There are plenty of reasons why you might be seeking to restore your mind, body, and spirit. In today’s highly connected world, it seems we’re busy in multiple ways—and cell phones appear to be the main culprit. According to a study published by the Journal of the Association for Consumer Research, a smartphone can affect a person’s cognition even if it’s sitting idly nearby and isn’t in use. More and more of us are showing signs of cell phone addiction.
The truth of the matter is, cell phones command our attention, even when we aren’t consciously thinking about it. The mere presence of a cell phone, even when it’s turned off, can reduce problem-solving and cognitive skills. Simply put: the cell phone is the most popular (and powerful) consumer product ever made. And that’s not changing anytime soon. But there are ways that you can “disconnect” and get back in tune with yourself.
Over the years, as cell phones and the desire to be connected has become more mainstream, so too have retreats, programs, and digital fasts and purges. If you feel yourself too connected to your phone, it might be time to explore a little disconnection.
There are several science-backed benefits of meditation, and if you’re looking to disconnect from the world around you, meditation is one of the best ways to achieve this. During meditation, you train your mind to maintain silence and refocus your thoughts. You’ll also learn to increase your awareness of yourself. Meditation has a strong reputation for reducing stress, and can also reduce anxiety. It also promotes emotional health, giving you better perception of yourself and strengthening your outlook on the world around you, ultimately improving your positive disposition.
While you can easily find local meditation classes, it may be nice to jump into the art of meditation by attending a meditation retreat. Meditation retreats can be life-changing; they force you to live in silence and pay attention to your surroundings without absorbing them. Many of them have strict no-phone policies, and limit your connection to the outside world. Research different programs to see what’s right for you.
Visit the Spa
There’s no doubt about it: a trip to spa can have a significant boost on your mental health. There are several ways and reasons that spas can assist with your well-being and overall feelings of happiness. “For instance, a good massage can help you eliminate some cortisol in the body—the hormone that’s responsible for stress—leaving you feeling relaxed and revived,” says Revivology Medical Spa, a spa and wellness center in Utah. Hot stone massages are also therapeutic and can help stave off chronic pain, while chromotherapy uses light to help target and heal parts of the body and offer energy.
Wilderness and Nature Therapy
“I only went out for a walk, and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.” These are the famous words once uttered by renowned author John Muir. Our connection with nature is unparalleled, but not many have chosen to explore it or leverage it to their benefit. Unlike cell phones, nature has actually been known to improve a person’s cognition, as well as their health and mood.
So what is wilderness therapy, exactly? According to Good Therapy, “Wilderness therapy, also referred to as outdoor behavioral healthcare, is a treatment modality that uses expeditions into the wilderness or other unfamiliar surroundings as a means of addressing behavioral and mental health issues. This type of therapy centers around providing a supportive environment for self-discovery, immersed in nature. These types of therapy not only provide you with a connection to the nature around you, but teach you skills to help you become fully immersed in it. For example, you might learn how to build a fire naturally or identify species of birds and fauna.
Yoga helps with mental and physical health. On the physical side, it helps to reduce muscle tension and inflammation. On the mental side, you can expect a higher level of concentration and sharper attention; it also helps calm the central nervous system. Take just one yoga class and you’ll likely notice that you feel much better afterwards.
A yoga retreat offers several benefits, and many of them combine the aforementioned forms of therapy. For example, they typically take place in beautiful natural surroundings, connecting you with nature. And many of them enforce a digital detox policy; phones are not permitted. And most importantly, it encourages you to take a step back and evaluate your life and feelings from a different perspective. You’ll meet great, like-minded people, and surround yourself with positive energy