The Importance of Taking Breaks
We recharge our phone when it runs out of battery. We refill our gas tank when it's running empty. But, we often forget to take a break and recharge our most precious possession: our body and the brain that’s inside of it.
Sometimes we get so overwhelmed we feel we might explode. Before that happens, it is crucial to take a break and really think about our real purpose in life and reprioritize in order to preserve our sanity. Once the storm blows over, we can go back to our normal state with more knowledge and emotional stamina to take on the next surge.
Although taking short breaks throughout the working day may not have as obvious an impact as taking a holiday, research has found significant benefits. Studies have found that short 10-15min meditation breaks can reduce or prevent stress, help to maintain performance throughout the day and reduce the need for a long recovery at the end of the day. A study by Korpela, Kinnunen, Geurts, de Bloom and Sianoja (2016) found that taking these breaks increases levels of energy at work and decreases exhaustion. Furthermore, one year later it was found to increase vigor and increase energy levels over time.
Relaxing and social breaks have also been found to be particularly beneficial. A relaxing break can help to facilitate recovery, by returning your mental and psychical functional systems to their baseline. Additionally, a relaxing break can help to reset your mood, thereby promoting positive wellbeing and reducing stress.