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It’s Time to REST

While most people are busy starting their new year off doing, doing and doing things to change their health, longevity and life, this may not be the best approach to living better longer.

Increased and ongoing demands to the human system add up day over day and if you don’t have enough resources to keep up with the demands, the body becomes stressed.  One of the key components that accelerates the rate and pace of biological aging, breakdown and disease in the body is rooted in an overloaded, stressed out, depleted system that isn’t resting and recovering.

And this is where the new approach to longevity enters here at the top of 2024…

To live longer, to do more, to experience more, to feel more actually requires you to do less and in those moments of less … that is when it’s time to REST.

Rest refers to any behavior that aims to increase the physical or mental well-being of a person. The behavior while at rest can be active, including going for a walk outside, or passive, like taking a nap, reading a book or taking a few minutes to just sit and breathe deeply. It can create a deep sense of ease, peace, and wellbeing that activates your parasympathetic nervous system.

Why is REST the Key to Longevity?

Rest is more than just sleep; it’s a state of deep ease and peace that replenishes our bodies and minds. The process of aging is accelerated when the body isn’t resting and recovering from too many demands, because even “good” can become “bad” to an overloaded system.  And when we are resting, and recovering, we are not repairing and rejuvenating. This can add to genomic instability, an increase in mitochondrial dysfunction, inflammaging, telomere shortening and cellular senescence, each a key hallmark of aging.

To reset the system, to support recovery requires moments throughout your day where you can “pump the breaks” of life to pause, slow down, become present and truly help your body de-stress.  Rest will…

  • Enhanced Recovery: Rest allows our body to repair, rejuvenate, and restore itself, crucial for long-term health.
  • Stress Reduction: It lowers stress levels, which, if unchecked, can lead to chronic health issues.
  • Boosted Mental Health: Adequate rest is linked to improved mood and cognitive function.

Measuring REST with HRV:

Heart Rate Variability (HRV) is a critical biomarker in understanding our body’s ability to rest and recover. It measures the variation in time between each heartbeat, an indicator of our autonomic nervous system’s health. A higher HRV suggests a more resilient and adaptable system, key for effective rest.

Simple Ways to Incorporate Rest Into Your Day:

Beyond the essential 7-8 hours of sleep, here are some easy ways to build moments of deep ease into your daily routine:

  • Sync Your Clocks: Did you know that every cell in your body has a circadian clock? This allows for communication between the outer world and the inner world of your body so you body knows where it is at in space in time. It reads the time to then initiate or stop hundreds of key metabolic, hormonal and neurological actions in your brain and body daily. When you are out of sync with the natural light-dark cycle- this is a form of major distress, it creates more work so imagine syncing with your clocks to help your body work smarter not harder creating more ease and rest.

The fastest and easiest way to do this is to view 1-5 minutes of morning sunlight in your eyes, and then reduce your exposure to blue lights after 5 pm. Turn screens off, set indoor lighting to warm tones of gold and red and turn off as many lights in your environment as possible to create deeper rest in your system.

  • Mindful Breathing: Take 1-3-minute box breathing breaks to focus solely on your breath, calming your mind and body.  Breathe in for 4 counts, hold 4, breathe out 4, hold 4 and repeat.
  • Enjoy: Put on a song you love or enjoy something fun for you. When you immerse yourself in creativity it shifts your brain into a flow state of ease and inspiration.
  • Write it out: By writing your ideas, thoughts, ideas and to-do’s down on paper or in your notes, you get them out of your mind and give them a place to live so your brain feels like it has less to focus on and remember.  This allows for a clearer, calmer, more rested mind.
  • Nature Walks: Regular short walks in nature can significantly reduce stress and boost your mood.
  • Digital Rest: Put down your phone, turn off your notifications and give yourself a digital rest throughout your day.
  • Guided Relaxation: Practice short guided meditation or progressive muscle relaxation exercises.
  • Do NOTHING: That’s right, nothing….

As 2024 opens not only a new year, may it also open a new possibilities that can support you to live a longer, healthier and more vibrant life by resting more.  Find the moments, notice the gift that life is revealing in the small subtle present and there as you pause, rest into the fullness and richness of your longevity life, being lived well.

Share with us your favorite way to rest.

And, if you want a tool to get you started, enjoy our free breath course. 

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