Rest is Fuel for Happiness

Rest and sleep are big topics in the commercial world of keeping good health, right behind diet and exercise. Mattresses, pillows, scents to promote restfulness, as well as medication and herbal products, are sold to help us get rest and deep sleep allowing our body and mind to recuperate.

What is the use of these products if we ourselves do not make a conscious decision to give our body and mind the rest they deserve? Sleeping late, abusing alcohol or caffeine, becoming workaholics, stressing over issues that we don’t take the time to deal with and solve; these are just some of the unhealthy habits that prevent restfulness. This of course is a challenge to finding inner happiness.

Consider the fact that we don’t have much trouble falling asleep after intense physical work-outs. Our body is tired but can fall asleep to regenerate. We do however suffer from insomnia, restless sleep or intense fatigue, even after a full night sleep, when we are dealing with stresses that tire us in other more subtle ways. The first thing to do in this case is to identify the stressers. The second thing to do is to tackle them. This is much more efficient then to mask the symptoms.

Rest is not only about sleep. It is about giving your body and mind some time to recuperate, the respite it requires to re-energize.  Decluttering is an example of a solution that will require will at first, some work and effort, but that will provide much needed rest to the mind once it is completed.  Decluttering includes clearing up bad relationships, deteriorating careers, financial problems as some of the sources of restlessness that need to  be dealt with. Often professional help is required and it is worth looking into. The end result will allow the mind to rest and be at ease once again.

I myself haven’t mastered the art of resting completely, but I am learning to appreciate its importance.  Having already been through the relationship, career and financial ups and downs, I’ve had my share of insomnia… I still have my moments, but I start by identifying my main source of concern to tackle first and I work my way down the list of stressers. I know that working on providing my mind with much needed rest will in turn fuel my happiness. That is my sole motivation.

This week, deciding to take a few days off from work was a big deal for me. It took will to make it happen. Next came the decision to use this time to catch up on much needed clean-up of home paperwork and boxes. Getting through this is tiring but will be beneficial on a longer term. A few naps in between in addition to turning in early at night have also been important in making sure I am not exhausted after a full day.  I will sleep better at night knowing that I am finally taking care of the causes of stress in my life, at least those I have control over. I am finally taking time to declutter some problem spots in my life and home.

The satisfaction in these accomplishments promotes happiness in itself. At first I thought I really needed a two week Carribean Vacation, but then I thought of the pile of work and tighter budget I would be returning to. That wouldn’t make me happy… I would give my body some rest but certainly not my mind. My stressers would not be eliminated until I tackled them directly.

The Vacation is still on my mind. My decision is nevertheless to do it right by clearing out what prevents my mind from resting now, while still getting snooze time to pull through. Once it’s done, I’ll be  happy and my mind will finally be able to rest when my eyes close for the night.  Maybe in a few months, I will better enjoy a much needed family vacation, rested enough to benefit from the energizing sun and purifying salt water, to spend happy moments with my loved ones.

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