Happiness — December 28, 2018
Every Friday, Tuffy fields a question that benefits from his worldly wisdom as #TheMostInterestingRhinoInTheWorld.
This week’s question is: Every Friday, Tuffy fields a question that benefits from his worldly wisdom as #TheMostInterestingRhinoInTheWorld. This week’s question is: “Hey Tuffy, I heard someone use the phrase “”active rest”” the other day, and that seems like a paradox to me. What is it and what’s so special about it?”
Tuffy’s answer: “My friend, we’re living in the gilded age of technology, which promises to ease our lives and make us more productive. But one of the unintended consequences is that we’ve become hooked to the very things that are supposed to be augmenting our efforts and freeing up more time to let us pursue more of what makes us happy. One of the biggest culprits is the smartphone, those lovely shiny objects that fit so nicely in our palms and pockets and that allow us to do everything, from work to entertainment to education to communication and connection. I’ve talked about our addiction to the smartphone in a previous Tuffy’s Tip, and want to tack on a little extra information to what I shared previously. While it may seem that scrolling through our Instagram feed while a Rambo rerun plays in the background on our 70″” TV is a fine way of relaxing and keeping a load off of our brains, the reality is, we need more than that. What we need is active rest.
Now, when I first heard the phrase “active rest”, I immediately thought of my sister Rhonda, who would sleepwalk almost every night and almost fall into the toilet during her nocturnal excursions. My friend Randy, who’s a walking library, convinced me that it meant something else. He explained, “Tuffy, active rest is a deliberate practice, where we intentionally disconnect with work and technology and spend a little more time chilling with ourselves, the people we like most and our surroundings. The best kind of active rest happens when we eliminate distractions and participate in activities that take our minds off work. Research indicates that spending time in active rest can help improve our creativity, productivity and mental health in the long run.”
“So it’s kinda like athletes taking rest days from working out so that they can recharge and recuperate, right?”, I replied.
“Yup!”, was his response, adding “When we’re not focused on a specific task that captures the bulk of our mental energy, our brain is still active, and is subsconsciously problem solving and sifting through new information. It’s why we get flashes of brilliance when we’re walking, driving or taking a shower, and it’s why famous people like Winston Churchill, Beethoven and Tchaikovsky took daily walks – it helped them get away from the sources of distraction of the day (the radio, newspaper and the chess board were the devils of their respective times) and free up their minds.”
That information blew my mind, because while I knew that physical rest was important for my physique, I never understood how important its mental counterpart was for its well being. So there you have it, my friend, an explanation of active rest and why it’s important for us all. Now I encourage you to go take a walk this weekend and leave your phone behind for a little bit. You may have some Eureka moments that’ll change your life.”
TUFFY the Rhino is more than just the Armstrong Tire mascot. On the surface, TUFFY appears to be a tough, hardened character, and arguably there is “none tougher.” In fact, he’s really a softie at heart, charming folks wherever he goes – a gentleman, for sure, but one who would equally be at home blazing frontiers as he would be dancing the waltz at a grand soirée. Often referred to as “The most interesting rhino in the world,” TUFFY has traveled the world and made many appearances representing Armstrong Tire, from advertisements co-starring stars like Lucille Ball to being featured on many eBay listings. However, he remains a simple, Midwestern rhino at heart, one that’s rooted in empathy, humility, and family values.