Productive and usefulness are words you are conditioned to embrace from an early age. The measure of someone’s worth in the modern world is gauged by the level of their achievement in this respect. Maybe that is the reason that it is sometimes an uphill struggle to clear your mind and completely relax. Switching off completely can become impossible, even in ideal conditions.
The Active Mind
Most of us wake up in the morning and start thinking about what we aim to achieve that day. It is so hard to dampen down that part of your mind that is actively promoting productivity. According to modern lifestyle standards, if you are not being useful, your value drops, and you end up feeling bad about yourself.
Even when you are in the most relaxing setting, on holiday on the beach for example, it can be hard to stop doing things. Enhanced communication, brought about by mobile devices and internet, means that you can be constantly on call. In the pre-digital age, if you went on holiday you basically vanished for the duration. If you were out of the country there was literally no means of communication available. You were free from the responsibility of having to answer correspondence, and therefore able to clear your mind completely, and enjoy a mental as well as physical break.
These days, people tend to keep their mobile devices at the ready, just in case someone needs to get in touch. This way of thinking stems from two ideas. The first is that maybe the world will not be able to function efficiently without your input. The second is the fear that maybe it will. In a way you need to stay in touch to prove that you are of value.
As a result of the above, complete shut down has become an impossibility. Even if you do switch off the electronics, you will probably start to feel guilty. You will begin to think that you are being cavalier and irresponsible. When this happens you will regard relaxation as an indulgence, rather than a necessity.
Switching Off Completely: Rest As A Necessity For Survival
However, there is a reason you go on holiday, apart from having fun. It’s because you need to rest. You don’t just need to physically rest your body, you also require exemption from day to day responsibilities for the sake of regenerating your mind. You need that space and time to think and to charge up your enthusiasm for your everyday life again. So that when you get back to normal you can be full of energy and ideas.
Switching off completely is also a necessity, not just to clear your mind, but also to distance yourself from authority for a while. You have able to remind yourself that your life belongs to you, not to an organisation. Despite modern technology, it’s reassuring to know that the freedom to be out of contact is at your disposal, when you need it.
All photos taken by Ju Underwood at Jumeirah Beach Residence, Dubai