Often we think of rest as being nice to ourselves, letting ourselves off the hook after all our hard work. But what if pulling back is a form of self-discipline?
Even with all the knowledge we have about the importance of rest, many feel lazy or self-indulgent when they do.
Sometimes self-critical feelings around relaxation stem from a childhood in which you never received credit for a job well done.Sometimes self-critical feelings around relaxation stem from a childhood in which you never received credit for a job well done. Click To Tweet
As a result, you never know when to stop. Without the satisfaction of a job well done, it can feel difficult to power down. You experience guilt when you try to unplug and stop producing.
But rest is more than self-indulgence. It’s an essential ingredient of personal growth and development. Your productivity suffers when you refuse to take breaks, and you become less effective in life and work.
Here are 5 reasons why rest is important for personal growth and development, productivity, and mental health.
1. Rest keeps you healthy.
People who refuse to rest run the risk of getting sick due to a compromised immune system. They may eat less healthy foods because they don’t take time to prepare meals.
They get less sleep which makes them feel run down and compromises effectiveness. Feeling sleepy can make you eat more as you try to get energy for your body.
2. Improves focus.
Have you noticed when you’re tired you have trouble focusing on things? There’s evidence lack of sleep can make us operate as if we’re drunk.
Sleepiness causes crankiness and hampers our ability to deal with problems. A good night’s sleep, on the other hand, improves your decision-making and problem-solving capabilities.
3. Rest makes you more self-aware.
Since each of us have unique needs, learning your ideal sleep schedule helps you tune into yourself and your body. Some people need only six or seven hours to feel energized while people like me need nine.Since each of us have unique needs, learning your ideal sleep schedule helps you tune into yourself and your body. Click To Tweet
Paying attention to my specific rest needs helped me discover my trait of high sensitivity. This, in turn, led me to serve my needs in ways that made me more efficient and powerful in work and life.
4. Improves confidence.
All the benefits of rest serve to improve your confidence. Your skin looks healthier when you’re refreshed and your eyes shine brighter.
You don’t turn to fast foods to replace the energy you’re missing from lack of sleep. That keeps you at a healthy weight which makes you feel better about yourself.
The self-awareness mentioned above helps you find your zone of genius. For example, rather than fighting my need for more rest, I learned about high sensitivity. Now I see it as a magic power rather than a hindrance.
5. Enhances creativity.
Do you notice that your most creative ideas come when you allow yourself to sit and think? That’s due to the correlation between down time and creativity.
One study showed 40% of our ideas come when we allow our minds to wander. Pushing through when we need rest only stifles the flow of new ideas which can keep us stuck in unhealthy patterns.