Five Reasons Why You Should Go on A Spiritual Retreat
We live in a world where day-to-day life demands never seem to end. We run non-stop from the time we wake up to the time we go to bed and even then many of us struggle to fall asleep because our mind is still churning. It feels as if despite all our efforts, we are always playing catch-up and our stress level continues to rise with every passing day. I know this sounds all too familiar to your current situation, doesn’t it?
To give some perspective, rates of anxiety and depression continue to explode around the world. At 2019 Global Wellness Summit it was highlighted that globally 1 in 6 people are suffering from at least one mental disorder or substance abuse among which anxiety disorder was ranked #1. Region-wise, in the U.S. overall major depression, is up 33% since 2013. What’s staggering is this rate is up 47% amongst the millennial population. In the U.K, 67% of people report that their stress level has seen a meaningful increase in the past five years. The bottom line, the results of these studies are echoing the reality we are facing today.
As technology has evolved over the years, so has the busyness of our lives. In the past, vacations used to give us the refresh we needed, however, in a fast-paced technology-driven world where the culture demands go-go-go, an increasing number of people are realizing that traditional vacations aren’t enough.
This is not to say that a growing number of people aren’t going on vacations with family and friends, the point here is that today many of us are craving for a much deeper experience, which will go beyond offering a change in scenery and physical break. Something that will heal our constantly occupied mental space, cause a shift within and offer soul connection, spiritual growth, lasting happiness, and inner-peace long after the break has ended.
Spiritual retreats offer these deeply sought experiences, which aligns and brings our mind, body, and soul in balance and harmony. It’s an opportunity to step away from everyday life to connect deeply with our inner-self and spirituality. And no, you don’t have to be from a specific religion or a guru and yogi to take one. All that’s needed is a true willingness to connect and listen to your soul and the universe. Below are five reasons why one should consider going on a spiritual retreat.
1. Gain Mental Clarity
Typical vacations offer relaxation however, spiritual retreats offer the much-needed pause and space for in-depth self-awareness and realization. The ultimate failure in life is when we put our heart and soul in accomplishing something that we thought will make us truly happy and fulfilled but it fails to do so. Simply put, success without fulfillment is the ultimate failure.
Many of us are often caught in thick of thin things, where we allocate our time and energy without an in-depth understanding of ourselves and what we truly want from deep within. At spiritual retreats with clear headspace, we get to dig deeper into our roots. We become acquainted and intimate with our deep values and priorities — the foundation of mental clarity.
2. Stimulate New Perspective
Contrary to our society’s driven norm, when we find ourselves too busy is exactly the perfect time to pause and reflect. When the problem seems overwhelming is the time when we need to stop ourselves and reconsider our perspective and approach. The reason many of us fail to do so is that amid daily busyness, with time our vision becomes increasingly biased and narrow.
Away from hustle and bustle of life on spiritual retreat many of us find ourselves in a state of peace, calmness, clarity, and purpose. It’s in this state when the floodgate of new perspectives and possibilities open. Often, stepping outside of the usual is all we need to see things in a truly unbiased way.
Jiddu Krishnamurti, a famous spiritual leader summed it up beautifully: “I think it is essential sometimes to go into retreat, to stop everything that you have been doing, to stop your beliefs and experiences completely and look at them anew, not keep on repeating like machines whether you believe or don’t believe. You would let fresh air into your minds.”
3. Unlock Creativity
It happens just so that when we stop trying, the solution appears. We all have personally experienced this on multiple occasions. Revelation and inspiration almost always strike us in unguarded moments. Those moments, during which we aren’t seeking our mind is disengaged and free.
Scientific research suggests in this state our brain plugs into its “default mode,” in which our brain can tap into deeper thoughts, emotions, and ideas through which creativity emerges.
Although not so much at the start of a spiritual retreat, as time passes we start to go into a state of acceptance, calmness and simply being, which slowly disengages our habit of constantly thinking and lets our creativity to surface. Of note, research after research has shown how being in nature boosts our creativity.
4. Welcome Healing Power of Nature
Spiritual retreats often take place in a setting that offers proximity to nature. We often forget that Mother Nature has healing powers. Multiple researches have conclusively shown being close to nature significantly reduces stress and increases happiness.
Beyond that we often hear statements such as “we are our thoughts” or “we are what we constantly think of” and so on. However, what we don’t often hear is the fact that 90% of our thoughts originate from our subconscious mind.
Nature is one of the best places to reacquaint ourselves with our unconscious mind, which carries unheard and unnoticed secrets. True healing firstly requires the uncovering of our troubling, worrisome and limiting thoughts. Secondly, accepting them as they are and then thirdly discovering ways to resolve them.
With the ever-increasing demands and busyness of life, it can be a daunting task to find time for ourselves. Additionally, one of the major downfalls of technological advancement has been increased social pressure and validation due to which most of us feel rather inferior and insecure.
As trendy and fluffy as the phrase “self-care” may sound, it’s critical for our true well-being. On spiritual retreat away from the crowd and constant bombardment of notifications, we get an opportunity to concentrate solely on ourselves, which includes our spiritual and inner being as well. Free from the pressure of social interaction and fear of being judged spiritual retreat offers an opportunity to simply be ourselves — with all our flaws, strengths, values and longings.
A big portion of spiritual retreat focuses on spending time in silence and solitude, which allows us to go within and discover ourselves and connect with our souls. We start to hear our inner voice, which very often goes unnoticed in the daily chaos.
Without a doubt, in the beginning, as we truly look within floodgates of emotions, feelings, and thoughts, which usually don’t get much attention, will come rushing out. With that said, with time more and more clarity will emerge, which will slowly displace the inner-clutter with inner peace and equanimity. Self-care is important and you owe it to yourself.
To conclude, here is my humble proposal: Despite the busyness of life, answer the call of your spirit and commit to going on a spiritual retreat in the next three months. Share your experience and stories with others to motivate them to go and experience spiritual retreats.