Our break, that limited time when we are alone; silence and detachment from sensory perceptions are real vitamins for our heart and brain. Breaks are a way to restart and become aware of different, deeper sensations; of those who rise from within us and who enable us to restore balance, spiritual harmony, and our own well-being.
Today we look at the concept of “breaks”. How would we define them? If we asked anyone, they would surely say something like that over the days they take numerous breaks from their routines. They are kept on the train or bus when time is spent reading, leaving work to eat for half an hour or an hour, or going to the gym.
So are these real examples of what we should take breaks for? The answer is no. Namely, these situations can be classified as “active breaks,” which means that even if no work task is performed during these activities, we do a series of movements and activities during which the mind and body are in an “active” state.
Real breaks are those during which we really break away from our environment, our responsibilities, and more importantly, the suffocating flow of our thoughts. Those are the moments we bestow on ourselves; during them there is no pressure, noise, or conversations that should be maintained reluctantly, no expectations or demands or tasks that should be performed, and no world to please…
Why is it so hard to take real breaks in our daily lives
We have to admit that for many of us, taking a break is synonymous with doing nothing, and doing nothing is almost a sacrilege in this society where time is “money”. Slowing down, stopping your hands for a moment, and choosing to spend an hour for ourselves is not an easy thing to do. Likewise, something as simple as closing the doors to what others expect of us to just “be” is not the way we would be used to.
We have been convinced that breaks are a privilege, not a right. We have sometimes been told this, and we repeat this idea in our own generalizations. It shows up every day when our little ones come out of school; all we have to do is browse their calendars to see that they are full of tasks to complete. Prior to them, they should also attend after-school activities such as English, music or basketball lessons, or math support classes, or perhaps visit a therapist’s office to treat their dyslexia or overactivity.
Breaks for playing or not doing anything are now a privilege in the world of children. They only get them if they behave well and perform their duties first. This all makes sense, of course, because we all have our own responsibilities. Still, it’s not hard to see why as adults we can’t take the right breaks…
It takes a tremendous amount of work to convince ourselves that yes, breaks are our right, that putting the rest of the world on hold to find ourselves is not an insult or a blasphemy, but synonymous with health. Yet a large part of the population still has problems at the point where such breaks should be taken:
- Feeling of guilt. What does that friend or relative think of me if I say I can’t, but would rather be alone?
- Prioritizing the fulfillment of external expectations.
- Distorted or harmful thoughts: Breaks mean that we do nothing, that we are lazy.
- Taking your own health for granted. We think all is well, that we don’t have to rest, that we can give more of ourselves, when in reality we are burning all our resources and our own health.
“Yes” for a daily hour break
Daniel Goleman said in his book “Focus” that the ability to take breaks is vital to regaining control of our ability to concentrate. Only in this way will we stop automatically acting on impulses, as if we were not the owners of our own lives. In addition, there are more benefits to this health factor than we believe.
Here are some of them:
- Our dorsolateral frontal lobe is activated more strongly. When we manage to dedicate ourselves to relaxation from half an hour to an hour, this part of our brain helps us see things from a more intelligent, logical, and balanced perspective.
- It is an area that, after all, is related to the regulation of our emotional reactions, such as fear and restlessness. In addition, it reduces the flow of automatic thoughts, which helps us to be more present.
- This also strengthens another part of the brain: the ventromedial frontal lobe. Neurologists define this part of the brain as the “center of me”… It processes all the information related to our physical and emotional state and mirrors it in our relationships, happiness, and what we like or dislike.
In summary; giving breaks to ourselves on a daily basis, putting the phone to silence, telling other people that you are going to set aside time for yourself and that you just want to be and feel for a while doesn’t make you a less valuable or productive person. On the contrary, you promote your health as well as your mental growth and are strengthened emotionally.
After all, life and nature also take their time and take their breaks, and the clouds also stay in place, the seas have their calm moments and hear their moments of observation and mirroring.