Part of the protocol in my book Rewired is to give the brain a much-needed rest. In our overwired lives, our brains work overtime. It is absolutely critical that we disengage so that our brains (and bodies) can rest, relax, and rejuvenate. And there’s real science behind it, too.
Scott Halford, a specialist in the fields of critical thinking and Emergenetics who I interviewed for Rewired said being overwired causes our brains and our thinking to become disorganized:
“Under too much stress, the pre-frontal cortex, the part of the brain that sorts incoming information, simply stops,” he said. “We cannot assess threats, we cannot process new information, and, as a result, parts of the brain simply shut down.”
When the pre-frontal cortex shuts off, we don’t perform well and we don’t think clearly. We also become hostages to our emotions; this is when snap at our colleagues, friends, children, spouses, etc. (Sound familiar?)
But by learning to unwire in little ways, and practicing it daily, we can actually halt this cognitive drain and reboot our brains. It’s part of the relaxation response, and we can restore and encourage cognitive health. When we unwire, we are calmer, we are centered, and we are relaxing—incredibly powerful medicine. So don’t wait until you hit the wall. Try these simple unwiring strategies to rest, rejuvenate, and reboot your brain:
- Listen to music.
- Stretch or do yoga.
- Play with the dog.
- Take an unplugged walk outside—no SmartPhone, no iPod.
- Look at something beautiful.
- Do the crossword.
- Play a game.
- Pet your dog or cat.
- Practice unitasking.
- If you are working, get up and move away from your desk every hour for five minutes or so. Leave your phone behind and go do something else completely, even if it is just walking around the office or staring out the window.
Little steps like these will add up to big results. Your brain will thank you for it.