How Rest Affects Our Physical, Emotional and Spiritual Health and 5 Tips To Rest Better


How Rest Affects Our Physical Health

Do you underestimate the power and importance of rest, like most people these days? Do you know the importance of rest in physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health? How do get enough rest?

Rest, the act of taking a breather and taking a break. Putting aside time to take care of yourself and look after yourself. It is a very important concept in caring science, even if it can be a matter of some debate in this day and age.

Especially in a world where productivity is king, many people brag and feel proud of the insane amount of hours they work, or the full nights they spend awake in the library studying. As proof of this, in 2018 half Americans did not use up all of their paid vacation time (US Travel Association 2018). Even if they had the opportunity to rest and recover while being paid, they choose not to, perhaps because they are afraid to take the time to themselves to rest, likely fearful of what others may think of them.

why is rest a matter of importance?

Well, I would point to the impacts of what happens when we do not rest. You often feel depressed and exhausted. Your productivity drops massively, to the point you spend twice as long as you would normally getting a task done. You grow irritable and grumpy, an experience that anyone who had a terrible night’s sleep can relate to.

These effects are not just tied to the workplace either, they affect you physically. You put on more weight due to stress, your immune system suffers and you feel weak (Besedovsky et al. 2012). The irritability also affects your social and romantic life, as you find yourself to be less patient and are likely less pleasant to be around as a result.

And in this age where many people’s mental health is suffering, it is no wonder as to why. Without taking any form of a break, the build-up of stress can be overwhelming, work can feel all-consuming.

With no feeling of escape, and work hours increasing as it can often follow you home, mental health suffers (Alfonso et al. 2017). This can lead to frustration which can all to easily turn inwards towards yourself, as you have a much more difficult time working, at even getting simple tasks done. Even if the main cause for that is simply pure exhaustion.

Highly Sensitive People And Empaths Need To Recharge

Also read The Effect of Stress on the Immune System (And How to Relax Naturally)

Taking time to sharpen the axe

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the ax.” – Abraham Lincoln

I am going to use the analogy of sharpening an axe to illustrate the importance of rest.

When we are exhausted and tired, we are basically trying to chop down a tree with a blunt ax, perhaps even trying to cut it down with a hammer if we hit the point of pure exhaustion.

It takes twice as long to get the same task done, like the ax, representing ourselves is worn out and dull from constant non-stop use. It is much more difficult and exhausting trying to cut down a tree with a blunt ax. It can lead to a sense of hopelessness, that despite swing after swing, the tree is still a long time away from being felled.

But, if instead of constantly hacking away, if we take time to sharpen the axe, to give it a razor’s edge. Suddenly the task at hand will get done much faster, without half as much physical and mental effort, after all, it is much easier to fell a tree with a sharp axe. And with a sharp axe, you can do that without the build-up of frustration, exhaustion and stress both mental and physical, that comes with hacking away for days at a very thick tree, with a very blunt axe.

But, today many people do not feel they have time to sharpen the ax. As they are much to busy hacking and chopping away in order to do so. But I would say that the reality is that we do not have time, not to take care of ourselves. Even if it may slightly reduce what you can do in the short-term, it will greatly help in the long-term.

Our time in life is finite, we do not have enough time to spend all of it hacking away with a blunt ax. Doing so will take forever, and cause us to miss out on many other parts of life, be it relationships or simply being able to take the time to enjoy life.

5 Tips To have enough rest

So then, how do we find time in this busy world to rest up and sharpen the axe? I have listed below a few potential ways that you can carve out some time in order to do so.

1. Make staying sharp a priority.

Self-care is something people often put at the back of their to-do list. So one way to help start might be to bring it forward on your to-do list. After all saying you will do it later when you have the time never ends up really working, as in life there is always something that can come up to claim that time.

So block out time for rest, self-care, and staying sharp. You may initially feel guilty about doing so at first. But from my own experience with those feelings, I would say it is worth reminding yourself that by resting and taking care of yourself, you will become more effective at what you do, and more useful to those around you.

Self-care Is Not Selfish.

2. Take a break from social media and your phone.

Even when we are trying to rest, we often fall into the trap of ending up in the endless scrolling of social media and watching every single story in the news. But this is not the most effective form of rest, as all it does is build to the stress as you feel increasingly frustrated at the world around you due to the endless outrage and controversy on the news.

It is easy to fall into this trap, I have personally done so during my life. But instead of resting it just added to the stress and exhaustion. If something you do at home, in your free time no less, is only making you more irritable and stressed, one way to make more time for yourself is to stop that thing.

Also read How To Relax Instantly: 18 Science Backed Tips

3. Start small.

As with all things, starting small helps. While it might be impossible to imagine spending 2 hours a day in order to take care of yourself, it is much more possible to imagine and therefore take just 5 more minutes a day in order to do so. While this may seem small, this will add up over time. Once you take your first step in making time for yourself the other steps will come much easier.

I would also say it is often easier to carve some time to take care of yourselves either in the early morning or at night. As they naturally tend to be the more peaceful parts of the day, with fewer e-mails, people, and other distractions which might interfere with this valuable part of your day.

4. Use your holiday time.

As mentioned earlier, a lot of people do not use their paid vacation time. This is definitely one way in which you could find some time, even if you are unable to travel halfway around the world. Additionally taking a short vacation has been shown to improve stress levels in certain population groups. (Blank et al. 2018)

5. When you hit a wall, sharpen the axe.

A great way of being able to tell that you need to take a break is when you begin running headfirst into a metaphorical brick wall. This can be in terms of focus, where your eyes just glaze over and you end up in a state of staring at the book you need to read, instead of actually reading it. It can also be in trying to come up with ideas or plan a project, where no matter how hard you try and how many hours you spend, you keep running into the same wall.

In times like this, it is a sign you need to walk away for a moment and sharpen the ax. By doing this, when you return to the task at hand you will be doing so sharper and with more focus.

Being able to begin studying again, without just staring at the page. Or perhaps being able to suddenly come up with a novel idea to a problem at hand, simply because you took a break and were, therefore, able to see the issue more clearly, and potentially from different angles than you were able to before.

Taking Short Breaks Helps Our Brain Learn New Skills

Also read 36 Most Relaxing Songs For Anxiety, Stress And Depression

5 Types of rest you need to actually feel recharged

Of course, in order to rest and sharpen yourself. It is important to know what areas of yourself to focus on. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey suggests that there are four primary domains that we should focus on these being – Physical, Spiritual, Mental, and Social/Emotional.

All of these dimensions are interconnected, an improvement in one aspect will help all of the other aspects. By being able to identify and focus on our needs in these domains, which I go into more detail below, will help allow us to be the best versions of ourselves possible.

1. Physical

To sharpen and work on your physical health, helps ensure that you have the strength and vigor to face the day. After all, if you are tired and sick all of the time, it will be extremely difficult to be productive no matter how hard you work.

At a minimum, it is important to focus on eating right, getting enough exercise, and sleeping enough hours. When life gets hard it is often much to easy to lose track of any one of these, but they are extremely important to try and keep on top of in order to perform at your best.

2. Spiritual

This domain focuses on your sense of purpose in life. It acts as the core of who you are and often acts to guide the “why” of your actions through life.

Failure to take care of this part of yourself can leave you feeling burnt out, cynical and jaded. It is very easy to neglect this part of ourselves, due to the fact it is less concrete than a lot of what else that happens in life, and as such can feel less important.

There can be many ways to help build upon this aspect of life. These include, but are not limited to Reading, Practicing Self-Examination, Meditation, Spending time in Solitude, and writing in a Journal. They can also have a more religious aspect if you are that way inclined.

Raise Your Spiritual Vibration.

3. Mental

A lot of work in the modern day is mental work. Though like the body during physical work, your mind can also be dulled if you preform mental work all of the time without break.

Usually the best way to help rest the mind, is not to just try to turn it off, which can be incredibly difficult. But to instead use different parts of it, parts of it that are not the ones being constantly ground down at work.

Hobbies and pastimes can often help with this, be they writing, painting, cooking, or any other hobby that you may have. Things that force you to take a break from the issues of work, allowing that part to rest while you use another part to focus on a different sort of task entirely.

4. Social

We are social creatures, and this ties in very closely with our emotional needs. And while they are written this way in the book, they can also be separated out if that helps.

Taking time to help your social life is important, as it allows you to get the connections and relationships that help make life more meaningful. And also help you not feel as alone in the struggles of life, and overwhelmed as a result.

5. Emotional

Emotional balance is also important. Being able to keep your emotional balance in order, allowing yourself to feel while also not allowing yourself to be entirely controlled by your emotions is needed to live a happy and healthy life.

Take time to sleep enough, soak in the positive and beautiful parts of the world, and potentially meditate, using journals or a trusted friend or therapist can also help you process your emotions in a healthy manner. Though, as with all of the ideas mentioned for the other domains of life, it is best to experiment and figure out what works best for you.

Also read 14 Signs You’re An Emotionally Intelligent Person

So, to conclude when you feel like you are hitting a brick wall in life. When you feel like you are just going in circles trying to overcome an insurmountable obstacle in life. Step away for a moment, take time to breathe and rest and sharpen the ax. Take care of yourself, and therefore be able to come back stronger for it.

If you want to know more about the importance of rest, then check this video out below:

Importance of Rest In Physical Spiritual Emotional Health Pin
How Rest Affects Our Physical Health Pin

— Share —

— About the Author —

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Up Next

Understanding Atelophobia Symptoms: Fear Of Imperfection Unveiled

Understanding Atelophobia Symptoms And Seven Ways To Overcome

Do you ever find yourself plagued by self-doubt, constantly fearing failure, or feeling overwhelmed by the pressure to be perfect? If so, you might be experiencing atelophobia symptoms, a condition that affects countless individuals worldwide. 

Let us explore the depths of atelophobia, exploring its definition, symptoms, and related factors. By gaining a deeper understanding of this condition, we can empower ourselves and others to overcome the paralyzing fear of imperfection and embrace personal growth and self-acceptance.

Atelophobia Definition

Up Next

Electronic Dementia: Understanding The Impact of Screen Time on Brain Health

electronic dementia

Are you constantly glued to your smartphone, scrolling through social media or binge-watching your favorite series? Do you find it hard to concentrate or remember things? If so, you might be experiencing the effects of a modern-day phenomenon known as electronic dementia or digital dementia. 

In this digital age, where electronic devices dominate our lives, it’s crucial to understand the impact they can have on our cognitive abilities. Let us delve into digital dementia meaning, explore its causes, and discuss potential options for digital dementia treatment. 

What is Electronic Dementia?

Digital dementia meaning:

Up Next

How To Recover Repressed Memories: 20 Ways To Rediscover Your Story

How To Recover Repressed Memories: Helpful Strategies

Have you ever wondered about the hidden chambers of your mind, where memories lie concealed, waiting to be revealed? Repressed memories, the enigmatic phenomena that can be both elusive and powerful, have long fascinated psychologists and individuals alike. Let’s find out how to recover repressed memories.

What are Repressed Memories?

Repressed memories are memories that have been unconsciously blocked from our conscious awareness. These memories, locked away in the depths of our subconsciou

Up Next

What Is Eldest Daughter Syndrome: 10 Key Signs and Lasting Impacts Of Being The First Child

What Is Eldest Daughter Syndrome: Ten Key Signs and Impact

Are you familiar with the term – Eldest Daughter Syndrome? It’s a phenomenon that delves into the emotional weight often placed on the shoulders of the oldest daughters in many families, right from a tender age.

From tending to their younger siblings’ needs and assisting with daily household chores to taking care of ailing parents or even handling mundane tasks like sorting online orders, eldest daughters frequently bear a substantial but often invisible load of domestic responsibilities from their early years.

Now, you might wonder, what’s the harm in this? Shouldn’t older children naturally lend a helping hand and look out for their younger siblings? Isn’t it believed that girls are inherently better at caregiving? These commonly held beliefs are so deeply ingrain

Up Next

Waiting Mode Anxiety: Why It’s Holding You Back from Taking Action

What Is Waiting Mode Anxiety? 8 Ways To Overcome It

In today’s fast-paced world, where every moment counts, the concept of “waiting mode anxiety” has become an all-too-familiar experience for many.

Whether you’re awaiting an important meeting, a doctor’s appointment, or any other significant event, the relentless countdown can hijack your focus and productivity.

In this article, we’ll delve into the nuances of waiting mode anxiety, understand its underlying causes, and explore practical ways to break free from its clutches.

What is Wa

Up Next

Your Mental Health Matters: 5 Habits You Need To Let Go Of Right Now

mental health matters

Everyone talks about the importance of having good physical health, and a healthy and strong body. But what about mental health, or rather the importance of good mental health? Just like physical health, mental health matters equally. 

As caregiver to my mom and sister, both of whom were diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, I got good at pretending I was fine. From the outside looking in, I played the role of someone who had it all together.

On the rare occasion when somebody would ask me, “Are you okay?” or “What’s the matter?” my automatic responses would be “I’m fine” and “Nothing.” Few people ever bothered to

Up Next

What Is Emotional Constipation? 13 Symptoms and Ways You Can Release The Emotional Logjam For A Healthier You

What Is Emotional Constipation? Signs Of Blocked Emotions

Life today feels like a whirlwind. With endless tasks and pressures, it’s easy to side-line our feelings and emotions. This busy routine can lead you to a place where you’re stuffing down your emotions, a jam-up that’s often called – emotional constipation. In simple terms, it means you might be having a hard time understanding and expressing your real feelings.

Ever felt like you’re about to burst but don’t know why? Or you just can’t find the words to explain how you’re feeling? That’s a sign. This article will help you understand what is emotional constipation, major emotional constipation symptoms, and how to deal with emotional constipation, so that you can break free and get your emotional groove back.