Our brains never stop working. Even when you go to sleep, your brain continues to function. Stress uses more energy and takes a toll on your brain, especially when you don't take the time to relieve it. Most people take a few vacations a year and spend time and money pampering themselves as a refresher. Is that enough? More studies show that negative stress is actually harmful to your health. So, let's talk about some tips for stress relief and how to give your brain a vacation.
Take a Time Out
When negative thoughts or emotions start taking over, you need to take a break. It can be a short, 20-minute coffee break or a walk -- however you spend the time doesn't really matter. What does matter is that you take the time to recharge and to check out of your stress. Taking a time out will help diffuse those emotions and thoughts and take a step away from all the negative stress going on. If you hold on to that stress, it could make your day worse. By stepping out, you have a chance to make the day better.
Have an Adventure
While you can't do this during your work day or spontaneously during the work week, you can take a small weekend vacation. It doesn't have to be as risky as skydiving or bungee jumping, but it should be something fun or relaxing that breaks you out of your routine. Adventures can offer just enough of something new to take you out of your comfort zone and make your brain focus on how interesting, exciting, and new this moment of your life is. Most importantly, you can leave your stress at home or in the office where it belongs.
Giving your brain a vacation doesn't mean you have to fly to another country. All you need to do is empty your brain of clutter. Each person meditates in a way that works for them -- no cookie-cutter instruction manual. The goal is to empty your mind, to think about nothing, in order to rejuvenate. Meditation can be done every day, once a month, or twice a year depending on what you need. However, it is suggested that once you do find something that works for you, try to work it into your routine. This will give your brain some time to relax and enhance your thinking for the rest of your day.
Make Your Rest Efficient
Taking a nap or a quick moment to breathe are not effective if you don't do it right. you need to give yourself time to relax, to slow down and actually rest. The brain is a powerful organ. It is your computer and just like computers overheating, your brain can be overworked. When you start to get stuck on a task or feel yourself being less productive, take the time to slow down and recharge.
When you do slow down, you'll start to notice that you actually enjoy things more. Work starts to feel more productive, you are frustrated less often, and you are generally less stressed. Relaxing every once in a while does give your brain the time off it needs. Some benefits of relaxing include:
- Increased productivity and creativity
- Sharper memory and recollection
- Improved health
- Quicker reaction times
- Happiness and contentedness
Your brain is the hardest working organ in your body and it does need a break. If you work it too hard or don't give it a break, you will burn out. Burning out can be frustrating and cause even more stress to contribute to what is happening to your brain. Whatever you decide to do to free yourself from stress, make sure it is truly relaxing.