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Busy, Busier, Busiest.

mescht-benefits-of-downtime

Modern life can often feel like we are constantly accelerating. Affecting our daily lives to the point that they appear to go by in a blur.

From our homes, to our jobs and even on the roads in between; popular culture has placed a priority on busyness.

The pressure combined with portable technology often has us feeling we must stay connected wherever we go, from the bathroom to the beach. We book out our social calendars months in advance and are kept distracted by notifications that come buzzing through with up-to-the-minute status updates.

Constant activity has been portrayed as the best way to live and society can cast a negative stigma towards those who fail to keep up with a ‘fast-enough pace’. A lack of hustle and bustle might be viewed suspiciously by others or equated unfairly with laziness. It is surprisingly easy to fall into the trap of no-stop motion and unfairly place self-worth alongside how in demand our time is.

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Is more really better?

In the midst of our many pursuits it is not hard to forget that always staying busy can have drawbacks too! Some individuals have gotten so acclimatized to never stopping, the idea of having an evening or weekend without a planned schedule, turning off technology, or even spending 10 minutes doing absolutely nothing can be uncomfortable, or even scary.  For these people, ‘busyness’ has become an addiction.

Too much activity can increase anxiety, place stress on the nervous system, hamper productivity, and hamper creativity.

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The Benefits of Being Still

Science is discovering numerous benefits for our wellbeing exist in being still.

Taking time to let our minds rest and allow our thinking wander can improve our brain function. Studies are showing that time-out, is a vitally important part of jump-starting innovative thinking.

Being still may hold the key to recharging our creativity, helping us do our best problem solving, and allowing us to focus better.

In the workplace, studies showed that more frequent breaks increase productivity not cause it to decrease!

Researchers are also learning that taking time to disconnect from busyness and reconnect with the art of being still gives a boost to our parasympathetic nervous system. This can translate into improved digestion (which can positively affect skin health), a lower heart rate, better sleep, and maintaining a more stable positive mood.

Emotional advantages can also emerge from giving oneself the space to simply be.  It may lead to more clarity of mind regarding what is important and help one refocus on priorities. It can also assist in bringing attention to issues or relationships that are lacking or require attention.

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Downtime is Not Wasted Time

If you are not looking forward to the downtime that your aesthetic procedure will entail, try switching perspectives, instead of thinking of it as a waste, view it as an opportunity to truly relax and unwind and an opportunity to allow your mind to recuperate from the frantic pace of ordinary life.

To get the most recharging potential out of your downtime, consider allowing yourself some time and space that is free from demands and possible distractions.

Take a few minutes or more just for yourself. Let your thoughts wander, enjoy a daydream, savour your garden or the view, have a cup of tea in silence, or a quiet soak in the bath (if your procedure allows this). You could set a timer, 5 minutes, try to just sit, breath and feel.

Contemplation or just placing focus on being / breathing can be a wise use of time.

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Time Out can Help you Flourish

Choosing to consciously, incorporate time for stillness into your life may help you thrive in professional and personal relationships. Its positive impact is not limited to the external. It puts forward the opening to take pleasure in the beauty found in details, the beauty of not getting hung-up, cultivate gratitude and experience more contentment every day.

Making your mind up to take a step back from the flurry of never ending daily demands may usher in the discovery that when you take time out, for yourself, you feel your best!

Connect with Dr Martina van der Mescht, 011 954 0070.

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