In today’s hyperbusy world, most people don’t take real breaks. “We are poisoned by the hypnotic belief,” writes Wayne Muller in his inspirational book Sabbath, “that good things come only through unceasing determination and tireless effort—and so we can never truly rest.”

It is a myth that we’ll only succeed “through unceasing determination and tireless effort,” of course. Olympic athletes must rest or they get hurt. Fruit trees forced to produce for more than one season lose their ability to bear fruit. And parents can slowly develop sleep debt so deep and burnout so profound that we are left too exhausted to function.

Today, lay down. Take a nap. Goof off a little. Stop to chat. All in the name of greater productivity—and happiness.

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© 2011 Christine Carter, Ph.D.

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