Magazine article Anglican Journal

Rx: Take One Sabbath Weekly

Magazine article Anglican Journal

Rx: Take One Sabbath Weekly

Article excerpt

Dr. David Posen, a stress specialist and popular speaker, published a book this year entitled Is Work Killing You? A Doctor's Prescription for Treating Workplace Stress. When asked about the benefits of a Sabbath and the costs of not having one, he told Anglican Journal: "My message about leisure and work-life balance is that they are not luxuries. They are necessities for good health, for good energy, for good productivity and, frankly, for stress relief. They are antidotes to chronic stress."

Many employees are now expected, or take it upon themselves, to check emails on their days off and weekends, he observed. "There's a cost to always being 'on,' " he said. "It's costly to health, energy; it's also costly to relationships..."

Physically, Posen said, the human body needs recovery time between periods of high stress. The fight-or-flight response was intended to deal with short-term threats or dangers. "You've got people's stress reaction turned on pretty well all the time, and cortisol flowing through your body, and then all the effects of the stress reaction--your blood pressure goes up or stays up; your cholesterol goes up; it causes heart problems and compromises your immune system, and so on..."

The benefits of a true day of rest, he said, include "an opportunity for your stress level to come down, which is healing in itself." Rest also offers an opportunity to refresh and replenish energy levels, he said. And, he added, "It gives people a chance to connect with family and friends, and enhances relationships, which often get neglected when people are very busy. …

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