In Western society our lives are so full and busy that many of us do not find enough hours in each day. When you are pushing yourself to the limit mentally, emotionally and physically a biochemical reaction happens within your body that increases the level of cortisol, a stress hormone, putting you in to a ‘fight or flight’ response.
When “fight or flight” mode is activated you are constantly in a state of stress no matter what you are doing and your mind and body never get a chance to rest and rejuvenate.
When you have been running on ‘fight or flight’ for too long your body will inevitably start to break down in various ways. Your mind becomes overactive which eventually leads to the point of complete exhaustion and you may have no energy reserves left at all. This is known as burnout. It is an extremely hard and long process recovering from burnout and can take months, even years to get back on track.
Taking regular time out of your schedule prevents burnout from occurring and replenishes your energy reserve so that your body and mind will be operating at an optimal level so you can enjoy your life with a strong and healthy body and a calm mind.
Rest and rejuvenation is often viewed as something we do on vacation when the reality is, it’s just as important as eating healthy and getting exercise. Remember, disease doesn’t just happen overnight. By the time we show signs and symptoms of a problem, it’s been quietly building within your biochemistry for some time. Taking time out therefore becomes a preventive measure for optimal health care and wellness.
5 ways to take time out of your busy schedule in exchange for health & wellness;
1. Breath – Yes that’s right, just breathe. Most people use only 1/3 of their lung capacity to breathe which is called thoracic breathing and it doesn’t allow much oxygen to enter the cells of our bodies as the breath is too shallow and fast. Taking 10 slow deep long breaths will help to calm down the nervous system and relax the tissues of your body. If you do this several times a day your body has the ability to increase its oxygen capacity, which assists rejuvenation on a cellular level. Best of all its free, quick and we all know how to do it.
2. Presence – Bring yourself into the present moment by getting out of your head and into your heart. Sit with yourself and assess how you are feeling in that moment as opposed to what you are thinking. Mentally taking time out allows for your mind to calm and reset itself promoting a clearer outlook, relaxed nature and leaves you re-centered once again. Bring your awareness in to your heart space and listen to the wisdom that flows within you. Silence and presence delivers us peace and stillness, which benefits our health immensely.
3. Biophilia – Go outside, bare foot if you can, and stand on the earth. Biophilia is nature’s ability to heal us. Connecting directly with the earth breathing in clean air and allowing sunshine to be absorbed on your skin has been scientifically proven to calm down the nervous system. It is that simple. Go outside, get barefoot in the grass, dirt, soil, sand or whatever you can connect to and simply breathe and surrender to the healing presence of mother nature. A mere 5 minutes a day will make a huge difference to the health of your body and state of your mind.
4. Rest – Resting when you need to is not a sign of weakness nor is it a selfish practice. It is a sign of self-respect and self-love. Resting when you need too allows your body to restore itself leading to better performance, increased mental capacity and an invigorating boost in energy levels. When you do not rest you are depleting your body and activating the ‘flight or fight’ response in to overdrive. Give yourself permission to rest when you need it, it becomes a wonderful healing gift that you can give yourself and you will benefit it so many ways.
5. Learn to say NO – This is a big one and something most of us are not very good at. We are often the illusion that the more we do, the fuller our schedules and the more we give of ourselves to others the better person we are. This thinking is not only false but can potentially drive us in to exhaustion at rapid speed. Learning to say “No” is also a form of self-love and self respect because it provides you with appropriate boundaries that you need to take care of yourself. When you become tired, worn out and overworked you are no good to anybody, including yourself. Learning to say No to things that do not serve your best interests in that moment enables you to protect your own energy reserves and therefore have more to give to yourself and all of those around you in the appropriate moment. You feel better and everyone around you gets to experience a healthy energized version of you. Sometimes saying No to other people demands on us is the best thing we can do for our own health.