5 Benefits of Silent Retreats That Can Change Your Life

Discover the life-affirming spiritual beauty of silence.

Silent meditation at a spiritual retreat.

(AYA images / Shutterstock.com)

Moments of silence can benefit everyone as a time to embrace the present, forget about the past, and relax about the future. And that’s precisely the purpose of silent retreats! In a world of distractions, you always have the choice to venture inwards, where true peace resides. 

Silent retreats are also called Vipassana, a Buddhist term that means to see things the way they truly are, according to Healthline. This practice includes sitting in silence and exploring your thoughts and emotions. This will help you focus on the present,

While silence can be challenging for most people. the experience comes with great benefits. Here are five benefits of silent retreats that can change your life.

Learn to live in the present
The beauty of silence is that it creates space for you to become one with the present moment. By attending a silent retreat, you’re opening up a container to tap into the now, letting go of all external distractions and calming internal chatter. 

Spending time in silence promotes relaxation, positively influences mood states, and invites you into the present to embrace your truth, according to research published in Frontiers in Psychology. When individuals come together and spend time in silence, they’re gifting themselves the opportunity to enhance their overall well-being. 

“In silent meditation, there is no music to fall into, no voice to tell you what to think about and no sound vibration to zone you out,” Dominica Fisher, director of Meditative & Creative Exploration at BIÂN told Healthline.

When you learn how to live in the present moment, you’re giving yourself the opportunity to enhance your overall well-being and carry the gift of presence with you through life.

Find comfort in the uncomfortable
Silent retreats take work. They can be extremely challenging for some people as not many people are used to spending time in silence with their own thoughts and feelings. That’s because people naturally fear silence, and when any noise, including background noise, is removed, people become uncomfortable, according to Psych Central.

However, if you are supported and guided by silent retreat facilitators along the way, you can learn to accept discomfort and transcend this into comfort. The ability to become comfortable in silence can be harnessed and applied in real-life situations where you may feel uncomfortable and silent retreats can guide you there.

Learn to control your emotions
When sitting in silence, it will actually take 24 hours for you to learn how to control your emotions,according to Eluxe magazine.  While at a silent retreat, you’re in an environment that encourages you to harness control of your emotions through exploration and, in turn, practice emotion regulation. By understanding and controlling your emotions, you can get to know yourself on a deeper level and align your actions with your values.

Improve your relationships with others
You will spend a lot of time meditating during a silent retreat. Meditation silences the mind to become more mindful of your thoughts and feelings,according to the  meditation app Headspace. From this place of awareness, you can get in touch with your habits and tendencies, which influence how you interact with others. Developing a sense of mindfulness will help you better understand yourself and build more meaningful relationships.

Gain meaning, peace, and clarity
After attending a silent retreat as you harness peace and clarity through your time in silence, you may be equipped to find meaning in life. Devoting time to be still and quiet can lower your blood pressure, lower your heart rate, stabilize your breath, reduce muscle tension, and improve your focus, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

Whether you decide to venture to a location for a community silent retreat, or practice stillness at home, you can find peace in knowing the life-changing benefits that come with moments in silence.

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