Taking a break is essential!
I take a look at my “to-do list” and realise it’s blog writing day. I love writing, I always have but today I’m not sure what to write about. I spend 5 minutes looking at past blogs but when nothing springs to mind I decide to take a walk. I could have called someone, one of our other Inspired to Change Associates perhaps, but most people are on holiday! As I head out the door I set myself the intention that this walk is to help me decide on a subject for my blog.
Just a few hundred yards down the road and I come to the river, and bingo, my brain delivers my answer! The subject for my blog will be on the importance of taking breaks!
From a brain science point of view I know that taking breaks is essential for our mental wellbeing, our physical wellbeing, our productivity, creativity, focus, blog writing ideas…the list goes on! In fact you’ll be hard pushed to find anything negative about taking a break. Yet despite this evidence I still struggle to practice what I preach!
So, much as this blog is about encouraging you to take a break, it’s also a reminder for me too!
Have you ever had an idea come to you out of the blue?
The perfect solution to a problem that you’ve been struggling with? You’ve been wracking your brain for days but try as you might you just can’t solve this one. And then you decide to park the problem because you just aren’t getting anywhere with it. And that’s when the idea comes to you! When you stop thinking about it! Ironic isn’t it – or is it?
We keep our brains pretty busy all the time, making sure we don’t get lost on the way home from work, replying to that never ending list of emails in our inbox, trying to remember the shopping list to pick up on the way home, trying to figure out how we’ll afford to go on holiday this year, trying to decide how to broach a tricky subject with your partner. We work our brains hard yet we expect them to deliver perfect results every time, and when they don’t, when we forget someone’s birthday or a vital ingredient for our dinner, we beat ourselves up over it.
The problem is, when we keep our brains this busy they don’t have the capacity to work on other things. Our brains have access to around 500 calories a day for all our thought processes and decision making. If we are constantly using all that brain power up and not replenishing it we start to get a bit stuck.
When we take some down time, a short break away, an afternoon walk, or even a 10 minute tea break, a bit of time when we aren’t actively thinking, our brain’s capacity is freed up to work on other things. The solutions suddenly seem to pop up out of nowhere. Like my walk that suddenly gave my brain the capacity to come up with an idea for this blog! That idea didn’t magically come out of nowhere – my brain already had the information it needed to come up with that solution, until I stepped away from everything, just for 10 minutes, it didn’t have the spare capacity available to it to access that information, pull it all together and come up with the answer.
Hobbies Vs Rest
There are two types of break we can take to help restore our minds and help us to come back fresher, energised and more focused. We can do something we love like a hobby, or we can take some time to literally do nothing! Take that cup of tea and sit outside listen to the birds singing and empty your mind. Purposely doing nothing isn’t lazy – its restorative to both our minds and our bodies. Do you think your car is useless if it is sitting in your drive or at the garage getting a service? No, of course you don’t, and you shouldn’t think the same of yourself either!
We all lead busy lives, we’ve all got so much to do, but sometimes less is more. When we take a break we come back with more energy, more focus, more creativity.
We are human beings, not human doings. Find some time to just be, be in the moment, not thinking, just being and start to appreciate the benefits. I’m off for that cup of tea, my hammock is calling…..
If you’d like to find out how hypnotherapy could help you overcome overwhelm and prioritise time for you, get in touch with one of our Inspired to Change hypnotherapists and book your FREE initial consultation.
Inspired to Change Hypnotherapists are all recognised by the National Council for Hypnotherapy, the UK’s leading not-for-profit hypnotherapy professional association.
Find out how you can train as a solution focused hypnotherapist with CPHT.