, we know you have an important exam the next day or a meeting that you must be at and on time; do take some time to rest. Did I hear you ask why? Well, that’s a good question. When you are resting, your brain cells are also relaxing. This enables them to function very well when you finally wake up.
In this article, we will be discussing more rest and how it affects your mental health. Okay, let’s dive right in.
What Is Rest?
If you are to follow the definitions that are in the dictionary,
- Rest is to cease work or movement, to relax, sleep, or recover strength.
- It is not an exercise done only when you are very tired. Sometimes, you just need to relax and let your body do the same.
Looking at it from the angle of health –
- Rest is an exercise that we do to ensure and improve our
physical and mental well-being.
It will surprise you – resting is not only done when you lie down and close your eyes. Rest can be active as well as passive. Active rest could be an exercise like running or going for a stroll, and passive rest includes things like sleep. The passive rest can also be sitting down and relaxing for a few minutes. In summary, you can be awake or sleeping and still be resting.
What Is Sleep?
We get that most people are usually confused about how sleep differs from rest, and we would love to clarify that. But to do that effectively, we need to know what sleep is. Let us take our definition from the dictionary again.
Sleep is a condition of the body and mind that typically recurs for several hours every night, in which the nervous system is relatively inactive, the eyes closed, the postural muscles relaxed, and consciousness practically suspended.
From this definition, we can see that for you to sleep, you must be unconscious, but your brain and body functions are perfectly awake. So the difference between rest and sleep is clear. When you are asleep, you are not conscious, and your eyes will be mostly closed, but when you are resting, your eyes can be
Why Resting Is Important
We know how difficult it is to rest in this digital world. From working to paying bills to attending occasions, it could be pretty hard to find out time and rest. But still, it is a very important task that we all must do every day. Here are the reasons why you must rest –
1. It Boosts Creativity: When you find out time to rest, you become more creative because your brain cells will be able to break through the creative barrier and flood you with lots of amazing ideas. This is possible because when your mind is at rest, your brain is being refilled with ideas that it won’t be
able to have when you are busy.
2. It Enhances Decision Making: When you work for too long, you are indirectly reducing the productivity of your brain cells by reducing their ability to concentrate on making important
decisions. And this is why whenever you want to make a big decision, you are usually advised to “sleep on it”; resting is not a difficult task to accomplish; all you have to do is schedule some breaks for yourself and see how it will boost your decision-making skills. And if you want to know how to rest, keep reading this article to find out. But for now, let’s continue with the benefits of resting –
3. It Reduces Stress: Stress is a feeling that almost everyone has experienced. But did you know that stress suppresses your immune system and makes you more vulnerable to sickness? During stress, your body’s senses are heightened, because your body is experiencing the fight or flight response making it more prone to danger. Your blood pressure and heart rate can easily increase during this period. You may also have a slow digestive process. The fight or flight response mentioned before means that your body has activated the sympathetic nervous system. What resting does – is activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which in turn lowers the activities of the sympathetic nervous system.
4. It Improves Productivity: It cannot be said enough that you are more productive after you have had enough rest. When you take time off work, you will be able to be more effective when you get back to it. So take a day out of the week and rest. It will help sharpen your brain for that important meeting and task you have to accomplish.
How To Rest
We promised to give you techniques on how you can rest peacefully. All you have to do is develop simple routines that will cause you to rest. Some of these techniques include;
1. Read a book: Reading has been proven as one of the best relaxing techniques. When you read, your mind gets transported into the book, and you forget all your worries.
2. Take Deep Breaths: Put your alarm to good use with this. Set a time to take at least five deep breaths at least three times a day. You could do this immediately after you get to work and you are waiting for your computer to come on, or you can do it in the morning when you are about to leave for work.
3. Be Grateful: You don’t have to accomplish a big task before you can become grateful in life. The little things matter as much as the big ones. Make time to be thankful that you made it to work safely or that you were able to meet up with a loved one. It will help your nerves and brain cells relax because you won’t constantly be thinking of all of the things you haven’t done. Instead, you will be grateful for the things you have.
4. Have Healthy Habits: One such habit is exercising. Engaging in physical exercise clears your mind, reduces stress, and improves your mood. Another habit is yoga. Remember, resting is a task that is done purposefully.
5. Get Enough Sleep: We advise that you develop a nightly routine, also set the time for when you will wake up. It is also advisable to detach yourself from electronic devices for an hour before bedtime. During that period, you can read a book under dimmed lights. It will help you fall asleep faster, and it will also ensure that you have a peaceful night’s rest.
Share your thoughts on Rest And How It Affects Your Mental Health in the comment box below.