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Need a mental break?

February 21, 2018

We are pretty sure everyone has said (at least once in their life), "I'M ABOUT TO GO CRAZY!!!"

Your work life may cause you to feel this way, or maybe something you are dealing with at home, but whatever the case may be...all problems have solutions, and the solution to this problem in particular is to simply take a break, a mental break!

 

Did you know that the lack of taking mental breaks can cause 

  • stress,

  • anxiety, 

  • mental health issues,

  • lack of sleep, 

  • and heart issues

among a plethora of other things that can have negative effects on the body?  We aren't saying taking a break is the cure to all evils of the world (because that would be dramatic!), but we ARE saying that taking a brief 5-30 minute break can prevent you from experiencing the negative health effects mentioned above.

 

Where's the harm in giving your mind a break? When your feet hurt you tend to sit down to give them "a break". When you've exhausted yourself running, you stop to "take a breather", so why wouldn't your mind be deserving of a break as well?  Not only will this break keep you from "GOING CRAZY!", but it will also help you regain or increase your focus, help

you sleep better at night, and also increase productivity (to name a few)!  

 

You might be wondering how distracting yourself with a break can actually help you focus, especially when you're kind of in your groove. According to author Nir Eyal, prolonged attention to a single task has the ability to hinder performance. The longer you work on one particular task, you may find yourself getting bored or losing your creative flow.  Taking a break will enable your mind to reset and re-evaluate what you were working on with a fresh pair of eyes/new perspective.  Do you remember having to solve a difficult math problem in high school that you worked on for hours and couldn't quite seem to come up with  the solution, then you took a break, came back, and felt like the answer just came to you all of a sudden?  Well, that's because you gave yourself a mental break!  Your motivation to solve that difficult problem was strengthened and you prevented yourself from getting decision fatigue, which is defined as the deteriorating quality of decisions made by an individual after a long session of decision making.

 

Do you find yourself glued to your seat (either at home or work...or both) taking very minimal breaks unless you have to use the restroom? Dr. James A Levine answered a few questions regarding "constant sitting" on www.mayoclinic.org and his responses peaked our interest. After reading the article we learned that extended sitting, whether in front of the television or at your desk, increases the risk of ailments associated with cardiovascular related events (a heart attack or chest pains), diabetes, obesity, and depression due to inactivity. He also mentioned that spending a couple hours at the gym here and there are not sufficient enough to offset the risks, however, there are minor things (which add up to major things) that can be done to ensure you are maximizing how active you are throughout the day!

 

**Curious to know how you can take a mental break and increase physical activity without becoming a gym rat? Stayed tuned for "Need a mental break?" Part 2!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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