“A life in Christ is a life of restfulness.”—Ellen G. White, Steps to Christ
What is Rest?
Rest may be thought of as good sleep, meditation to relax your brain or “taking it easy” after excessive physical activity or sickness. While it can be all these things, Seventh-day Adventists also include the Sabbath which is an entire day devoted to resting.
“He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made.” Genesis 2:2
Types of Rest
It would be lovely if eight hours of sleeping resulted in us waking up feeling amazingly rejuvenated and ready to conquer the world every single day. Unfortunately, most everyone has experienced that you can actually sleep 8 hours or more and wake up completely unrested. So, it serves to reason that there are various types of rest that may not be accomplished with sleep alone. In fact, there are four different types of rest that we should strive for every day.
The four different forms of rest include:
1. Physical Rest
2. Sensory Rest
4. Mental Rest
5. Emotional Rest
Why Rest Matters
While it goes without saying that without proper rest you feel terrible, there are many other reasons that rest really does matter!
Improves your memory.
Helps you learn.
Results in Longer Lifespans.
Kids who get more rest have better grades.
Helps you pay attention.
Helps you stay fit.
Lowers the chance you will experience depression.
Contributes to heart health.
How to “Rest”
There are lots of different ways to rest, but try practicing resting techniques that cover all four types of rest.
Physical rest– This encompasses any physical relaxation including sleeping, laying down, sitting, or reclining.
Mental rest- To rest mentally you need to remove yourself from stress and other mental vigor. There are various ways to do this including Christian meditation, walking, hiking, playing with pets, doing things that make you laugh, massage, or even art.
Emotional rest- Emotional rest can be complicated to achieve. Christian meditation and prayer may be a good way to release some of the emotional stress in your life.
Sensory rest- Sensory rest focuses on giving your eyes, ears, and other senses a rest during the chaos of a normal day. Sensory rest may be best achieved by turning off the TV, music and bright lights and just closing your eyes for a few minutes. During this time focus on your breathing.
As you can see from above, Christian meditation is a common theme running through the various forms of relaxation. During the week, this may be a great way to accomplish getting different types of rest that you wouldn’t normally get all bundled into one activity.
On the other hand, everyone is different and what works for one person may not work for another. For some people putting together a puzzle may be relaxing in terms of mental and emotional rest. For others though, it may be a stressful, frustrating or just unpleasant experience. When trying to figure out the best options to get mental, sensory or emotional rest ask yourself how you feel in terms of the four different types of rest after doing various activities.
Seventh-day Adventists have another type of rest-The Sabbath. The Sabbath is all about resting. Adventists don’t go to work, do normal household chores, watch TV, go shopping, or make their kids do homework. Adventists also prepare for the Sabbath ahead of time so that they don’t have to worry about cooking or getting gas on Sabbath. Instead, the entire day is a holy day of rest created by God. On this day Adventists go to church, enjoy a laid back lunch, spend time with each other or family and God. Some go hiking or to the beach while others sit and chat. The whole day though is a very de-stressing and relaxing time that covers all four types of rest.
Many people know that Adventists live longer and studies have contributed this primarily to our diet (the purpose and existence of this web-space). But, the Sabbath and rest may be the real reason that Adventists live longer. We all know that stress is a killer, but few people actually take the time to rest one day of the week, or even just to rest a few minutes every day. Adventist or not, just try to put one day of the week aside to rest. You may think that you can’t afford to, but in reality it will increase your productivity both at work, and at home.