The Science of Taking a Break

Rest is as important an activity as everything else we ‘do’, if we want to get the best out of life.

We have all heard the statement “work hard, play hard”.

Now, that’s all fine and dandy but like you I expect, my work days are most often full on.  I have lots of clients and other business demands that need my attention.

For years I had been misled that being any less than ‘industrious’ in my day just wasn’t working hard enough: “work hard now and reap the rewards later”.

The problem was I always felt too tired to reap anything, in fact I felt I’d under-achieved most days.

For me to become more effective, stay focused and feel energized at the end of the day something needed to change.  And change it did.

Through learning about and then later lecturing on solution focused hypnotherapy, I discovered the ‘Ultradian rhythm’ and applying it to my life and business has changed my life.

“I Use the Rhythm Method”

The human body is hard-wired to this rhythm and so, to be at our best, we need to understand how it works and then learn to apply it in our life.

Now, there is a lot of neuroscience behind it, but the simple rule is: to renew our energy every 90-minutes.  Not just physically, but also mentally and emotionally.

To renew our energy, we need to take 20-minute breaks and these breaks need to be inconsequential (problem free), like taking a walk, chatting to a friend or reading something light-hearted.

So, what I endeavor to do, particularly when I have a pressing day, is to break my day down into 90-minute (or less) chunks, with a good 20-minute break between each one, rather than keeping on going with a task.  Like this blog for instance.  I’ll work on it for 90 minutes then take a 20-minute break and come back to it.  My energy is higher and as a result, I am much more productive.  When working with clients I apply the same rule: I leave at least 20 minutes between each session, so as to be as present and as effective as I can be for them.

Digital strategist Tom Gibson said, “We need to understand that ‘on’ is impossible without ‘off,’ and that the distance between the two needs to be made closer: like the beats of a heart or the steps of a runner.”

I hear a lot of people talking about working hard and pushing through, but you don’t ever really push through – our physiology doesn’t really allow it.  Yes, we can adapt for a short period – that’s part of our make-up to enable survival, but, if you keep up the relentless drive to get everything done now, you will suffer later.

Why does this happen?

When we push through and deplete our energy resources, our body starts to release stress hormones, like adrenaline and cortisol, in short bursts.  When we are dealing with an immediate challenge, then that’s fine, it’s what it’s designed for. But when we are continually overriding our natural energy reserves and ignoring signals like drowsiness, loss of focus, irritability, hunger and procrastination, we are doing harm to ourselves – even if it doesn’t feel like it!

Cravings can kick in here for unhelpful substances like caffeine, or foods high in sugar and simple carbohydrates and these give us false energy which mask the releasing of stress hormones and cause us to push through even more, further depleting our resources.

My favorite break out time is nipping to the local café for a chat with a colleague ????

What will yours be?

And, just in case you were wondering…

Facebook won’t cut it.  Nor will watching TV, or reading the news.

Doing these things doesn’t replenish your energy.

Instead try something akin to these ideas: take some exercise, get out in nature, meditate.

Use the rhythm method and get the most from your energy, every day!

If you would like to find out more about how hypnotherapy can help you find a better way to work maybe it’s time to book your FREE initial consultation with your local Inspired to Change hypnotherapist. Inspired to Change Hypnotherapists are based across the UK in Peterborough, Northamptonshire, Cambridgeshire, Leicestershire, Devon and Kent.

Inspired to Change Hypnotherapists are all recognised by the National Council for Hypnotherapy, the UK’s leading not-for-profit hypnotherapy professional association.

To find out how you can train as a solution focused hypnotherapist click here for our hypnotherapy school information

About the author: Founder of Inspired to Change, Gary Johannes is a clinical hypnotherapist based in Peterborough. As Senior Lecturer at the Clifton Practice of Hypnotherapy Training, Gary is leading the way in providing Solution Focused Hypnotherapy Services in the UK.