Our lives are filled with so many distractions, obligations and engagements. Whether we label these as pleasant or not, the truth remains we are often overstimulated, overwhelmed and over scheduled. In a society that prioritizes achievement over connection and "striving" over "being" it is difficult to not feel guilty about prioritizing rest. However, taking time to rest whether it be a nap, doing nothing else but sitting on a park bench, meditating, contemplating, or just turning all our attention to breathe for a time, has so many physical, mental, emotional and spiritual benefits.
From a physical perspective, rest activates the parasympathetic nervous system which regulates rest and digest. Our days mostly consist of stress and being "one the go" which triggers the sympathetic nervous system which is responsible for regulating the body's response to perceived threats. For every 1 hour of sympathetic nervous system arousal we need about 3-6 hours of rest to keep the balance. Are we really getting that much rest? In thinking about your day, how much stress are you under? How many hours are you in this state? Are you really getting enough rest to keep your nervous system balanced?
From a mental and emotional perspective, a state of relaxation helps us to attain a level of clarity which provide bursts of inspiration or making us more capable of solving problems. Also, getting a balanced amount of rest and relaxation produces a sense of peace and calm. This state of mind can assist in reducing stress, anxiety and depression.
From a spiritual perspective, infusing mindfulness or meditation in your rest through "being" rather always "doing" we can remain more in the present moment. This increases our capacity to increase awareness. Awareness increases the ability to clearly see beyond the five senses. This assists in getting more familiar with the mental chatter that is ladened with behavior patterns, belief systems, judgements, clinging, and striving which ultimately lead us into missing the moments of our lives.
In the words of Jon Kabat-Zinn, "Every moment is fresh, you have never seen this moment before. If you miss this moment, there is the next. However, the more moments you miss, the faster the trip of life."
Take an opportunity to REST with one of our meditation or restorative yoga classes. In addition, learn about our 8-weeks to Mindfulness series coming up!