Mind, Body, Spirit & Meditation


How To Rest, Relax and Recharge

Itís unfortunate, but in todayís society it is far too common for adults to drag on day after day, lacking the sleep their bodies desperately need. There is often too much to do and too little time, and so we take that time we need away from our sleep. Workaholics arenít the only ones who sacrifice their sleep Ė college students and work at home parents are also known to stay up until the wee hours of the morning, getting maybe 4-5 hours of sleep each night. Our bodies donít appreciate this, and in fact not getting enough rest can spell disaster.

At least two major studies (using a million or so subjects) have shown that those who get less than 7 hours of sleep each night have a much higher mortality rate than those who sleep more. There are many reasons our bodies begin to break down without adequate rest. Without the ability to completely recharge after a full day of running all its processes, the systems get sluggish, organs perform less than optimally, and the body itself becomes stressed. No longer does it have the ability to recuperate, to heal, or be properly nourished. It shuts down from the inside out.

If you need help getting extra sleep, try avoiding caffeine 6-8 hours prior to bedtime, getting regular exercise (early in the day), and sleeping in a dark and quiet room. Some people may even need a midday nap to give their body the daily rest it needs for optimum wellness. Quiet activities such as reading a book or watching a television show in bed can also aid in relaxation, but be sure to avoid activities that are taxing on your thought processes Ė the most common cause of insomnia includes the inability to stop thinking or worrying about what life may bring.

You may also want to get into the habit of setting aside quiet time to let your mind recharge during the course of the day. If youíre like most people, youíve probably got a lot of distractions and demands on your focus throughout the day, and such constant busyness can be incredibly draining.

If the thought of setting aside time to rest your mind seems like an unattainable luxury for you, you may be surprised to learn that it doesnít have to take as long as you probably think. Try using the first 5 or 10 minutes of your lunch hour to step outside and clear your mind of scattered thoughts. Take a few deep breaths and maybe even walk a few paces to stretch your body at the same time.

Do this again right before you go to bed in the evening, or after a particularly stressful situation. For example, if youíve been cramming for 6 hours to finish a project deadline, take the next 10 or 15 minutes to sit quietly or otherwise allow your mind to rest before jumping into the next project. Sometimes thatís easier said than done, but youíll notice a dramatic improvement in your level of concentration and focus if you do this regularly.

Finally, donít neglect your spiritual renewal either! You may not think your spirit is in need of rest and relaxation; after all, isnít that part of us infinite and indestructible? Most people would say so, but they would also probably agree that itís possible to dim or diminish our spiritual selves simply by neglecting them for extended periods of time. Take time each day to honor your spirit and connect with your inner essence. You can do this through meditation, journaling, dance, prayer, creative pursuits, or any other activity that makes you feel in touch with the deepest part of you.

Relaxation Affirmation:
I give myself permission to rest, relax and recharge.
I deserve to feel peaceful and serene in all areas of my life.
I choose to release all tension, worry, fear and stress now.

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