A recent study published in the January issue of the Journal of Psychosomatic Research reported that meditation retreats are moderately to largely effective in reducing anxiety, depression, stress and improving quality of life. The study analyzed data from 20 other studies that looked at the health benefits of meditation retreats. In addition, according to another study published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, wellness retreats also have lasting, measurable health benefits. This means, six months after going on retreat, you would still sustain the benefits you received on retreat, unlike a regular old vacation.
It seems that wellness retreats fortify the mind and body, decrease anxiety and depression, improve self-compassion and a sense of spirituality, among many things.
It is unclear how long the retreats need to be for full effect, but the implication is
that getting away is good for you, and getting away to participate in a wellness retreat, even better.
So while you are searching for your next vacation, consider making it a wellness retreat and take in the following considerations:
Kick start your nutrition: The better wellness retreats offer meals cooked by great chefs designed to fortify your mind and body with healthy vitamins and nutrients. It is your opportunity to have your meals prepared and to not be tempted by the processed foods, trans-fats and chemicals you are faced with while grocery shopping or eating out daily.
Benefit from the quiet and wonder of nature: I have mentioned before the benefits of being in more green space for your mind, body and especially immune system. It in olden days, doctors used to prescribe “green” therapy to their patients to find their calm, sanity and health. Choose a place that is beautiful where you have the opportunity to explore nature or simply sit quietly in it.
Learn or hone your meditation practice: With the busy lives we lead, we all need the quiet time and down time. It is also important to learn how to start or cultivate a meditation practice that works for you. Aim to look for a retreat that has a variety of practices offered if you do not know what you might like—yoga, tai chi, mindfulness, and so forth. Otherwise, look for retreats that offer your type of practice that you can cultivate further.
Benefit from professionals: You also want to make sure that you are getting access to professionals whom you don’t have the chance to interact with regularly and certainly could use their expertise. It could be an exercise specialist to a holistic doctor, massage therapist or yoga master. Set your goals and discover the plethora of retreats that offer you the chance to get well or get on the road to wellness in a week or weekend.
Seek comfort: No matter where you go, you want to feel comfortable, at ease and far away from your stress at home. This means making sure you find a center that has comfortable living or sleeping arrangements, friendly staff, clean grounds and good food. You also what to make sure the comfort is in your wallet. So choose a retreat that won’t make you feel nervous the whole time that you are losing money but investing in yourself for good. Prices vary wherever you go but there are always good deals around. Think about the value of what you are getting with accordance with your goals, without giving up on the comfort you need while away.