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In the Information Age, it oftentimes feels that our brains are on-duty 24/7. When we aren’t at work, we are often still thinking about it. And even when we do “unplug,” it’s frequently just to use entertainment and connectivity via technology. Netflix isn’t the only culprit. There are plenty of distractions that prevent us from actually resting our brains.
As we embrace the idea of rest and vacations during the summer, what does it actually mean to give our brains a break? And why is it so important?
When you hear the phrase “default mode network,” you might think of resetting a computer or smartphone to factory settings. In truth, the DMN is a processing mode of the brain. Providing a mental break from stimulation and active thinking, decision making, planning, and doing permits your brain to process everything you’ve done, heard, seen, and felt. This rest period allows for:
DMN is a critical state for physical, emotional and mental well-being. Make time for wellness, even if your inner-critic tells you it seems selfish or counterproductive to your ever-growing to-do list. You need this time. It’s equally important as your “productive” hours. As the adage says, “choose to make time for health now or you will be forced to make time for illness later.”
Our smartphones allow us to be reached via email, text or phone on weekends and evenings – even vacations. Even just twenty years ago, if you were on vacation, an outgoing voicemail on a landline would say you were unavailable and that was the end of it. Not necessarily the case today!
While disconnecting from work is important to a mental reset, it’s equally important to literally unplug. Brain downtime for rest and recovery does not occur if you are stimulated while watching Netflix, checking social media, or playing games on a phone or laptop. Recent studies have shown the blue light emitted from technology disrupts quality sleep. Not to mention, downtime creates the opportunity for your brain to meander through random thoughts.
If you can take a relaxing vacation, by all means do it. But for every other day, here are four ways to give your brain mini-breaks throughout the day to process, rest, restore, and rejuvenate:
If you’re looking for more ideas for how to get brain downtime or want to know more about DMN and why it is so important, call us at (888) 549-5519 or open a live chat.
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