Did you know that reading a book or talking to a friend isn’t really rest? While your body might rest, your brain doesn’t.
So, how can you get some cognitive rest?
- get enough sleep
- if you don’t sleep enough, make sure you get a nap (between ten minutes and an hour—any longer might have the opposite effect)
- get yourself moving (it can be a short walk or a longer hike, both will give your brain some rest)
- take a long shower
Daydreaming can help you too
But only if do it the right way. Otherwise, you won’t get the rest you’re seeking.
Did you ever hear of positive constructive daydreaming (PCD)? PCD is the practice of lulling yourself into a guided fantasy.
To achieve this, you need to engage in a low-bandwidth activity — walking or knitting a simple pattern, for example. As you engage in this, imagine some pleasant scenario.
Whatever you choose, don’t become too invested and allow your mind to wander. As you relinquish control of the image, your thoughts will likely turn inward and your brain will engage the default mode network. This means that your brain’s energy is no longer being exerted on conscious tasks. Your mind is allowed to wander or zone out, which is a great thing.
What is your favorite thing to do for giving your brain a break?
Sources & further reading:
Cognitive Rest: Learn Why Your Brain Needs More Downtime
Why Your Brain Needs More Downtime