The Pillar of Relax

Engaging in the habits outlined in the Pillar of Relax is imperative to our health.

In this go-go-go world we can have a breakdown. Our bodies are not machines. We’re human beings that need rest and recreation every day.

The strategy I employ is a simple one predicated on mindfulness: pay attention to what your body is telling you to do and how your body feels at any given time during the day.

One Sunday it was unseasonably colder. My body had gone on strike it seemed. There would be no going to the gym and no going outside.

Pushing yourself to do demanding activities is a mistake when your body is telling you to slow down and rest. Yet too often people think that being busy is a sign of health.

Being busy isn’t a sign of health. Being fit and active is the barometer of health.

You can do less every day and achieve more peace of mind and better health.

We should not be checking work e-mails from home. In my house I have the inviolable rule of not checking work e-mails when I’m on vacation.

The corollary to relaxing is the Pillar of Sleep. Dr. Chatterjee recommends establishing the 90-Minute Rule: shutting down all TV, cell phone, and tablet use 90 minutes before you go to bed.

Getting enough rest and recreation can absolutely halt disease from starting or progressing.

I’ll end this blog entry by saying that for years I was skeptical that a person’s behavior and lifestyle choices could cause disease.

Now I know without a doubt that the keys to unlocking optimal health are in our own hands. We are not passive victims of illness. Disease is not the natural outcome of getting older. It’s too often the result of inactivity and poor choices.

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Author: Chris Bruni

Christina Bruni is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Left of the Dial. She owns a resume writing and career help business. She contributed a chapter "Recovery is Within Reach" to Benessere Psicologico: Contemporary Thought on Italian American Mental Health. As well as an author and activist, Bruni is an artist and a fitness buff.

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