10.7.10

A Re-Energized Mind is a Powerful Mind

Running Out of Energy

We spend our days with our minds constantly preoccupied with work, school, responsibilities, financial problems, taking care of our families, worry about the future, personal problems and issues, etc.

We grow up in a society that teaches us that in order to improve our lives we have to work harder and harder. The problem with working harder and harder is that eventually we reach a point in which our inner reserves of energy (both mental and physical) can no longer support our hectic lifestyles. It is like trying to make a car go forward that has just run out of gas.

Look at it This Way

There is another way to look at this. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, this condition of expended energy with a lack of reserve energy is considered a Yin/Yang imbalance.

Traditional Chinese Medicine is based on the concept of opposing yet complementary forces of the universe with Yang representing the energy of activity or movement and Yin representing the energy of inactivity and rest (energy reserves).

In simple terms, if you use up too much Yang (energy of activity) without replenishing your Yin (energy reserves), you will become just like that car that has run out of gas.

Many of us spend our lives constantly on the go. Once we no longer have the energy to keep up the pace that we have set for ourselves, we become full of anxiety over what will become of our lives. We think to ourselves that if we don't work harder and harder how will we ever achieve our goals and dreams?

Less is More

The reality is that in life less is often more. For example, sometimes writers need to periodically take a break from writing and do some other less mentally taxing activities in order to give the mind a chance to rest.

Once the mind has refreshed itself, new ideas, solutions for problems, and creativity will flow easily and effortlessly. Personally, some of my best ideas come to me when my mind is completely detached from writing and I'm mentally engaged in some relaxing or pleasurable activity.

A Rested Mind Grows Stronger

Our minds don't just recharge and refresh themselves when properly rested but actually get stronger. The mind grows more powerful during rest than when mentally occupied with activity. Bodybuilding provides a useful analogy to further illustrate this point.

In bodybuilding, muscles grow during rest and not while they are actually being exercised. Weight lifting causes tiny microscopic tears in the muscle fibers. After a workout, the body goes into repair mode and begins to rebuild and strengthen the damaged muscle fibers by making them bigger or stronger than before. As muscles get stronger over time, their capacity to do work is increased.

In bodybuilding, overtraining combined with insufficient rest can lead to injuries and a loss of muscle development. An overworked mind likewise is susceptible to becoming overwhelmed and various negative mental and emotional conditions can occur such as anxiety, depression, frustration, and a feeling of being stressed out.

It is not only important but actually necessary for our minds to get regular intervals of rest and recuperation. In our modern society, the idea of easing up and letting your mind be free of your cares and worries sounds almost ludicrous when we have so many responsibilities and things that demand our attention.
 
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