The Beauty of Shabbat: Why Disconnecting is Healthy
Long before mobile phones and social media, religious leaders recognized that taking time to rest is essential for a balanced, healthy life. Enter Shabbat, the Sabbath, or rest in Hebrew where members of Judaism observe a holy day of rest or prayer so people can focus on their beliefs, as well as quality family and personal time.
The Tradition of Disconnecting
It turns out that keeping Shabbat is also essential for our health and wellbeing. Traditionally, Shabbat begins at nightfall on Friday and lasts until nightfall on Saturday. During Shabbat, families gather for a family meal, say prayers and visit their synagogue. Observant Jews do not work, drive, use the phone or work on chores. It makes it easier to disconnect and rejuvenate the mind, body and soul.
Shabbat is a Wellness Gift
When longevity expert Dan Buettner of Blue Zones fame researched the five regions of the world where people live the longest, he realized he was missing a U.S city. In Loma Linda, California, a community heavily populated by Seventh Day Adventists. There people lived between seven and 11 years longer than in other parts of North America. According to NBC News, Buettner attributes their longevity to a plant-based diet, clean foods, no alcohol or caffeine and a “weekly day of no work, no wi-fi and no worry.” Like practicing Jews, “Seventh day-Adventists [observe] their sabbath from sunset Friday through all day Saturday…There’s no TV, no internet and no work at all.”
The New Religion of Minimalism
You may not practice a religion, but wellness advocates agree that your body requires rest. It is essential for your physical and mental health. In becoming minimalist, best-selling author Joshua Becker offers this insight. When you ask people in today’s frenzied culture if they intentionally set aside time for rest, most will say they are too busy. Nobody can afford to waste time resting in today’s results-oriented world. He adds, “Unfortunately, this hectic pace is causing damage to our quality of life…we would be wise to reclaim the practice of resting one day each week.”
We wholeheartedly agree.