Stress of daily life getting to you? Like it or not, tech can be a large contributing factor to that stress. Being tied to work by email and phone 24/7 can make you a valuable employee but can drive your social life and mental health into the ground. Sometimes, if it's possible, it's best to leave it all behind. How? Meditation retreats, large or small, seem to be having a great impact on those who have tried it.
We are a nation filled with stressed out people. We work long, demanding hours only to come home and be surrounded by technology that makes us plugged into our work world all day, everyday. There are a few different ways to combat this. The first, and perhaps most simple would be an at-home cleanse of tech + stress. Starting very simply, try cutting out an hour or two of all technology from your life a night. Don't make any excuses and just do it. In its place, try meditating, reading, or talking to your significant other. These breaks which at first might seem daunting, will only grow to become more normal in your everyday life and the benefits will quickly begin to reveal themselves.
If you're looking for a slightly more rigorous approach, there are Buddhist meditation retreats all across the country which will help force you to give up tech. The retreats can last for a single day or go as long as you'd like. For example, at Diamond Mountain http://diamondmountain.org/ in Colorado, it is possible to go on a 3 year retreat in, devoid of technology in total solitude. Not interested in going that crazy? Kadampa Meditation Center offers classes and retreats all along the northeast. Shambhala Mountain Center is another Colorado-based retreat but with more flexible programs. Spirit Rock is in Calfornia. And for the New Yorkers who aren't able to make a complete trip outside the city, Village Zendo is able to cater to your needs right from the heart of Manhattan.
Have you ever taken a retreat, large or small, from technology? Did you find it helpful in reducing stress during your everyday life? It's interesting that technology has become so pervasive in our lives that it is not only the source of entertainment but it is also directly related to the stress and many hardships.
(Image: Flickr member AlicePopkorn licensed for use under Creative Commons.)