How much time do you put a side to rest each day?
How important is rest to our neurological system?
How do you actually create balance in your life?
I had the great pleasure of briefly meeting the author of REST: a science and an art, Ros Broome, after one of my educational evening talks. She was extremely kind and gave me a copy of her book and expressed her passion on the role of activating the parasympathetic nervous system and how this could also impact neuroplasticity.
So she had me hooked on that little injection of knowledge and interest and I did what most busy people do, I put the book to one side and said to myself I must read that soon. So a few months passed as I continued in my busy day to day life and then myself and my partner were touring around Australia for 6 months and I thought, great I now have time to read this book.
The book is an excellent read and I had to laugh as it felt like it had been written directly for me, completely highlighting the power of rest and the destruction of busyholism which I can fully relate too as it took me 4 months to actually stop and make time to read a book. Ros demonstrates an amazing skill of describing what could be a very difficult and complex subject in an easily digestible manner with a great personal connection.
The parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) is the opposite to the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) otherwise portrayed as the fight or flight response. The SNS is essential for our body to perform and function under stress, however long periods of stress and constant “busyness” keep the SNS on or following constantly. This constant activation of the SNS can have significant detrimental effects on the our physical and mental wellbeing.
We need to activate the PNS regularly to tune the SNS off and rebalance the body – its yin yan….
The PNS is responsible for activating all the restorative functions in our body as well as our creativity and emotional resilence. When the PNS is activated your heart rate and respiratory rate return to normal levels, the immune system starts working to repair the daily wear on the body. There is an increased blood supply to the gut and reproductive organs and it stimulates the creative areas of the brain.
So it is essential that you make the time to rest even if only for a short period each day to allow the body to re-calibrate itself and then ensure you set aside longer periods of time to really truly rest. The balance is so important as over time the SNS will run you into the ground.
This book, its advice and education I feel is a vital read for everyone to reduce the risk of neurological conditions and other health related diseases. My work is focused on helping those living with a neurological condition and I have and will continue to recommend this book to many of my clients who struggle to balance rehab and general life and also to many family and friends who are all known for being “busy”.
Thank you Ros – you have impacted my “busy” life already.
Further information and a copy of the book can be purchased through the website below;