|A place to rest|
I have anxiety and fatigue. One of the things I do is rest a lot. I will do a little work and then rest. Rest is good for healing and especially for those with adrenal fatigue. One of the ways I rest is to get on the computer. On the internet. On Facebook. I can sit down, and I can be busy at the same time. I’m glad to be able to rest yet keep myself occupied at the same time.
I had started thinking lately that perhaps all this computer time was hindering my health progress. And then I saw Morley Robbins (the magnesium man) say something in the magnesium group on Facebook about watching TV not really being rest. Hmm... So I posted the question: So, Morley, are you saying that my perusing Facebook is not “rest?”
He found that laughable. Said “ROFL” even. Uh-oh. But that’s how I rest. Seriously.
So I thought again about reducing my computer/internet usage. I was thinking about coming up with alternatives to the computer. Things I can do while I sit down. But today I decided not to turn the internet back on for a while and then just sit and rest without doing anything.
Oh it was hard. I was surprised by how hard it was. I sat there and my mind jumped around. I thought about things I need to do but don’t want to do. Things I want to do but don’t have the energy to do or don’t want to put the effort into. I had some anxiety. I tried some deep breathing. I thought about how much B-6 was in the supplement I’d taken this morning. Then I got up, went to the table, sat down and looked at the bottle of B-vitamins. I got up again. I thought about putting something away, but decided not to. I started wringing my hands.
Really it was hard. Here’s the thing: the internet is a wonderful distraction for my mind. My mind jumps around and I get anxious, but the internet keeps me from that. However, it doesn’t actually provide rest. It feels like rest because I don’t have to think about my thoughts—but it’s not rest. So, maybe in the long run, all this internet use is actually detrimental to my healing.
Why are the internet and TV not rest? Morley mentioned the parasympathetic nervous system, and I looked it up. Basically, the parasympathetic nervous system is about rest and relaxation. The sympathetic is about action. For instance, laying in bed would be resting, but nearly getting into an accident on the interstate would not... Okay, well that’s obvious, but what about the TV and internet? On TV you find entertainment, excitement, car chases, explosions, conflicts, flashing lights, loud noises, drama, ads telling you to buy things now, nearly not-clad people, and all sorts of things to get and keep you engaged. The internet is much the same way, and it's constant visual stimulation. Plus you might have people saying inflammatory things, insulting you or getting into arguments with you.... You get the picture.
I’ve even noticed that when I read books, they can get my adrenaline going. This may not be the case for everyone, but when something exciting or dangerous happens in a story, my heart starts pounding and I start sweating. (Maybe you didn’t want to know that.) As much as I love reading, it’s not always the best thing to do before bed.
Now, I’m talking about me. I’m not telling you what to do. But I need rest and being on the internet a lot just may not be the best way to get that.
Chudler, Eric H. "Autonomic Nervous System." 1996-2011. http://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/auto.html