Work hard? Tired? Stressed? Need a break? Does it seem hard to find time to re-energize?
Sometimes it is easier to distract yourself to let go rather than actually rest. Understanding rest is the first step in really learning to relax and recharge. If you really want to relax, particularly if time crunched, it is important to learn how to actually rest. Not resting through sleep. Just to simply rest.
To cease work or movement in order to relax is the definition of rest. Stopping movement is huge for me and seemed impossible given my occupations, lifestyle and things I love to do. That being said, I found an interesting read and self-discovery on “the 4 types of rest.” These are stated as sensory, emotional, mental and physical rest. You can likely find many others. The appealing part of this piece for me is that it required me to remain aware in that specific rest mode. Also, it can be done anytime for short relaxing pick me up, or longer more profound impact if you have more time. Structurally it is simple and focused.
1. Sensory rest, or denying the senses experience of the physical world.
As an experiential educator, I love this one. Try a blindfold and ear plugs. Simply take a few moments and sit with blindfold on and ear plugs in. At first it may seem weird. Emotions and thoughts may roam all over the place. Should your mind wonder, take control by grazing on thoughts or ideas that lead to your growth as a person. Once you get use to it, it can be soooo peaceful.
2. Emotional rest, or detach from emotions.
This can be tough. I have found it requires the engagement of mental alertness. and deep breathing. It can seem effortless to be invaded by thoughts that have an emotional string, positive or negative. It is also easy to experience emotions from projected behaviours or thoughts of others. This is why mental alertness is important during emotional resting. At first stay sharp, breath and release the emotional string.
3. Mental rest, or don’t let thoughts overlap.
Do you sometimes have thoughts that run as wild as the Loonie Tunes Tasmanian Devil? Thought wasting by spending energy in negative talk about your-self, about others, or perhaps you let thoughts randomly bash into one another. Either way it can suck the life out of you. Work at releasing rather than getting stuck on thoughts. Notice them, then let them go. Imagine being like a screen door with large spaces in the screen.
4. Physical rest, or the dead body posture.
This is not time to fall asleep nor take a power nap. It is to breath and discharge tension from the body. Thoughts and emotions can create tension during this time. Take control of where you mind wonders by feed yourself nurturing thoughts of love and healing. It may be more challenging than you think. Once you get it though, it truly feels great.
Give it a whirl. Whatcha got to lose! And you never know, perhaps you will experience some of the “simple bear necessities of life.”