Glazing And Its Benefits
The stress around us, the multiple channels inside our brains jumping from work to kids to back ache to money to spouse to food to employees to presentations, all contribute to a mental exhaustion that we don’t recognize
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I was treating a senior creative professional for an autoimmune disease, and one of the key things for recovery is rest. Somehow, his progress wasn’t up to mark in comparison with other patients. When I kept asking him if he was resting, his response continuously was, “Yes I have been home only.” So I responded, “You could be home doing Diwali cleaning, that’s not rest. Are you in bed, phone switched off, legs on the bed, listening to your favourite songs or watching your favourite movie?” There was a pause on the other end. I knew I had caught the cause of slow healing. The next morning, I got a message from him stating that he was feeling much better, thanks to The Dark Knight being watched the millionth time by him!
It’s amazing how little we rest our minds, and how we misinterpret rest. The stress around us, the multiple channels inside our brains jumping from work to kids to back ache to money to spouse to food to employees to presentations, all contribute to a mental exhaustion that we don’t recognize. Physically, if we’re exhausted, we pause, rest and then move. But mentally, while we pause, our brains are still buzzing. And that’s why we need to learn the art of glazing.
Glazing is a term I refer to in most executive health sessions, where the need to switch off mentally is high and opportunity low. Glaze is what comes over your eyeballs when your brain goes into a trance (stops thinking), and is the best form of mentally stimulating yourself. It’s almost as good as meditation and requires the same discipline to switch off. But unlike meditation, you can glaze anywhere. The benefits of glazing include reduced stress levels, reduced blood pressure, higher tolerance hence better teamwork, higher immunity, reduced pain for those suffering from unexplained aches and pains, depression tendencies reversal, increased positive outlook, improved attention and concentration time, and reversal of brain ageing. So how do you incorporate glazing into your regular routine? Here are some steps:
Assign a time: Every weekend, assign a Saturday or Sunday afternoon for a prolonged passive activity. This includes listening to music, watching a movie, sleeping or sitting and staring at the sea/mountains/wall. While the last one is difficult to do on one’s own, it’s effective when you put on your headphones and listen to your favourite music while watching your favourite view. You can add your favourite coffee to the routine.
Empty your brain: Consciously eliminate thoughts from entering into your brain. Close your eyes and force yourself to think nothing. Nothing, no work or other problems should be allowed in. If you find it difficult initially, start reverse counting from 100 to 0, it usually works.
Do nothing for 30 minutes a day: No phone, no conversations, no people. Aimlessly sit in a room with newspapers and TV. Darken the room. No news channels allowed. Put on songs or movies. Try and do this during the day, late afternoon at work, if you have a lounge and TV in the office. If you can’t, do this before sleeping. Unwind your mind by not doing anything sensible.
Drink water when stressed: Glazing is not possible if the brain is agitated. Water calms the brain down and helps with emptying your brain.
Do all the above for one week continuously and email me on how you felt. You will be surprised at how much stress you would have reduced by just incorporating this simple activity. Make your family and team do the same, and suddenly better harmony and higher productivity at home and work will surprise you pleasantly.
Now, time for my glazing. Will catch you next time.
This article was published in BW Businessworld issue dated 'Nov. 14, 2016' with cover story titled 'India’s Best B-Schools Survey 2016'
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