It's OK To Do Nothing - Restoring a Healthy Balance

Are you keeping a healthy balance between resting and being active?

Due to the influences of the society and technology, many of us are constantly doings things in order to achieve our goals and become “successful”. Fear of missing out also pushes us to live our life fully, which means to go out, to explore, to meet people and try out new things. You basically just need to always do something; something that can make you feel useful, productive, worthy, and maybe a sense of accomplishment. There’s nothing wrong with being active and adventurous, the problem is the mentality that we have puts way too much emphasis on doing instead of resting. We even associate taking a break with laziness and being a loser (ouch, that hurts!).

When there’s an imbalance, our body starts to show symptoms, such as back pain, headache, short breath (even no breath), muscle pain, insomnia, digestive problems, skin problems, etc. Sounds familiar? Our body is very sensitive and smart, it gives us warning signs to stop, but our restless mind keeps telling us to keep going. If we don’t have a strong connection to and trust in the body, we’d often ignore all the warning signs and keep being busy, at least till the point when we get really sick or feel completely exhausted. Sometimes even when we’re sick, we can not take one hour off to completely relax and enjoy doing nothing. This makes me wonder why are we all so hyperactive nowadays? I think in order to restore a healthy balance in our body and mind, we need to firstly change our preconceptions of resting and being active.

Most of the people know the meaning behind yin and yang. In order to have a healthy body and mind, we need to keep yin (resting) and yang energy (active) balanced, which means to distribute our time equally for both resting and being active. In the resting state, we’re gathering all the energy inwardly. We do self-reflection; we connect to our inner wisdom; we’re nourishing and detoxing the body and mind; we’re incubating inspirations and creative energy. In the active state, we’re creating and manifesting; we’re exerting our energy outwardly; we’re engaging with the world and people around us. Both states are important and necessary, only when they dance in a balanced pace, can we attain a good health and well-being. So, it’s time to give more credit to our resting state. When there’s no movement, we’re actually building a strong foundation and gathering strength and energy for later when we switch to the active state.

I’d like to invite you to reflect on few simple questions:

  • What does resting mean to you?

  • What do you do when you’re active?

  • Are you keeping a healthy balance between these two states in your daily life?

  • What activities do you associate with resting?

  • What words and colors do you relate with these two states?

  • Does your body at this point need more rest or action? (You can explore this by moving your body in different paces and see how you feel. You can also do the movements with music).

If you’re like the majority of us who are hyperactive, why not try to come up with a daily 5-minute silence practice in the upcoming week? In these five minutes, please try to give yourself permission to do nothing, I mean absolutely NOTHING (not even thinking about what you’re going to do after 5 minutes), and then see how your body responds and feels.

Just remember, our mind can make up stories and lies that push us towards different directions, but our body can never lie. So sometimes it’s wiser to connect to the body than being trapped in our endless thoughts.

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