The many benefits of turning your brain off are powerfully real and accessible to all.
Many of us believe in the benefits of turning your brain off a few times a day but they may not be what many of us think they are. Yeah, we believe the brain can benefit from a few breaks during the day but what exactly are the benefits?.
Is it even possible to turn your brain off? How do you turn your brain off? What are the tangible benefits of turning your brain off?
These are some of the questions that will be answered as we explore the benefits of turning your brain off.
Would You Benefit From Turning Your Brain Off?
Most people I know are preoccupied with family, making money, work and getting ahead. All my life I found that preoccupation odd but never thought much more about it. I was taught working hard, being active and busy were good things and would always benefit you.
I never fully believed it but I went along with that program anyway. Almost everyone I know saw through my facade and understood my real beliefs in that regard.
I always believed in doing what needed to be done at the time, equal amounts of work and rest, live and let live. I never bost about working hard or complained about someone not pulling their weight.
I just did what I had to do and kept it moving.
This indifference was baffling to many people as I would not react to situations as most people expected.
This lead many people to believe I did not work hard and was lazy. I found that odd because I was up and working out in the gym at 5:30 in the morning almost every morning while they slept.
I worked two jobs and was enrolled in school but I never bost or complained about how much I was doing. I just always did what needed to be done and the social norm is to complain or bost about work and the lack of free time.
I believe this type of social behavior towards work and rest has to lead to a misunderstanding and abuse of the brains physical requirements for optimal health and performance.
Deep down inside you must know the constantly working full tilt sleep when you are dead mentality can’t be good for overall health, wellbeing, and happiness.
The brain needs adequate rest and downtime to serve you at it’s best. That cannot be disputed and sleep is widely believed to be the best form of rest and recovery for the brain. Is it really?
Why is it many people get their best ideas in the shower? What are the reasons many people think clearer while on vacation or away from the office? Why do people experience mental clarity and find many other benefits from meditation?
Is the brain turned off at these times? Would the brain perform even better after being turned off? Can you really turn your brain off? How much more could you accomplish utilizing a supercharged brain?
Do you really even need a brain? (Sorry, just kidding. I could not resist. LOL).
These Are The Benefits of Turning Your Brain Off
Research shows how work meditation, long walks, and mental breaks increase productivity.
Even daydreaming is used as a form of relaxation for the brain. The same chemical and physiological processes that occur when we sleep to restore and rejuvenate the brain can be intentionally triggered instantly many times a day to supercharge your brain.
Sleep is the ultimate form of a shutdown to replenish the brain but other forms can produce similar if not better results essential to achieve the highest levels of performance and form the stable memories the brain uses for housekeeping during downtime.
Any downtime that causes the mind to wander will whisk us from that moment in time. This helps us store and playback information so we can learn from that past and plan for future decisions.
We should be careful as a Scientific America article speaks to downtime and highlights Marcus Raichle of Washington University in Saint Louis and his colleagues work demonstrating the human brain to be a glutton for all available resources.
Believe it or not, the brain DEMANDS 20 percent of all the energy the human body produces at all times and only DEMANDS 5 to 10 percent more energy when under heavy load, peak performance, solving complexed problems or intensive reading.
Wow! The brain is truly a glutton and demands 20% of all available energy at it’s most dormant. That’s just greedy. LOL.
The brain demands this energy and is able to perform it’s amazing daily functions because tasks are allocated to dedicated sections of the brain to share the loads.
Whatever the need the brain has a specialized section and an App for that. LOL. This mimics rhythmically turning your brain off to give sections a break.
Raichle found that different scattered regions of the brain consistently became more or less active depending on the request. It seems the brain worked just as hard responding to request whether they were simple or more difficult.
The brain just handled those request in different regions to lighten the overall load.
The research found different regions of the brain consistently became more active when that person was at rest and less active when that same person focused on a mental challenge.
Ironically there are sections of the brain that fire up, come to life and synchronize when people are daydreaming or at wakeful rest. The complex circuits of brain activity have come to be known as the default mode network (DMN).
The DMN is one of many different resting state networks the brain can access. In the past few years, researches have found networks for vision, hearing, movement, attention, and memory.
But the DMN remains the best studied and perhaps the most important among them.
This suggests the brain is equipped to take advantage of every momentary lapse in attention to allow the resting state networks to take over.
The brain can fire up the DMN instantly when circuits used to consciously direct attention go dormant for even a fraction of a second. When we close our eyes or even when we blink this study shows the transaction can happen.
Researchers are not sure what happens at this time but one could imagine it to be a form of rest, memory consolidation for continuous maintenance, storage, and learning.
This is why vacations benefit people so much. Not only do vacations revitalize the body but also the mind.
When you change your environment (Places, people, food . . .) your brain is forced to make use of other regions that may have been less active and rest other regions that may have been more active.
Similar to the daydreaming effect mentioned earlier.
Unfortunately, research shows these benefits begin to fade in about 2 to 4 weeks of returning to your normal routine. We all would benefit from many short vacations spread out throughout the year.
Learn To Turn Your Brain Off and Enjoy The Benefits
Alright! This is the fun part. There is nothing special for you to do to turn your brain off and enjoy its benefits of a supercharged brain. The natural mechanisms are already in place and just waiting for you to just get out of greatness.
Just sit back, relax and allow the beauty that is your brain to enhance and supercharge your life.
Mary Helen Immordino-Yang of the University of Southern California and her co-authors argue that the brain never sleeps. Downtime is when the brain is anything but idle.
Downtime is an opportunity for the brain to regroup and take stock of recent events.
The brain is hard at work reevaluating, understanding and rewriting the day’s events to find solutions to help create a better you.
You have experienced this on a conscious level on a regular basis. Whenever you play back conversations and events in your head experimenting with other possible outcomes.
The times when you daydream and say “I should have said this” or “I should have done that” happens when your brain is doing its normal housekeeping during downtime.
We craft hypothetical situations and role play to better react to similar situations if they should arise.
We replay memories back into our minds practicing for different responses and outcomes, then work through pain points in our lives to prepare for the next time we encounter them.
There are times we even fantasize about situations like firing your boss or asking your favorite celebrity out on a date. This is the housekeeping that is done by the brain when we believe we are at rest.
These are moments of introspection and are some of the ways we form a sense of self, which is essentially our story, the sense of identity we continually tell ourselves we are.
To consistently reap the benefits of turning your brain off:
- Only perform a particular type of task for 1, 2 no more than 4 hours then do a different type of task.
- Constantly explore your creative side during the day. Sing, write, draw, daydream, skip, play and just be silly. Certain sections of your brain will reward you for your attention and stimulation.
- Periodically change your daily routine. Throw in a curveball, or a monkey wrench into the mix and don’t forget to add some spice every now and then.
- Don’t be afraid to take lengthy breaks often. Your work or personal life will not be negatively affected. Research shows you will be rewarded handsomely with superpowers. LOL.
Well, there you have it. The brain is a beast and a glutton for your energy resources.
The brain will benefit from downtime, rest and sleep but does not need it as much as you would think. It has an ingenious workaround to replenish itself and ensure survival.
There are benefits of turning your brain off but the brain would just fake sleep and continue working it’s magic behind your back. The brain is a work-a-holic and there is nothing you can do about it.
The brain is amazing but I admire the hand a little bit more (Click Here To Find Out Why). Don’t forget the brain demands 20% of the body’s energy just to show up for work and up to 10% more at peak times.
It is a bit of a spoiled Primadonna LOL.
All joking aside the brain is an amazing part of the Human body and we have only scratched the surface in the journey to learning its secrets.
Someone once said “Variety is the spice of life” and I believe it to be true.
It’s not a mistake the brain is designed to work better when you live free and add variety to your life. The brain frowned upon doing anything for 8 hours straight.
The brain loves when you sing, dance and act silly. I used that time to rest sections of the brain the handles the mundane task.
Most importantly the brain loves when you daydream, fantasize and role play. It uses this content to enhance learn and solve problems.
Living a productive, happy and fun filled life is all you need to enjoy the many benefits of turning your brain off.