Mental Rest is Important Too! — 5 Ways to Mentally Rest
There are times in my life when I can’t catch a break and I’m sure you feel the same way. When it seems that life is finally going smoothly with minimal barriers, a new hurdle will be just around the corner, ready to trip us up. Between one turn and the next, we find ourselves struggling to maintain a calm facade.
Now, even if life is going well, there may come a time when you need rest. And I’m not talking about physical rest aka sleep. I’m talking about the other kinds of rest – more importantly – mental rest.
Taking regular breaks to rest is important for your overall well-being and has even been proven to help you boost performance and productivity in whatever you do. Psychologists believe that rest is something that allows you to make time for your inner self, mind, and creativity. Taking frequent breaks and rest in life also allows a time for self-reflection that you don’t normally get.
In this blog, we’re focusing on how to take mental rest or how you can mentally rest when everything around you seems overwhelming and exhausting. Before we look at the tips, let’s learn what mental rest truly is.
What is Mental Rest?
We’re almost always living with stress and while stress can be good for us sometimes, more often than not it is our main source of health-related issues. Resting is one of the ways we allow our bodies to relax. When we rest, our nervous system which is constantly on alert relaxes.
Another benefit of rest is that when we are thoroughly rested, we can take care of and show up for our loved ones when they need us – mentally, emotionally, or even physically. When you mentally rest, you allow your brain to turn off and stop the constant chattering (or simply, information processing).
Now, if you find yourself unable to mentally rest, then here are some reasons why that may be;
What Aren’t You Resting?
1. You’re too driven
You are too focused on success that you think resting will hinder that. Even taking small breaks might seem like you’re quitting or just lazing around. While the need to succeed is a great drive, it can stop you from taking your mental rest.
2. You’re a perfectionist
Perfectionism could also be another reason why you’re not mentally resting. Your goals and expectations are too high and that’s affecting your actions and thoughts without you realizing it. Trying to be perfect is a good aim but when it affects your ability to mentally rest, it can become troublesome.
3. You feel bored
Many people just can’t seem to rest and for good reason. Resting, to them, is an activity that breeds boredom. Some people may find boredom beneficial, but some may find themselves rehashing difficult emotions like anger, guilt, and even loneliness. To avoid feeling these emotions, you may avoid resting.
4. You can’t stop thinking
When thoughts are too loud, it can affect your ability to mentally rest. You may constantly worry about work, what others might be thinking, what errands you have to run, and all the other mundane things. This constant stream of thoughts might also make it difficult for you to take a mental rest.
5. You don’t know how to rest
Yes, and while it may seem weird, some people don’t understand the concept of rest. Here’s a very common example of unhealthy resting that you may find relatable. Using your phone. While you may argue that you’re lying or sitting just scrolling through social media, psychologists might disagree with you. Using your phone takes a lot of mental energy as your brain is engaged in processing everything.
How to Mentally Rest?
Here are some tips to help you rest when mentally exhausted;
1. Accept that you need mental rest
It is important to accept that there are things in your life that you can’t control. Even if you wish to control, you can’t. So accept that it’s OK and so is resting. Once you do this, you’ll find yourself being agreeable to rest more easily.
2. Be intentional about your rest
When you’ve decided to rest, make it an intentional thing. When you rest with an intention, say for example, “I am going to rest now” – you tell your mind that it’s OK to rest and you’re allowed to do so. While you’re at it, you can also choose to take some deep breaths and help yourself to some mindful moments.
3. Take a mindful moment
Speaking of mindful moments, it’s important to allow yourself to be present in the moment. You can try to sit in a meditative pose for five minutes, straight, or feel the warm sun on your skin. You can also try to name some things that you see around you or even notice the sounds around you. Try to be as mindful as you can.
4. Focus on what you like
Once you know how you’re going to mentally rest, take some time to focus on what you like. Not everyone likes the same thing to do when they’re resting. For example, if you like cooking and think of it as resting mentally, others may find it a chore. You can try to watch the sunset every evening, draw, journal, or even engage in yoga as a mental rest exercise.
5. Reframe your mental state
To take a healthy mental rest, you need to reframe your mental state. Shift your mental perspective into a more realistic perspective. No need to rush your thoughts. If something couldn’t be done today, tell yourself, “It’s OK. I can get it done tomorrow.” Once you learn to do this, you’ll see your mental state would be more restful and calm.
There could be times in your life when taking a rest might seem like an impossible task, but remember that mentally resting is not a bad thing and there are many ways you can take a mental rest.
I hope this blog helped you learn what mental rest is and how to mentally rest. For more, you can write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or DM us on social media. You can also share your thoughts in the comments below.
Take care and rest well!