Updated: May 13
Are you someone who feels that they should be doing something all the time to be achieving and successful?
And would you feel guilty, or judged by family, if you took some time out each day?
One of the biggest gifts my partner gave me was to say it’s OK to slow down and rest during the day. We simply don’t need to be doing things all the time. In fact, on the contrary, our brain needs us to NOT be doing things all the time.
Hypnotherapy is a great resource to help us understand what our brain needs. So here’s a snapshot of its needs..
EVERY thought process and action during our day needs to be processed by our brain during sleep to make sense of it and store it. Yes - everything.
So just contextualise that if we don’t stop during the day to rest and reflect, our brain has no chance to start processing the day’s events. This then creates an overload by bedtime which often leads to poor, broken sleep through process overload.
I talk to my clients regularly about the concept of slowing down. If you pause during the day and relax your brain, you are more likely to be able to concentrate, make better decisions, accept challenges and deal with problems. Plus your sleep will be better as you are not going to bed wired. Quite literally you are giving your brain a chance to catch up and stay rational.
When we are resting our brain is in default mode .This unfocused mode could be seen as our brain doing mostly nothing, but in fact this network uses more energy than any other network in the brain, consuming 20% of the body’s energy while at rest. When you turn your “focus” brain off, your default mode will retrieve memories, link ideas so that you become more creative, and also help you feel more self-connected too.
How do I slow down?
Firstly, slowing down and resting is not the same thing as getting more sleep.
We go through life thinking we’ve rested because we’ve had good sleep but in reality we are missing out on other types of rest we desperately need.
Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith talks of five different kinds of rest:
This can be passive or active, such as napping, or restorative activities such as yoga or stretching.
Schedule short breaks every two hours throughout your workday or day; these breaks can remind you to slow down. You might also choose to keep a notepad by the bed to jot down any nagging thoughts that would keep you awake.
Computer screens, phones and background noise all contribute to a sensory overload. Try putting away phones and computers by mid-evening, avoiding TV in bed, and doing something simple instead like closing your eyes for a few minutes. Listening to a hypnotherapy relaxation recording provides a great sensory boost for your brain also.
Reawaken the wonder in you through stimuli like an outdoor walk, reading a book or art.
Be honest with yourself and to others - don’t mask how you feel through busyness. I also talk to clients about choosing who they spend time with and interact with. At certain times we know that certain people just drain us of our energies and would be better avoided at times of stress.
Hypnotherapy can help you reset your rest button, challenging your thought patterns and behaviours and creating new habits. So go on, give your brain a break…