Friday, April 20, 2012

Getting Your Mind To Rest And Revive

We all experience mental exertion and stress.  Some people are better than others at balancing work, stress and rejuvenative time.  Moreover, studies find that different types of "rest" are needed for different situations.  The experts all agree, however, that the break your mind needs does not have to be enjoyable or fun - your mind needs a break to function in the most healthy, productive way.

Ayurveda holds rest as one of the foundations of health and Ayurveda also gives recommendations based on a person's body or illness type.  There is no one size fits all.  The scientific studies support this individual approach. 

Here are some of the recommendations.  Someone who is involved in sustained focus like active studying or working with numbers should take a nature break by walking in a park, indoor atrium or even look at pictures of nature.  After the break, people's cognitive performance did improve.  The nature break is also a very helpful "break" for depression and anxiety.  The nature walk should not be in a crowded city street, because the details in a crowded city street require focused attention.

If you are in the middle of a stressful task that has a deadline, it is best to work through it.  If you believe you have the will power and strength to get the job done, you will feel good during the process.  In fact, you will achieve better results and have more will power for future tasks.  Having coffee when you are stressed, leaves many feeling more stressed and wound up.  So if you are looking for a pick me up, try a little exercise or have a small healthy snack with a little protein and fiber like almond butter and an apple.

As a mom, the recommendations seem like something I would tell my kids.  The most important thing is to believe in your strength and will power.  Your positive attitude will boost you the most.  Yet, you are not a machine, so take a break.  Get a little fresh air, get a little exercise and feed yourself good food.  Finally, get the rest you need by sleeping and you won't need caffeine to pull you through.  Ayurveda also espouses a healthy, balanced lifestyle to empower one both physically and mentally.

So, the next time you are overwhelmed and need a mental break, do what your mom, grandmother or Ayurvedic Practitioner would tell you.  You will be feeling great in no time.

Stay healthy & well,

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