Is this a curse or something? You will need to read through to figure it out.
Today, April 7, is World Health Day, and the theme is “Good Health Adds Life to Years”. Needless to say, health is wealth. We all need good health to become the best we can be. It is in view of this fact that I deemed it necessary to do this piece. I hope you will enjoy it.
It is bad enough that many of us starve our body one of its basic needs: relaxation, you can call it rest or leisure or recreation. We take life too seriously that we put our body under severe pressure. We think we want to make a living, not knowing that we are putting ourselves in harm’s way. I know the quest for survival, especially in a country like ours, could be partly responsible for this. Be that as it may, we can still do something about it.
Recently, I had the misfortune of experiencing a terrible headache. First, it was symptoms of malaria, which I treated. But headache surfaced and continued for days on end. It always came on the heels of waking up in the morning. And I was not at my best at home and at work that period.
Prior to that time, I had planned to travel to my Alma mater for our convocation. I had hoped I would get better on or before that day. Alas, on the day I was to travel, the headache was so severe that it upset my plan. The three-day leave that I was given at work to travel became a forced resting period for me. I had to stay at home. And those days of rest did a world of good to my whole being. Indeed, it was a salutary reminder that the importance of rest cannot be over-emphasised.
John Wanamaker told a bitter truth: “People who cannot find time for recreation are obliged sooner or later to find time for illness.” If you think your work or your studies is so important that you cannot create time for recreation, you will not be told to rest when your body begins to ache.
I love what Dr. Tunde Bakare said, short and direct – a pungent remark: “If your body will not rest, your soul will have to rest in peace.” What a powerful, pregnant message! I know you don’t want that to happen. So, stop being too serious with your life, you might lose it. “If a man insisted always on being serious, and never allowed himself a bit of fun or relaxation, he would go mad or become unstable without knowing it,” said Herodotus.
There’s no glory in being the richest man in the graveyard. You don’t want to be the best scientist, doctor, executive, salesman, or employee lying – prematurely – under the most ornate headstone…why be confined to a mental sanatorium or lie embalmed six feet under a blanket of beautiful green grass – simply because a needless drain damaged a battery that wasn’t recharged? …You, like a storage battery, are dead when your energy level is zero. What is the solution? Recharge your battery? How? Relax, play, rest and sleep!
– Napoleon Hill & W. Clement Stone, Success Through A Positive Mental Attitude
Some people believe, like I used to, that resting is synonymous with laziness and a waste of time. This is a wrong mentality. Even God rested after creation!
A story is told of a farmer who exerted much energy chopping away at a tree with a dangerously blunt axe. A friend told him that his axe needed sharpening, but the farmer had no ears for advice – he would not listen. When, finally, he listened, he said he could not waste precious time sharpening the axe. He was too busy for that; there was so much to do in so little time. He never realised that by sharpening his axe; it would make him more effective and productive. Many of us are like that farmer: we put our body under pressure, but refuse to “sharpen” it. Friend, take rest!
As Ovid rightly said: “Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop.”
If the axe is dull, and one does not sharpen the edge, then he must use more strength; but wisdom brings much success.
– The Bible, Eccl. 10:10.
“When should I relax?” Perhaps, this is the question in your mind now. It is common everywhere to hear people say, “I don’t have time…” A lot of people think they don’t have time for rest, but I think the problem is not lack of time. It has been wisely said that the time to relax is when you don’t have time for it – when you think you’re too busy for it. If you want to wait until you actually have time for it, then it may be too late – a GRAVE mistake indeed!
“No matter how much pressure you feel at working, if you could find ways to relax for at least five minutes every hour, you’d be more productive.”
– Dr. Joyce Brothers.
Rollo May, the distinguished psychiatrist, said in his book Man’s Search for Himself: “The ability to be aware of one’s body has a great importance all through life… Most people act on the principle, ‘Let hands or feet feel as they may, I must get off to work’. As a result of several centuries of suppressing the body into an inanimate machine, subordinated to the purposes of modern industrialism, people are proud of paying no attention to the body. They treat it as an object for manipulation, as though it were a truck to be driven till it runs out of gas. The only concern they give it is a thought each week as perfunctory as a phone call to a relative to ask how he is, but with really no intention of taking the answer seriously. Nature then comes along, if we may speak metaphorically, and knocks the person down with colds or the flu or more severe illnesses, as though she were saying, ‘When will you learn to listen to your body?’ It is essential to learn to ‘listen to the body’ in deciding when to work and when to rest.”
So, friend that your soul may not rest in peace soon, please rest your body!
Learn to relax. Your body is precious, as it
houses your mind and spirit. Inner peace
begins with a relaxed body.
– Norman Vincent Peale.
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