Today’s world is a massive amount of noise for each one of us, and our brains seem to be addicted to it. We can reach out to any kind of information, at any hour during the day. We are bombarded with emails and ads everywhere. Beyond this noise that some can argue is outside of ourselves, our world tends to get busier by the day. How can we still stay sane, function properly, keep the energy level up and be productive? We need to take a break from time to time. Let’s see why and how a retreat can help.
Our ancestor’s life
As we evolved from the primitive human species, we did create a whole new world that made the life safer and more comfortable for us. But there are certain aspects of how our body functions that didn’t quite adapt yet.
Way back then, the humans used to live quite a different life. They lived like hunters, and were used to a lot of exercise every day. Their sleeping pattern was according to the sun, waking up with the sunrise and going to sleep at sunset. They were getting a lot of natural light during the day. Their food was mainly unprocessed and the level of stress and worry were at a level they could easily cope with.
Nothing similar to the way we live today. A sedentary life, when our body is craving for activity. We go to sleep late, while watching TV, giving our brain a lot of unnatural light and messing with it. We eat a lot of sugar that harm our body with every gram and face high levels of stress and worry every day at work, commute, school and even in our free time. We’re basically now part of a noise that’s considered just normal life.
Retreat as a brain break
It’s actually a real challenge to live in today’s noisy world equipped with the brain adapted to our ancestor’s lives. No wonder so many of us feel “the blues”, feel exhausted, burnout or even depressed. These are just ways in which our brain is telling us to take a break, to give it time to process and reboot.
To avoid falling into any of these negative states, we need to give our brain and body a reset from time to time. The best way to do so is under the form of a retreat, at least twice a year if not every 3 months.
A retreat means going to a place where you can stay, in silence, for at least 2-3 days. In silence means that you go alone, and that you have no phone or internet signal (or deliberately switch them off completely). It also means you take no music with you, don’t watch any TV nor read any book or newspaper. You don’t spend time engaged in conversations with anyone.
Just sit in silence and listen to your brain.
You can take long walks, run, bike etc. Just do that in silence. In the first few hours or even during the whole first day of the retreat, the brain will go from thought to thought, switching between ideas with the speed of light. It will mainly be all about your job, the things that worry you, your mundane life, what makes you miserable and so on.
But after this, once the brain has emptied the daily worries, the really interesting part will happen. The brain will start speaking meaningful things. It will tell about desires, things that make you happy. Your mind will find resolutions to past unresolved problems. It will find peace and quiet. And this will be the perfect ground for you to restart and improve whatever you and your brain will agree to improve to both feel better.
Our life is full of distractions coming from absolutely all directions. Our brain is busy processing all this, and in time we forget about ourselves, and what makes us happy. A break then has the role of putting away all the daily problems to really give time and quiet for us to realign with ourselves, our values and desires. It’s also the best way to avoid some serious illness.
I recommend you try this, as soon as you can. Your brain will thank you!