The Benefits of a Silent Retreat
Have you ever felt like you might just need a break? Like everything is getting out of control and noisy and routine is starting to drag you through it and you feel like a passenger? Don’t worry, we know you have. We all have. It’s just how the world has changed since we were kids. There’s so much about our modern world that’s not just great but futuristic: instant information, news from not only all over our world but literally from space, even the act of a live video conference with hundreds of people without any lag is astounding. But there comes a point where it turns to noise, and maybe that break couldn’t come soon enough. How do you organise a silent retreat though?
At High Trenhouse, running Silent Retreats is something we enjoy thoroughly, with a large number of guests leaving the retreat feeling truly relaxed and ready to return to their everyday lives. Our state of the art facilities including a sauna, 2 bars and conference rooms are created specifically to accommodate the needs of all of our visitors.
What is a Silent Retreat?
You may have heard the term ‘Silent Retreat’ before, but if you haven’t then I don’t think you’ll be surprised to learn that it’s generally a retreat to the countryside without digital interruption, without noise. Wait… without speaking too? Many Silent Retreats, such as those offered at High Trenhouse, encourage the participants to take on a vow of silence, focusing on reaching a deep level of personal reflection without distractions or verbal communication.
This means absolutely no talking during meals, reading, yoga, meditation and many other activities that Silent Retreats encourage. It may seem a bit scary, a bit unnatural, taking a vow of silence, or maybe it sounds like something you’d be really interested in trying, either way the health benefits are clear for all to see.
How Silent Retreats Can Improve Your Overall Health
When we say ‘Health’, what do we mean? There are many aspects that add to our overall health, the physical, the mental and the emotional. Silent Retreats affect all of these sections in a positive way and leave you recharged and ready for what comes. So, let’s talk about what improvements can be made by Silent Retreats.
The Digital Detox
It’s the most common reason cited among those who participated in Silent Retreats and so it comes number one on our list. Considering the whole point of a Silent Retreat is to part ways with talking, it makes sense that you also part ways with your phone.
We all know the endless streams of distractions piling on top of each other on our devices, and we might have lost touch with what’s important as a result. Without these distractions, you may find your focus has actually improved, tiredness evaporated and, despite not actually being able to speak to them, you might find yourself connecting with the other people on the Silent Retreat.
This concentration, efficiency and connection to others won’t disappear upon the culmination of the Silent Retreat, and you’ll find the effects lasting for longer than you’d anticipated in your day to day life.
The definition of ‘Mindfulness’ is ‘maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and the surrounding environment through a gentle, nurturing lens.’ With Silent Retreats encouraging all of this, the effects go hand in hand.
Many studies have shown the connection between silent meditation and mindfulness, with research suggesting that it could cause a boost to the immune system, benefit people suffering with insomnia and improve quality of life, through how your outlook on our world changes just by being one with your surroundings.
An improved efficiency of the brain has been a known effect of meditation for decades, if not centuries, and yet not all of us participate in this act. Meditation training not only improves attention and reduces fatigue, but it also can help you control your impulses and emotions to be calmer in stressful situations.
Also on studies that compared the effects of a 7-day Silent Retreat between those who did not meditate and those who meditated regularly, they found that non-meditators actually had reduced activation in specific regions of the brain. The scientists interpreted this as reduced efficiency of the brain.
Do You Need a Silent Retreat?
All of this sounds good, right? I think we could all use a Silent Retreat at some point in our lives. Whether stress is your thing, or you’re just feeling overwhelmed at work and need a break for your mental health, know that the health benefits of Silent Retreats last much longer than the retreat itself. And if the values of the retreat are respected and continued in your life afterwards, there’s no reason why you won’t still be feeling the effects day after day.
So how do you run a successful silent retreat? You need the right venue of course. There’s no use running a silent retreat amongst the hustle and bustle of a busy city. And you certainly can’t encourage your clients to take a digital detox if your silent retreat is online.
Situated in the charming Yorkshire Dales, at High Trenhouse our facilities are specifically designed to ensure that you have everything you need for a successful silent retreat. What’s more, our staff are on hand at all times, experienced in helping to smoothly run silent retreats and more. Get in touch with us to find out more about running your next event.