When asked ‘How are you?’ how often do we answer ‘I’m busy!’ and there’s pride in our answer. We’d much rather have a busy persona (aka busy equals important) than be thought of as idle. Most of us view rest as a kind of divine madness; an unrelenting wrestle within ourselves between two conflicting voices. It’s like two parts of our soul stand toe to toe; one craving sacred pauses and the other relentlessly demanding productivity and results. We tend to reward busy toil and ignore that quiet voice that asks for a pause. We feel the push / pull deeply but struggle to give ourselves permission to take a break, ponder and just be present in life.
Christine Carter, says it candidly in her book Raising Happiness ‘Fun, rest, relaxation, flow have been squeezed out of our lives in the pursuit of more.’
Rest is not idleness. Pausing is not lazy. Taking regular breaks is the key to our best life. Resting affects our productivity, our ability to stay positive and focussed and how we interact with others. Want to increase health and wellbeing? Happiness? Creativity? Connection with others? Ability to perform well? We need to give ourselves permission to rest.
When we insert an intentional pause, a shift occurs. Our mind begins to process the day’s experiences and leads to stress release and reduction of mental fatigue which in turn affects our body. Research shows that taking even a 15-20 minute break increases concentration and energy levels and promotes greater efficiency and creativity.
So give yourself a break and take regular, intentional pause clauses.
Eat slowly using your senses. Sit in front of a view and allow your mind to wander. Draw, journal or create as self expression not to design a masterpiece. Meditate. Go for a walk. Lie down and have a snooze. Listen to music with your eyes closed. Wander through an art gallery.
The what is not important, but the intention is - pause to relax, breathe, wander, daydream, chill, ponder, let go, use your senses to experience the world and yourself.