Resting in peace: a lifestyle choice!

science of resting

It’s no knowledge newly acquired that the pursuit of rest and leisure and relaxation is just as essential for the human being as are meeting the basic needs of food, clothing and shelter. And not just in such measures that equate rest to the biological process of sleeping, of such concerns that come across as complicated renditions of what the circadian rhythm and a whole lot of such encompassing and related terminology spell out in all their stark standout nature. It instead is the laidback, easy and very conscious awareness of the idle type that is what is summed up by the rules of rest that harbours a rather surprising power to dawn health and vitality upon the human race.

But despite how complicated the science of sleep might come across as and the exactly contrary manifestation of simplicity in which the act of resting promises to lay itself all out there for everyone to embrace it, resting might indeed be more difficult an ‘activity’ to pursue. Because while sleep, even when it indeed is a form of resting is more certain, a state of unconsciousness in which only the most essential bodily functions are being performed, and the certainty of which is as certain to decipher as well, resting can be rather tricky. One can be simply idling away their time doing absolutely nothing at all, not even indulging in some pleasurable or leisure activity of mindlessly flipping through the television but if there still is a constant stream of thoughts running through the mind in such awareness and intensity that it plays upon the conscious, then rest for sure is not attained. Making this pursuit of the luxury of resting even more tricky a goal to ascertain is the fact that we simply cannot put our mind off things at times, no matter how hard we might try, making therefore the pursuit of the resting exercise rather an activity in stress. But this does not in any way mean that we can never rest at all in life till we have worries and woes and tasks to tend to because offseting the pursuit of this even more essential activity puts us in a worse stead in handling and managing other lethal life issues.

the art of rest book
Source: Amazon.in

The importance of rest has never been lost upon the world. As per the rule enacted by us out of nature, the tradition of Sundays as being a day off all around the world is testimony to the universal agreement that follows up on the resting essence as an essential trait required for better functioning of every human being. As a wholesome anti-exertion of the being, whether it be in physical dimensions of the body or the psychological explorations rested in the mind, rest is something that endows upon us a rejuvenated existence more competent at going about the ways of life with lively enthusiasm. And while this essence of rest upon the human mind is rather emphasised, the ways in which occurrences of the resting period impacts also positively the human body is often overlooked, though the effects are also as palpable and obviously even more evident in their perceptible nature of manifestation. Not surprisingly hence, even in very professionally charted out fitness regimes a rest day is almost always granted to allow for the body a chance to recuperate and prepare itself better for the more advanced or even changed scheme of things designed to follow. Also interesting is the fact that the exercise of rest can also be indeed a very active assertion of the body, even when it might come across as contradictory of what rest essentially sounds like.

For the mind, the importance of rest reveals itself in similar assertions, the pursuit of it being linked as it is to enhanced productivity, boosted creativity, better memory, more potent attention capacities and so on and so forth. In such expanded extent of its reach, resting entails therefore a greater sense of well being for the self, which is what goes a long way in actually improving the quality of life and existence. And yet, despite such profound importance derived from its ability to merely alter perceptions, the true luxury of resting is not always easy to practice and attain. Resting is not about drifting off to that state of sleep where worries do not find a way due to the physiological process at work. Rather, it is more the workings of the mental faculties that consciously pushes away the innumerable thoughts flooding every human brain at any given point of time so that we can consciously unwind and relax and afford our senses the space they need to purge us of all stress. Resting is essential to help calm down the mind, which can be sought out differently as per individual inclinations which is why despite its very universal nature, there exists no one universal way to just be. As an ideal state of existence that puts our mind off pursuits that we chase, even when they aren’t necessarily much of a bother, the embarkment upon the premises of resting is a clear case of asserting the human ability to learn and to emerge as better at anything we set about to do. For indeed there exists a science at work behind this art of resting that we can get better and better at with our every pursual.

Because we do not practise this necessary task of resting enough in the times of today that routinely calls for squeezing in of as many productive ventures into our schedule as possible, it is not very surprising that most often than not we tend to suffer from a rest deficit. And given the far flung reaches of the body and the mind and the overall being upon which rest has its influence, rest deficit also can be classified as being of different types depending upon which aspect of our existence that deprivation of the wholesome endowment occurs across. Because rest is sufficiently rewarding, impacting as it does everything from our entire immune system to our cognitive abilities and our holistic wellness, it also is certain that a lack of it in even one sphere of functioning weighs down negatively upon us in entirety. Seeking out therefore the area of our existence in which a lack of adequate rest is what is holding us back in being the best version of ourselves and restoring the levels across that area of working in which we are deficit is crucial so as to ensure that the impact of a singular level of what classifies as less than optimum do not interfere with the positive workings of the related others.

The first and rather obvious area of the human awareness where rest is often encountered in less than adequate amounts of it is across the realms of the physical. Be it while dealing with everyday mundane tasks or even such activities that are pursued out of passion, the continuous working of the body is a given which is what tires out us. This deficit can be restored rather conveniently through sleeps and naps or also through other physical but restorative activities of exercise like yoga and massages, helping to replenish the drained out energy and enthuse in us a new found vitality.

The second and as obvious spectrum of existence that demands rest relates to the mental hankering for it. Whether it be the regular worries and stress of life and work taking a toll upon us or some unpredictable but crucial issues that mark inevitably man’s day on earth, letting our mental faculties disconnect from any and everything of the world is what constitutes rest for the mind. While sleeping indeed can be a form of rest in this case as well, sleep itself find difficult to come upon a mind cluttered with thoughts and involved in worry. Meditation and therapy is what can count as rest in this case, though simpler means like taking out time for short but frequent breaks or pursuing some hobby or activity that one thoroughly enjoys can be also efficient ways of making rest less elusive a luxury in pursuit.

A more modern pursuit of rest that the modern world has necessitated out of humans and in which we perhaps are most deficient relates to the sensory exploration of the world. Continuously staring at blue screens, persistently plugged into our headphones or even constantly bombarded with unwelcome noise, even when it might be something stemming from a conversation we did not want to happen in the first place, all of these necessities put indeed an overwhelming amount of stress on our senses. Taking therefore a conscious break from all such distractions and letting our ears and eyes return instead to a stress free state of nothingness every once in a while is all the sensory rest we need to afford to not come across as fatigued.

Emotional rest is important as well and as an area which is subject to intense amounts of the feels, manifests almost always in less than optimum amounts of relaxation. Though more conflicting a pursuit in itself, the requirements of emotional rest can be met to some extents by being your own self without yielding in to the expectations or even the desire to come across as socially and culturally appropriate every single time. Purging yourself of the negative emotions that characterise all human by letting them out to someone is also another effective way in which we can let our state of the emotional not reach a stage where things becomes too much and too difficult to handle.

A type of rest less recognised in that we perhaps are lesser aware of the fact that there exists also a thing like that is what manifests itself as a creative rest deficit. For people who are creative and need as well to maintain that level of continuity in innovation or creativity as part of their job, or even for those pursuing their creative passion, too much exertion of what drives their creativity can seriously drain out their resources. Concepts like writer’s block might be rested across this premise which necessitates therefore the conscious taking out of time to not be creative. Allowing oneself the liberty of not having to create anything for at least a day and taking recourse to nature from where creativity draws utmost inspiration can be a rather enriching way of creative resting. In such related terms, another very profound way in which you can work more rest into your creative assertion is by taking to the ultimate pleasurable indulgence of daydreaming. Associated with higher levels of creativity as a consequence of it, either because of the stress subsiding or the grey matter of the brain getting a breather are such benefits entailing out of taking periods of rest from being necessarily creative.

Other areas in which the required margins of rest are often overlooked by us humans, either because of our ignorance about its necessity or due to a genuine paucity of what can allow us to rest can be social and spiritual or in fact every single aspect of what makes for a component of life. But whatever might be the type and extent of such a lacking in the arena of rest, making up to it is necessary because of the related mechanism in which every part of our existence depends on it. Consider it as a luxury or understand it as a necessity but seeking succour in rest surely is one of the most essential of things to do in life.