We live in a world of overwork, burnout, worry, stress and exhaustion. One of the major drawbacks to our constant state of busyness is we deprive ourselves of the inherent clues our intuition provides us to live happier and more productive lives. So, how do we get off of the treadmill of life and re-charge our inner wisdom?
It is common knowledge that many of us are overly stressed leading us to be tired. Today about 20% of Americans report they sleep less than 6 hours a night, and the number of people who say they sleep 8 hours has also decreased. Scientists have confirmed that when we are tired this deprives our brains of the subtle signs that help us guide and direct our lives.
Even if we fall short on getting a full night’s sleep, we can renew, refresh and rejuvenate our mind when we allow ourselves rest time—even if it is only for 10 minutes. Scientists have proven that quieting our minds for brief intervals—known as meditation or mindfulness, is like charging our internal battery.
Once you determine the time that you want to allow rest time, set the timer on your smartphone and put it on silent so that it does not disturb you until your time is up.
Here are the steps for creating a short break to relax your mind:
1. Take 6 deep breaths and set a firm intention to be peaceful.
2. If you notice your mind continuing on a busy stream of thoughts do not judge yourself, instead, gently remind yourself you have set this time for relaxing your mind and will think about those things later.
3. Introduce a word or mantra to help you relax into silencing your mind such as: Peace, Love, God and Joy.
4. When your alarm goes off take a moment to be grateful for the time you have given to take care of yourself.
5. Commit to feeling joy for the rest of your day.
The benefits of resting after working hard were never clearer to me these last two years while writing my first book. There were times in which my mind was so active that I was sleeping sometimes only3-4 hours a night. Afternoons were always the hardest time for me to maintain my mental sharpness, so I started to plan 10-minute rest periods for myself each day. I saw positive effects as soon as I started taking short meditation breaks each day; not only was I more alert, but it was easier for my mind to provide creative insights that I needed to finish my book.
The results I found in taking short rest breaks each day are the same underlying reason why businesses today are implementing meditation and mindfulness practices for their employees. Industry giants such as Google, Aetna, Target, Apple, Nike, General Mills, Goldman Sachs, Proctor & Gamble, AOL, and The Huffington Post, have all created programs to help their workers stay healthy.
These programs include non-conventional classes such as yoga, mindfulness,
Tai Chi, massage, as well as ongoing lectures by professionals on health and wellness.
We all have the ability to develop our own self-care program by setting aside time each day to allow our minds to rest and be peaceful. Making this commitment will go a long way to help us receive the insight, wisdom and hunches that is always available from our intuition.