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The Importance of Doing Nothing

meditation

It’s one of the most important keys to good health, yet fast-paced living and a seemingly insatiable appetite for achieving more is putting our wellbeing at risk. Put your feet up and do absolutely nothing and you just might achieve more, say some.

Are you stressed and don’t know it? Are you caught in a constant cycle of doing more, wanting more and achieving more? If you’re not sure of your emotional state right now, take a minute to focus on your body. Are your shoulders tense? Is your breath shallow? Is your stomach in knots?

Often we get so used to being in a tense state that we don’t even recognise it as being anything other than normal. But, it’s not the body’s normal state, particularly if you want to experience optimal wellbeing.

While five minutes of meditation every day may feel like the antidote to a hurried life, experts will tell you it’s simply not enough. The body, mind and soul requires adequate doses of rest – simply doing nothing – to recharge, rejuvenate and rewire. It’s only then can we truly live the lives we dream of. Rest is a portal to the flow – a way to reach our maximum potential.

Doctors will tell you how important rest is to your physical health, while athletes will spout the benefits of relaxation as an elixir to overused muscles. Philosophers such as Leonardo da Vinci knew retreating into oneself was crucial to a clear, inspired mind. Religions, from Buddhism, Judaism and Christianity to Baha-i, Islam and Wiccan also teach the importance of being rather than doing.

The Tao Te Ching a 2,500-year-old book, written by Lao Tzu says, “do nothing and you’ll actually achieve more.” Animals, regardless of their species, don’t have a to-do list. They just are. They follow the flow with trust and without question, knowing that everything is in perfect order.

So then, why do most of us consider rest to be a time-waster when its importance has been known across cultures and throughout nature since the beginning of time?

The Tao Te Ching a 2,500-year-old book, written by Lao Tzu says, “do nothing and you’ll actually achieve more.”

According to leading board-certified hypnotherapist, Cynthia Morgan, our results-orientated culture is taught from a young age to “make it happen”, “go after what you want”, “be number one” and “don’t waste your time”. This, she says, teaches us that our worth comes from doing.

“While no one would argue all of that can be good advice, it can also be exhausting because much of the time when we seek those externals, it’s to fill a lack we feel within,” Morgan says. “In the end, all that doing and achieving just makes us feel like we need a good nap! We can never be truly fulfilled solely through activity. Fulfillment only comes from the state of just being.”

“Restfulness reconnects us to that place within that assures us we are already worthy,” she adds. “We don’t need to do anything to establish our worth. Once we know that truth, we can be more effective in the world.”

We can never be truly fulfilled solely through activity. Fulfillment only comes from the state of just being.

One of the great spiritual teachers Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the founder of Transcendental Meditation, likens rest to archery. The technique of shooting is in pulling the arrow back – even though the principle of pulling the arrow is completely opposite to the principle of shooting the arrow. The principles of pulling (resting) and shooting (acting) adds efficiency of the other. In order to hit our target we first need to pull back. Just as it’s true that in order to construct a building six stories high, we first need to go three stories deep into the ground. “Rest and act,” Morgan says. “It’s the key to being effective.”

Couple regular time out with a healthy enzyme-fueled diet and you’ll soon have a recipe for balance that will serve you well into old age with less chance of ailments, illness and dis-ease. Neurophysiologist and owner of Jubb’s Longevity, David Jubb, agrees. He says rest and an adequate diet are integral to achieving and maintaining complete cellular health.

“Rest allows one to regain nervous system energy potential,” he says in Jubb’s Cell Rejuvenation: Colloidal Biology: A Symbiosis. “This, coupled with lifefood nutritional fasting and whole-food vitamin-mineral complex supplementation allows the body to possess a readiness potential. Extending the hours one can rest can halve the time it takes to heal. When the body is at total rest, the cell recovery of energy reserve is accelerated.”

Restfulness reconnects us to that place within that assures us we are already worthy

Without rest, our quality of life is compromised and our wellbeing thrown out of balance. This results in not only working harder and faster, but ultimately makes us fall further behind. Choose one day each week as your dedicated rest day and notice how your life begins to flow again. Relationships heal, stress is forgotten and life simply becomes happier.

Doing nothing at least once a week can lead to:

A healthy body

Just as we eat and drink to stay alive, adequate rest is also essential to our body’s functionality. Strokes and heart attacks are said to be more common during the early morning hours, which experts believe could be associated with the way sleep – or lack thereof – interacts with blood vessels. Sleep deprivation has been associated with high blood pressure and cholesterol, all risk factors for heart disease and stroke. Seven to nine hours of sleep per night is crucial to good physical health.

Less stress

When your body is constantly fueled by adrenalin from lack of rest, it goes into a state of stress. All of the body’s functions are put on high alert, causing stress hormone production and an increase in blood pressure, which leads to health complications. With rest, stress is lessened, positively affecting all areas of your life.

Better relationships

When we take time out to rest, we open ourselves up for communication. If we’re not rushing around from one task to the next, it enables us to enjoy each other’s company and create a feeling of connectedness and community.

A sense of balance

Dedicating one day to rest forces us to reflect on our life. Why are we running around in an endless tail-chase? Why do we need to be everywhere at once? What is the race all about? It also enables us to stop and detach from our identity, while opening the channels for exploration. Doing nothing one day each week can lead to newfound passions and hobbies beyond hectic work routines, activities that help to create balance and a peace within.

Increase production

While burning the midnight oil may seem like the best solution to achieving every goal you’ve set for yourself, it actually does the opposite. Just as resting rejuvenates our muscles, it also allows our mind time to refocus and rewire. Resting helps us to work smarter, not harder.

Fostering reserve

You never know when you’re going to need to tap into your energy reserves. While no one likes to think about life’s emergencies, it is still a good idea to be in peak physical, mental and emotional state for when those unexpected, taxing moments crop up.

In Morgan’s book You’re Already Hypnotized: A Guide to Waking Up, she details a five-minute program that can take you from a stressed, too-much-to-do state to one of rested tranquility. It also teaches how to de-program outdated, false beliefs such as the need to constantly do and be more.

“The daily reprogramming consists of three steps: relax, release and reprogram. In hypnotherapy, an induction is the method used to facilitate a trance state,” she says. “The goal of any induction is to relax the conscious mind. The way to relax the conscious mind is to get it singularly focused. From there, we can bypass the conscious mind and access the subconscious mind. This is the hypnotic trance state.”

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