When it comes to taking rests, I must be swift to point out that I am not talking about laziness – the rests taken without work is laziness – the ones taken after concerted hard works is deserved. In my opinion, if you haven’t pushed yourself to your limit, rest shouldn’t be a priority – however, taking pockets of rests in-between a marathon job or assignment enables you to refuel for optimum productivity. Pushing yourself to your limit must not mean pushing yourself to death because in factuality, some people don’t know what their limits are, so they work until they die suddenly. A typical example is seen in a woman who, when she visited her General Practitioner, realized she had only one week to live – she didn’t know her limit, so didn’t realize when she sped pass it by a thousand miles. The knowledge came too late, and today, unfortunately, she’s in the grave.
Many people hardly take rests because of the need to make more money, and these needs maybe due to bad employers demanding unscrupulous length of working hours from their employees, family demands, meeting personal set-targets, and many more – but if you die working endlessly, the living will continue. You must put your foot on the brake when the body tells you to stop – if you don’t, you will pay the highly expensive consequences. Occasionally, as someone who understands his body system, I know when my brain sends me a signal that the body needs rest. I usually feel that trigger like a sparkplug right inside my brain, and the trigger leads to dizziness – when that dizziness comes, I know it’s time to STOP! As I stop and take a deserved rest, I bounce back with so much energy, and that energy comes with loads of creativity.
Rest relaxes your nerves, brings your blood pressure to an ultimate balanced point, calms your brain, and puts your general physical and mental wellbeing in a more focused position. One of the benefits of calmness is that great and fresh ideas are easily generated. With a tired and overused body, your mind can’t come up with quality decisions – physical weariness is an enemy of idea generation. Great thinkers and writers always want a quiet inside, a quiet mental state, and a quiet physical condition – this quietness emanates from rest. A rested mind and a rested head are more receptive to information, and its processing. Whether you’re writing a book, executing a project or doing other forms of assignments, when you get to a stage where the brain seems to be dead, you must stop and take a rest. When you do, the job goes quicker as you recommence after taking a deserved break, but if you push yourself beyond break, you will for sure break down. Bouncing back after a breakdown isn’t easy – what should have taken one hour to recuperate, might take three weeks to recover after a breakdown. So, if you want the best fresh and workable ideas, rest is a great recommendation when needful. The next creativity that could change the world may come from the ideas you generate from taking needful rests. Don’t miss that opportunity – taking a deserved rest is not laziness – it is therapeutic.
Taking a rest improves your memory recall. The Guardian writes that “Sleep plays a critical role in memory consolidation – this is when the brain backs up short-term patterns and creates long-term memories. The process is believed to occur during deep sleep, when the hippocampal neurons pass the patterns of activity to another part of the brain called the neocortex, which is responsible for language and the generation of motor commands.” From a research finding, it was even discovered that taking a rest while awake also improves memories. The online research website Futurity, on one of its publications writes that “The experiment tested subjects’ associative memory by showing them pairs of images containing a human face and an object (e.g., a beach ball) or a human face and a scene (e.g., a beach) followed by periods of awake rest. Subjects were not informed their memory for these images would later be tested, but, rather, were instructed to rest and simply think about anything that they wanted, but to remain awake during the resting periods. Researchers found that during rest after the study experience (after the visuals were shown), there was a significant correlation between brain activity in the subjects’ hippocampus and cortical regions that were active during the initial encoding of each stimulus pair. However, this boost in brain correlations was only seen following experiences that were later memorable suggesting these parts of the brain act in tandem for a purpose – to consolidate memories during rest.”
A deserved rest increases your focus, positive perception, and precision. To aim higher and hit your perceived target, you must calm your nerves – rests calm the nerves. And with calmed nerves, the possibility to achieve more quality results becomes attainable. A man in a restless state is a potential hazard and a possible accident. Imagine being driven by a driver whose nerves are running riot because his body needs rest – what do you think is likely to happen? Because his blood has reached a boiling point, he is no longer in control of his destiny or that of his passengers – and as a result, anything can happen. The ability to make better decisions and take concerted actions are as a result of increased focus, perception and precision, which are all products of deserved rests. The Daily Mail in a 2011 article reported that “In one of the first studies of its kind, researchers investigated the effects of sleep on affect-guided decision-making – that is decisions on meaningful topics where subjects care about the outcome.” In this study, they found that “one key effect of sleep is facilitating and enhancing complex cognitive skills necessary for decision making.”
Rest isn’t all about sleeping – it could be in form of relaxation, or taking a walk and pondering at the same time – it could also be in form of going window shopping all by yourself or with your partner in a serene way. In one of my books, Be An Icon, I wrote a bit about going window shopping. When I was bastardized by life, and almost choked up by reprobate circumstances, rather than moan or get depressed about my condition, I usually went window shopping – in window shopping, I would dream of the impossible, and from my dreams, great and creative ideas would emerge – some of those ideas are still very useful today.
You can’t see the future with a tumultuous mind – a mind that is unsettled and wrestled. Until the mind rests, it will be at war with itself. Taking a rest may not come in form of sleep or relaxation – but might just be you giving yourself some peace. Some people worry too much, so, no matter how much they sleep, it’s like the sleep of death. Even in their sleep, their minds know no peace, and so, they have nightmares – the nightmares of failures and misfortunes that may never become tangible, but because of fears, they brood on the unreal until it becomes real. For those without rest, creativities abhor them, and for those with calmness, innovations always embrace them!