What if I told you doing more of one thing and less of another could dramatically improve productivity, physical health, and fulfillment? The balance between rest and distraction is often imbalanced. We are constantly distracted by technology and never seem to have time for rest. Two books by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang provide scientific research that supports the benefits of rest and mindfulness; the opponent of distraction (Rest and The Distraction Addiction). On the seventh day, the all-powerful God took time to rest. He never runs out of energy so there must be another reason he took time to rest. Perhaps he desired the time to stop and reflect; to enjoy the beauty of his work.
When we are busy and distracted, we miss the beauty and struggle to produce the work we are so busy attempting.
Increasing time and preparation for sleep promotes full cycle reparative and reprocessing work for the mind and body. During Stage 4 sleep your body produces a growth hormone called GHRH which produces new cells to heal your body and improve your immune function. During REM sleep your body produces myelin which is essential for brain health and function. It is also the time your brain reprocesses memories and problems from the day; working to organize and file your experiences. Increasing sleep allows for the benefits of rest and reduces distractibility during the day.
Take a Hike
Walking support both the mind and body’s need for rest while increasing focus and memory. Soojung-Kim Pang highlights a recommendation from successful businessman Elon Musk who suggest taking your business meeting outside. Negotiate deals, plan projects, and solve problems while taking a walk. Walking can be used as a time to calm and relax the mind or as a time to focus and remove distractions. As a daily practice, walking is one of the best ways to connect with God through nature, and prayer while increasing rest and decreasing distraction.
Cultivate Hobbies and Creativity
We never outgrow the need to play. We need opportunity for novelty and creativity. Made in the image of a creative God, we need a context in which to exercise this part of ourselves. Taking time to learn and practice a hobby or express yourself through art is both an outlet for rest and a benefit of laying down the distractions of life and refocusing on something rejuvenating.