I am reading a book recommended by a woman in my Small Group Coaching Program called "The 20-Minute Break", by Ernest Rossi.

This book is based on 2 decades of research testing on human performance. What the researchers found was that our bodies periodically give us physiological clues about how to stay energetic, healthy and productive.

This research describes the “ultradian rhythms”, which are the 90 to 120-minute cycles that most of our key mind-body systems follow. Our creativity, alertness, emotional balance, physical energy and appetites all follow a wave-like cycle of activity followed by a short period in which the body seeks rest and renewal.

Most of us neglect our body’s signs that we need to take a break. We push ourselves through clear signals such as diminished concentration and energy, often overriding them with stimulants such as caffeine or nicotine.

This pattern sets the stage for chronic stress, fatigue and overload of our systems.

For instance, here’s what Dr. Rossi says about the period between 3 and 4 pm. “Researchers have called this period the breaking point. After this point, the arc of our circadian consciousness, which has been on the ascendant, begins its downward curve.

The entire mind-body is reorienting from outer-world performance toward sleep, our inner world of nurturing, healing and restoration.”

How many of us are reaching for sugar and/or caffeine between 3 and 4 PM?

The answer, according to Dr. Rossi, is to start to recognize our body’s signals and honor them by taking 2 or 3 20-minute breaks during the day.

During this time, you can practice the long lost art of doing nothing. Just let your mind relax, float, drift or simply enjoy, allowing the body to direct its own healing and rejuvenation.

At most, you simply witness, quietly and objectively, whatever changes happen by themselves, without acting or reacting to them in any way.

The challenge of the 20-Minute Break is to actually use the 20 minutes for REST. Answering phone calls or email, or switching your attention to another project do not count.

To get the benefit, you actually have to REST. On the days that I have been able to do that, I have felt better, rejuvenated with an increased sense of energy and creative thought.

Although I did NOT want to interrupt my day, it was well worth the investment.

If you are unable to take 20 minutes during the day, the best thing you can do is to take a breather to get in touch with yourself.

Recognize that you are under stress and need rest, rejuvenation and recovery. Instead of indulging in sugar or some other addictive substance, see this as an opportunity to recognize your need and honor it in the most nurturing way.

Author's Bio: 

Carol Solomon, Ph.D. is a psychologist and personal coach who specializes in helping people who want to lose weight and eliminate food and weight issues. She is the author of "Lose Weight Now Stay Slim Forever," a practical "how-to" manual for learning to lose weight without dieting. For a free 60-minute audio and free ezine, go to: http://www.Lose-Weight-Now-Stay-Slim-Forever.com For more information on binge eating, go to: http://www.Stop-Binge-Eating.com Contact Carol at: 847-680-0272 tw@iconnect.net