Did you know that doing something as simple as getting enough rest can help you to effectively cope with stress? When our minds feel over-stressed or blocked with thoughts or worry, negative and adverse affects can occur in our bodies. Taking the time to do absolutely nothing and rest our weary minds and bodies can have amazing health benefits!
One of the most important aspects of spiritual and mental well-being is allowing time to heal ourselves through adequate rest. It is during this time of rest that we are free to recharge, recuperate, meditate, contemplate, and appreciate the world. Without rest, we are typically far too busy to notice anything other than our immediate surroundings.
During the last 50 years, the average American lifestyle has increased exponentially in “busy-ness”. In other words, we are far busier today than ever before, despite our so-called time saving devices such as dish washers and telephones. With our technology for reliable transportation and lightning-speed communications, our planet is becoming a globalized economy. These efforts toward globalization, uses of technology, and busy lifestyles has all but eliminated the tight-knit communities that once supported its residents. Instead, most citizens today go about their daily lives, handling all necessary issues on their own, and traveling great distances to go to work.
It is quite common today for an employee to spend at least two hours a day traveling to and from their job. Add to this time table the fact that the average work day has increased and off-the-clock demands have escalated, it stands to reason that there is little time left over to be idle. Many individuals spend 5 days out of the week doing nothing but working and sleeping. The weekends tend to be used for chores, errands, grocery shopping, cleaning the house, and other necessary tasks.
It is no surprise that the western, modernized world is riddled with anxiety and stress, even more so than ever before. Taking a casual stroll around a park or visiting with friends are virtually activities of the past. Today we are more likely to engage in road rage, traffic jams, breathe pollution, eat fast-food, and yell at our kids or spouse. Friends rarely hear from us, unless we need something. It stands to reason, therefore, that taking the time to step away from this chaos is not only beneficial, but serves as a pillar of support for a healthy lifestyle.
Before Amoxycillin and other similar antibiotic prescriptions came to the forefront of most doctor’s visits, the most common treatment recommendation that anyone would hear from their physician was to “get plenty of rest.” This recommendation was taken literally. The patient would postpone or cancel all activities, stay at home, and typically remain in bed as much as possible. The benefits to body and mind of doing absolutely nothing when one is feeling sick has always been a commonly known fact. However, it seems that this exact same healing principle is rarely applied for individuals who are not physically ill. Depression and anxiety are increasingly more common in America today, the symptoms of which could often be remedied by taking time off and getting enough rest. It seems that what used to be a fact that was commonly known by all has now somehow fallen to the wayside.
The current notion of taking time off from work and going on a vacation seems to be a great idea. The vacationer assumes that he or she will come back feeling refreshed and invigorated. The reality of the trip tends to be much different. The person often winds up feeling just as stressed during the vacation as they did while at work. Many individuals claim that they feel frazzled by the time they make it home, stating that they “need a vacation from the vacation.” In order to gain the full intended health and relaxation benefits from a vacation, it is imperative that vacationers do very little, or as little as possible. They should use their time to relax the soul and mind, allowing them to come home feeling good and refreshed.
Being idle is a cultural taboo, one that is often deeply frowned upon in many societies, yet doing nothing is very important to human mental health. Doing nothing allows us to rest our bodies and our minds, to relieve our worry and stress, to gather our thoughts, and to gain new perspectives. Being idle from time to time is an essential element of having and maintaining a fulfilled, happy life.
Happy Labor Day