Hard work has long been heralded as the quickest — if not the only — path to success, but what happens when those long hours threaten your performance? Studies show that an overloaded mind can often contribute to depleted energy, decreased concentration, and a general sense of unease. What’s more, many doctors are increasingly looking at prolonged stress as the starting point for a variety of medical conditions. In other words, that hard work could actually be hurting just as much as it’s helping.
The Importance of Relaxation
Of course, we can’t always control last-minute deadlines and exceedingly long hours. That’s where purposeful relaxation enters the picture. By dedicating a few minutes to unwinding, you’re giving your brain the time it needs to process and restore. The result is a clearer mind, a more rejuvenated spirit, and a newfound sense of focus.
Your Brain is Like a Browser
Let’s look at a real-world analogy. Imagine that your brain is a web browser that you use daily. Each time you retrieve a web page, that browser stores data in its local cache. When you have months of data hovering in that space, your device has to work that much harder to pull up the relevant information. That’s why computer experts advise that you clear the cache periodically; it improves speed and performance by getting rid of the information you no longer need.
Clearing the Cache
When you slip into a hot tub for an evening soak, you’re essentially performing the same action: unplugging from the outside world and allowing your brain to clear any data that’s stopped being useful. The bubbles and warm water relax your muscles, and the time away from tasks and responsibilities lets you focus only on the immediate.
Soaking several times per week can result in dramatic improvements to your drive, focus, and concentration, allowing you to keep those long hours without completely burning out.