Somewhere back in history, we were told that we need to be constantly busy!
Isn’t there an old adage from somewhere that says “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop?”
This belief that we need to be constantly in forward motion, I believe, is the basis of many of the ills of our bodies and of society in general.
I recognize this belief in myself. I have expressed for most of my life what is classed as an “A Type” personality. Probably even ADHD and all those other acronyms the medical industry want to throw at the symptoms.
Bottom line is that I never learned to stop.
I learned as a youngster that it was not safe for me to ever stop. It was better for me to get into trouble for what I did than for what I might have done. I learned to justify every minute and every thought of my life because I knew what it felt like when I could not explain my existence in any given moment.
Having been a student and living observer of the human species for many years, I see similar attributes in most people. We have to be busy all the time. We have to be able to justify every choice we ever made… right now!
Does this not smack of insanity?
Why would we train our children to be constantly in hyper mode? It drives us nuts when they won’t stop and yet we constantly enforce the action to keep it going!
Making the choice to take a break regularly is absolutely essential for our own best mental health. We do not have to be doing something all the time. It is okay to do nothing periodically!
If we are mature people we should never be obligated to justify our actions to others or even to ourselves. We have the inner morality that will support good choices.
We can love our children enough to provide the boundaries in their lives so they can be free of this guilt provoking program.
Taking a break is essential to mental health. It allows us to catch up with ourselves.
I recall working in the downtown core of our city calling on offices to sell some services. I was so busy at this work in my mind that I was in the next office in my mind before my body had had a chance to walk down the hall! After only a few calls, I was mentally and physically exhausted! I soon realized this was not a healthy way to live my life.
Taking a break is important not just for stopping the motion of life so one can get caught up again but because it allows and supports the total person to re-integrate and work together, at least for a while.
Avoiding taking breaks is a learned way of avoiding one’s self and the thoughts going on in the head. As long as one keeps busy, there is justification for not listening.
Taking a break, on the other hand, is essential for learning about:
- What is going on in your life?
- What is your mind trying to tell you that you need to take notice of?
- What is your body trying to tell you?
One of the great benefits that can be achieved by taking a break is something that most people do not even realize we can do!
Stop the chatter in your mind!
Believe it or not we are not obligated to think! Even more important, we are never obligated to accept or to empower any thought we have.
Thinking is an essential process that is characteristic of human beings. However, we do have the ability to choose thought and to choose to stop thinking for periods. The more we practice this technique, the longer we can achieve it.
Why would we want to stop thinking?
Because, maybe we would leave room to start listening!
If our brain is constantly filled up with thoughts, how will we ever have room for new thoughts and knowledge from other sources?
Want to learn how to do it?
First of all, just learn to sit and do nothing for a few minutes. No TV, radio, book, conversation or other external source of attention. Sit quietly and focus on your breath. Allow it to become relaxed and deep. Let any thoughts dissolve as you keep your focus on the breath. Let yourself become relaxed-body, mind and soul.
Want to get really good at it? Check out my book “Stamp Out Stress”. It has some really cool visualizations to help you. You can get it through the store in this website