I’m writing this on the eve of the bank holiday week-end & so I thought I’d talk about rest & relaxation. I was reading an article about the subject which resonated with me and reminded me of things that I have also written & talked about many times.
Did you know?
According to a 2011 study, on a typical day, we take in the equivalent of about 174 newspapers’ worth of information, five times as much as we did in 1986. As the world’s 21,274 television stations produce some 85,000 hours of original programming every day (by 2003 figures), we watch an average of five hours of television per day. For every hour of YouTube video you watch, there are 5,999 hours of new video just posted!
Every status update you read on Facebook, every tweet or text message you get from a friend, is competing for resources in your brain with important things like what to eat tonight, plans for the week-end and how best to have a difficult conversation with someone you know you need to do!
Our brains have two dominant modes of attention: the task-positive network and the task-negative network. The task-positive network is active when you’re actively engaged in a task and focused on it. The task-negative network is active when your mind is wandering; this is the daydreaming mode. These two attentional networks operate like a seesaw in the brain: when one is active the other is not.
This two-part attentional system enables us to achieve tasks and deliver solutions but the insight that led to us knowing what to do probably came from the daydreaming mode. This brain state, marked by the flow of connections among disparate ideas and thoughts, is responsible for our moments of greatest creativity and insight, when we’re able to solve problems that previously seemed unsolvable. You might be going for a walk or shopping or doing something that doesn’t require sustained attention and suddenly the answer to a problem that had been vexing you suddenly appears. This is the mind-wandering mode, making connections among things that we didn’t previously see as connected. I actually ‘wrote’ this article in my head whilst walking after coming home from work!
If you want to be more productive and creative, and to have more energy, the science dictates that you should partition your day into project periods. Your social networking should be done during a designated time, not as constant interruptions to your day. Email, too, should be done at designated times. An email that you know is sitting there, unread, may sap attentional resources as your brain keeps thinking about it, distracting you from what you’re doing. What might be in it? Who’s it from? Is it good news or bad news? It’s better to leave your email program off than to hear that constant ping and know that you’re ignoring messages.
Daydreaming, recreation & relaxation leads to creativity, and creative activities teach us the ability to change the world.
Taking breaks is biologically restorative. Naps are even better. In several studies, a nap of even 10 minutes improved cognitive function and vigor, and decreased sleepiness and fatigue. If we can train ourselves to take regular breaks — true vacations without work — and to set aside time for naps and contemplation, we will be in a more powerful position to start solving some of the world’s big problems. And to be happier and well rested while we’re doing it.
So make sure you have a real break this week-end. The summer holidays are nearly over but it’s a good time while we are relaxed to perpetuate that state regularly as opposed to waiting for a rare holiday. Family time, mealtime and weekends are important ways we can make the most of our beautiful brains.
I will leave you with this quote:
‘If a man insisted always on being serious, and never allowed himself a bit of fun and relaxation, he would go mad or become unstable without knowing it.’ Herodotus
Wishing you a truly relaxing week-end
It’s been another very busy week at PinkBox HQ. All of our new Autumn/Winter stock has been arriving and we’ve been disappearing under a wonderful pile of new bags (we have a brand new range), scarves (we have two brand new ranges), fabulous Wiltshire Beekeeper Honey products and of course our *whispers* Christmas Gifts and Decorations. Harriet has been busy sorting all our images out so I can load all the new goodies on to the website. If you have your PinkBox Boutique booked, the new stock will be in your homes from 1st September. Talking of Boutiques@Home – if you want to book a Christmas Shopping Boutique, you need to get your skates on – our November/December dates are already booking up fast. Drop us an email by clicking HERE if you would like to book or want further information.
I’m off to daydream for a few minutes…then I’ll be ready to conquer the world again! ;o)
Lots of love
PS – have a look at our new 100% Silk Scarf range – these are bright, soft and very stylish. Everyone needs one in their new season’s wardrobe! Coming very soon…..