It’s almost impossible to lead, love or live well when your brain tank is empty.
Though only weighing and your brain, in resting state, your consumes about 20 percent of your body’s energy. It will work continually using calories to process and transmit energy through electrical signals. Add higher level thinking and your brain can get fatigued. Really fatigued.
Then add to that your brain will spend emotional energy each day. You may have to struggle with setbacks. You may fight battles and need to choose love over hate. You may continually need to choose trust over fear. You may have to select gratitude over discouragement.
Our brains use up energy…. A lot of it. The need rest!
When I worked for a large investments firm in downtown Chicago some years ago, one of my clients, a very physically fit fifty-year-old, would periodically stop me: “Jeff, all this stuff’s just making my head hurt. Can we take a break?”
My client wasn’t asking to go to sleep or take a nap. (though he might have felt he needed that too!) What my client was saying was that thinking was creating energy usage in his brain.
Brain work is real work. Brain fatigue is real fatigue. Brain exhaustion is real exhaustion.
At the very start of the Bible, we see God emphasizing our need for rest. He knew we would be tempted to just keep the “machine” running. He realized our active and intentional rest was so vital to our well-being that He modeled it.
“So, on the seventh day he rested from all his work.” (Genesis 2: 2)
And God commanded it as a way of life, “Six days you shall labor, but on the seventh day you shall rest.” (Exodus 34:21)
Sometimes the best thing we can do to boost our performance and even improve our moods involves intentionally resting our brains.
It doesn’t take a brain surgeon or rocket scientist to realize that when we walk in nature, get up and do something different or actively relax our thinking, we replenish something significant. We renew our attention and free our brains for more creativity.
At times, we just have too much coming at us and feel we have so much to do. Busyness and overstimulation are like our brain cotton candy. It’s really good once in a while, but a steady diet of it will destroy our health and wellbeing.
Brain rest need not look like lying in bed… (though that’s important too!) It can look like:
I can tell you that I was in a tailspin mentally for years before learning something I only thought was for monks, gurus or people not of my faith. In fact, this simple practice may have saved my life. I was that desperate! It’s meditation.
That’s right. Meditation is one of THE most powerful and effective ways to actively rest our brains.
The Bible shares this idea of meditation as the “muse,” “growl,” and “care for” and “study.” It’s taking our brain and allowing it the “rest” to quit darting from one thing to another and instead just muse and chew on one healthy and healing thought.
“Meditate on (God’s law) day and night.” Joshua is told, “This books of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate “hagah” on it day and night.”
The results of such intentional brain practice he is told, “So you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.” (Joshua 1:8)
In the Psalms, we learn that a person who is refreshed “like a tree planted by streams of water and yielding fruit in season” does this as well.” Their delight is in the law of the Lord and they meditate (hagah) on it day and night. “
Simply choose a key concept or words and intentionally rest your brain whole focusing on the concept in your thoughts. You may try one or more of these.
*** “I am loved…”
*** “Your Kingdom come; your will be done…”
*** “I release fear...”
*** “I accept…”
Trust, me, I had no idea how powerful activating such rest would have on my body, soul and even effectiveness. I didn’t know I needed it until I tried practicing it.... even just a few minutes (I do between 10 and 20 a day).
Choose to rest your brain in some way and at some specific time today
Just pick one way for today. Do something to practice intentionally resting your brain. What will you choose?
INTENTIONALLY REST YOUR BRAIN
Have a great day!
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