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Why Taking Breaks is Good for You

Alpha state of consciousness

The majority of the time, people are in a Beta state of consciousness; we’re functional, we’re working, we’re constantly thinking and organizing and strategizing. There’s nothing wrong with this, but what we need to focus on is achieving an Alpha state. An Alpha state is when you meditate, visualize, relax, or simply close your eyes for two minutes. It’s during Alpha states when creativity is at its peak. You are less anxious if you take regular breaks to gain clarity.

Closing your eyes is a great way to naturally spur creativity. You block out 80% of your sensory input, and your brain capacity automatically increases. Relaxing strengthens your immune system. You’re happier, less stressed, and more productive. It is critical to allow yourself to take a break and relax your mind and senses, free of stress, at least every two hours. Mindfulness is a pain-reducing strategy and pivotal to both our well-being and productivity. Learning to slow your brain down is essential for creativity.

Take a break

One of the most important precursors to creativity is being happy, and having a sense of peace. Gray matter in the brain implies there are more connections in the brain, and people who go to the Alpha state more regularly have more gray matter in the brain and are overall healthier and more efficient in their roles. In a society where we’ve become self-involved and dependent on technology, we’re more stressed and anxious, we often block the ability to be creative through the distractions of everyday life and problems.

Your natural self, coming from hundreds of millions of years of evolution, is in the Alpha state. It is in the Alpha state that you can have gamma spikes or A-Ha moments. Gamma waves move from the back to the front of the brain. Alpha precedes Gamma. When you’re relaxed and in a creative state of being, the best ideas come through.

Here are some techniques to help you get to the Alpha state during your regular schedule:

  • Lean back, close your eyes and visualize. Don’t focus on any stress or things you did wrong.
  • Shut off technology (phones/iPads/TV) at least 20 minutes before bed.
  • Keep a gratitude journal. Write down at least three things you’re grateful for.
  • Get enough sleep. Our brains create as we sleep, extracting wisdom from our unconsciousness. They process information and organize our minds, restore, and create as we sleep. Consolidation happens only when the brain is at rest.
  • Pay attention to your thoughts. If a negative thought comes into your mind, replace it with a positive one.

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Sebastian Moran
Sebastian Moran is a WordPress performance expert and technical liaison for MainWP.
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