6. Optimize Rest & Sleep Cycles
“Destroy the idea that you have to be constantly working or grinding in order to be successful. Embrace the concept that rest, recovery, and reflection are essential parts of the progress towards a successful and ultimately happy life.” ~Author Unknown (I have seen this attributed to several people)
To optimize health, we must prioritize rest and healing. I can honestly say that this is an area in which I still struggle. For decades I believed that “walking it off” was the solution to any and all anguish. I developed a liking for hurt and I use this liking to justify a thousand ways of overworking both mind and body. When I am not careful, this process can lead to significant trauma. These grueling experiences taught me how useful vulnerability can be for healing, especially when it leads to getting more rest. #RESTore #HEALth
This is not to say that chronic or intense traumatic episodes are fruitful aspirations. Rather, I am saying that while some may appear to be sane and stable, many of us struggle with countless physical, mental, and emotional hardships. These visible and invisible obstacles can trigger minor to severe disorders, or what I like to call “mystical despair.”
Essential to physical and emotional health, sleep is one of the most powerful tools we have for self-healing. But the optimal time spent sleeping differs for everybody. The deep and REM phases of sleep are the most important. However, a balance between REM and NREM phases has been shown to be optimal for repairing and improving health and vitality. Imbalanced cycles can leave us tired, confused and may jeopardize health.
When we arrive at our plateaus in life, it is beneficial to pause and reflect, or at least pace ourselves in a manner that allows us to recover, refresh, and recalibrate the synergy between feeling, thinking, and acting while moving forward.