As a board-certified clinical neuropsychologist, not a day goes by that I don’t have to address the importance of rest with my patients struggling from medical and mental health disorders ranging from ADHD to post-concussion syndrome. As a society that is now driven to better and faster technology, rest has become a lost art, but no less fundamentally important to our physical emotional, cognitive, and spiritual well-being. God granted us both time and the model of rest for our good, yet we’ve come to treat it as a weakness or a punishment. If you have ever felt worn out, weary, and longing for more, then today is the perfect show for you.
In this episode Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith and I talked not just about the importance of rest, but about the different types of rest (and some of them might surprise you). As a neuropsychologist, I’m frequently interviewed about what we can do to help our physical and emotional well-being, and Dr. Dalton-Smith and I talked about the importance of rest to help us be more productive and more creative. We think we can accomplish more by doing more and skimping on rest, but the opposite is true.
Saundra shares more about finding rest in this article: Finding the Courage to Rest in God
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Quotables from the Episode:
- Often, obeying God’s command to rest takes a step of faith.
- When God gives us a command to rest, it is for our good. It is opening up room for something better. But so often we are unwilling to trust Him in that process. We keep trying to grab on to the small blessings, but it keeps Him from giving us the really big one coming our way.
- We tend to treat rest as if that’s an indulgence.
- Sometimes God has to take us to the place where we are at the lowest of the low in order for us to hear His voice. When we are so busy, and not taking time to adequately enter His rest, the business drowns out His voice from our ears
- We can get so busy that we have a religious relationship with God but no true personal relationship
- There are seven types of rest:
- physical rest (active and passive)
- mental rest (the easiest way to know you don’t have it is when you lie down to go to sleep at night but you can’t turn your brain off)
- emotional rest (rest that comes from being able to be very truthful and authentic; being able to say what you mean without having to censor your words)
- spiritual rest (breaking away from a religious relationship with God and focusing on intimacy with God; spending time in His presence to worship Him)
- social rest (understanding which people are draining in your life, and which ones are more life giving and make you feel better just by being around them; social rest is rest from the presence of others)
- sensory rest (taking breaks from sensory stimulation like the tv, radio, lights, being touched)
- creative rest (comes from allowing yourself the space to appreciate beauty)
- People often need to make a mindset shift: rest is really about restoration.
- Jesus perfectly modeled rest for us. He frequently pulled away for a time to rest. He modeled that even in ministry, it’s okay to set aside time to rest.
- Rest seems like it should be a simple process but so many people struggle with fatigue and insomnia because we don’t realize exactly what kind of rest we need. The type of rest you need, may not be the type you think you need.
- You can be a constant producer of a lot of goodness in your life, without ever taking time to taste the sweetness of the things you’re producing.
- Taking a Sabbath is difficult for so many because they cram so much into their life that it would be overwhelming to think of taking an entire day off each week, but if they could even start with an hour or a couple of hours and get used to that, then they might get to the point where they can take an entire day of Sabbath rest.
- Most of us need to start thinking of rest as a lifestyle.
- Rest actually helps you be more productive, because your joy level stays up, your energy levels stay up.
- Emotional rest is when you longer feel the need to perform.
- To take time to rest during the day, take time to analyze how your body feels throughout the day. Get up every 60-90 minutes and move around to make sure you aren’t staying in the same position for long periods of time. Incorporate physical rest by assessing whether or not you are experiencing any pain or discomfort in your body. Do some stretches or close your eyes for a few moments to alleviate eye strain. Bring something beautiful or encouraging into your physical space with you.
- We have a choice to make. Matthew 11:28 says “come to me all who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest.” It’s an invitation. Once you choose to accept that invitation, Jesus will carry that burden for us.
- Isaiah 30:15 This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: “Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength. But you would have none of it.
- Hebrews 4:11 So let us do our best to enter that rest. But if we disobey God, as the people of Israel did, we will fall.
- Matthew 11:28-30 MSG “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
Recommended Resources: (If there are affiliate links in this post, meaning, if you click through and make a purchase, I may receive a commission (at no extra cost to you)).
- Free rest assessment
- Sacred Rest: Recover Your Life, Renew Your Energy, Restore Your Sanity by Dr. Saundra Dalton Smith
- Finding Rest in God
- When God Commands Rest
- 6 Lessons Learned When the Doctor Orders More Rest
- 3 Lessons Learned from a Period of Rest
- Risking Rest
- Trust and Rest
- “Hope Prevails: Insights from a Doctor’s Personal Journey Through Depression” by Dr. Michelle Bengtson, winner of the Christian Literary Award Reader’s Choice Award
- “Hope Prevails Bible Study” by Dr. Michelle Bengtson, winner of the Christian Literary Award Reader’s Choice Award
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For more hope, stay connected with Dr. Bengtson at:
Guest: Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith
Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith is an author, speaker, and board-certified internal medicine physician. She has an active medical practice in Alabama (near the Birmingham area). She received her B.S. in Biochemistry at the University of Georgia and graduated with honors from Meharry Medical College in Nashville. She has been an adjunct faculty member at Baker College and Davenport University in Michigan teaching courses on health, nutrition, and disease progression.
Dr. Dalton-Smith is a national and international media resource on the mind, body, spirit connection and a top 100 medical expert in Good Housekeeping Doctors’ Secrets. She has been featured in many media outlets including Women’s Day, Redbook, First For Women, MSNBC, and Prevention. She is the author of Set Free to Live Free and Come Empty (winner 2016 Golden Scroll Nonfiction Book of the Year and 2016 Illumination Award Gold medalist).
Her newest release is Sacred Rest: Recover Your Life, Renew Your Energy, Restore Your Sanity, including ground-breaking insight on the seven types of rest needed to optimize your productivity, increase your overall happiness and live your best life. She has shared her tips on merging faith and medicine with over 16,000 health care professionals to encourage the current and next generation of doctors to treat the whole person. Learn more about Dr. Saundra at www.IChooseMyBestLife.
Radio Air Date: August 26, 2019
Hosted By: Dr. Michelle Bengtson
Audio Technical Support: Bryce Bengtson