Research Shows That You May Need A Holiday Soon

Peter is in the office with Talia finishing up on his work. Both of them are expatriates mostly travelling through several countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. They are working on huge emerging projects that involve several people, and reports can be frustrating. Actually travelling, as cool as it may sound, ceased to be fun as most of their time is spent in between boardrooms, meetings and the rush to beat crucial deadlines. Talia, with a sigh, looks up at Peter and says, “There’s a lot going on, I need a vacation!”

Collegetimes.com

And don’t we sometimes anyway?

Holidays are breaks, time taken off from work, away from home on leisure and recreation. These are the times to rest, recharge and refocus.

Sadly, several statistics indicate that stress and anxiety in the workplace have escalated progressively over the past few decades. American Psychology Association 2015, reports that 65% of workers feel stressed and nearly half of them say they need tools on how to manage stress. Additionally, the number keeps rising every year across several workplaces in the world. Imagine what that means for their families, their friendship and the state of their health. It’s like running a thousand miles in the right direction, only to spring back double in the opposite direction.

The conversation on stress and vacations is an old one, and several people take lavish time off to treat themselves to spas, trips and beaches. However, what we are yet to figure out is the quality of the time spent out on such vacations.

Here is a scenario: Peter and Talia, decides to take one weekend off the work to go to Chiang Mai, an exotic tourist destination in Thailand. Friday afternoon, finishing up on the work in the office, they hardly notice the work anymore, because their minds are on the flight to Chiang Mai already. Flash-forward, Sunday evening, they are having dinner in Chiang Mai, and they look sad, because their midnight flight to work awaits them.

New approach to a holiday

As this happens in the real world, World Peace Initiative Foundation has created a new approach to a holiday. On the 18th to 20th May 2018, the organization hosted a 3 days mindfulness meditation holiday with Buddhist wisdom on how to live mindfully and relax your soul.

The unique experience combined meditation, mindfulness, Buddhist philosophy and Thai cultural excursion together in Ayutthaya, Thailand.

The retreat center was carefully selected to give participants a chance to access Ayutthaya Historical Park (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) and the Floating Market.

From Buddhist wisdom, physical exercises and individual talks with a Teaching Monk to fun-filled excursions and guided meditation sessions combined with unique mindfulness practices meant to leave a lifetime mark in the participants’ lives.

Here is some of what the participants said about the retreat:

“The program is very good and very organized. The schedule was perfect, allowing us to do things at our own pace. I sought to learn meditation and was able to have a good meditation that I didn’t expect…At some point, I got a light relaxing silence that I couldn’t hear my breath or my disturbing inner voices. For once, my inner voice was not talking…” Nary 

“Catching moments when I had no distractions brought lightness to me. The monks were very inspiring and practical…” Aylin Boya

To find out about upcoming meditation holidays, click here.

How do you spend your holidays?

Share your experience with us in the comment section below and do not forget to share this post with your loved ones to bring more self-efficacy and a recharged life to our communities.

Featured image: HealthGuidance.org

How Personal Development Can Bring Inner Peace

A man smiling

Personal development is a lifelong and continuous process. As a term, it is used quite commonly and misunderstood the most. Personal development is the process of analyzing your own behaviour, skills and qualities. In order to be better at life, one needs to analyze the above to set life goals and priorities. This, in turn, helps one to put his/her best to whatever they are doing and maximise their potential. Hence, personal development affects every aspect of our lives.

Personal development literally means to evaluate and focus on yourself to be better prepared for life. Life is unpredictable, in all spheres. Be it your work or your personal life, you don’t have control over what life may throw at you. Even though we don’t have the power to manipulate our lives, it is in our control to respond to it accordingly. You might want a certain thing in life, but don’t necessarily have to wait for life to make it happen. You have to take the initiative to make it happen. There will be times when your plans fail but the sense of satisfaction and accomplishment will be priceless. Life feels more rewarding when you take charge and commit to pursuing your own objectives. Making that commitment to personal development is the first step to inner peace.

What does one mean by being in peace? Isn’t peace a state of mind that everyone sees differently? Yes, it is. To me personally, being at peace means being in alignment with my inner values and my sole purpose in life. It could be absolutely different for you, and that is okay. What is inside you can’t be given by things or people around you. For example, I am a writer who loves plants. I will never find peace in working for an organization that encourages deforestation. As individuals, we take responsibility for how peaceful we are in our body and mind. The way we shape ourselves plays a major role in how peaceful we are.

There are 3 major pillars of personal development for a peaceful life:

1. Spiritual connection and realization

As humans, we are the smartest species that the earth has today. Have you ever wondered what makes us different from the others? It is our spirituality. This is certainly a debatable topic, mostly because people connect spirituality to a particular religion or God. Spirituality is much more than religion or God. What if someone says it is a superpower who is kind and powerful and looks over you? It makes things easier when you believe that someone else is taking charge of things in your life. A clarity in your thoughts will help you greatly in maintaining your sanity.

2. Physical Health is very important

Our body are our most important asset and often goes neglected in our busy lifestyle. It is the house we live in; the house others see from the outside. Our physical body and mind play a major role in our success stories in the marketplace. This is why it is important to feel good about yourself inside and out. The way you feel within your body depends on how you treat it. If you have bad and lethargic lifestyle choices, it shows on your body and to the others too. Good nutrition and exercising are two ways of maintaining your body healthy.

A healthy body gives you confidence, that shows to others in the marketplace. Physical looks matter to people because that is the first impression a person has of you. Don’t judge a book by its cover is just a myth. That’s the hard truth. Imagine two cafés in front of you, one is dimly lit and has a broken door while the other looks beautiful. Most people would go to the second one and ask for a coffee. It can be good coffee or bad coffee, that will decide if you continue going there. It is the same with people, the initial ice is broken with your looks and then the course of the relationship is decided on solely what you are on the inside. You can’t just look good and be clueless about everything else, that certainly won’t work after the first meeting.

3. Mental Health should never be compromised

You must have interacted with your share of people of different personalities. Different people respond very differently to the same situation or crisis. While one might break down under pressure, the other might face the situation with whatever he has. The society adores people of the second type, because of their mental stability. Our physical bodies are what our minds function on. Mental stability is a vast term, it includes positive thinking and also mental stretching. It is humanly impossible to have knowledge about everything or be expert in all spheres. While one can choose not to do the task, the other would want to learn the trade and complete the task. If you back out of unfamiliar situations every time, it is certain that you are not progressing.

A great way to harness your mental abilities is to read. It makes you knowledgeable and hence confident. Always remember that learning is a continuous process and should never stop in life.

Working on your personal development will make you more focused and motivated human being. But for that to happen you need to value yourself the most and be at peace with yourself.

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A Few Questions To Help You Care For Your Mind

Inner Peace Time

Our human elements need maintenance. Meditation theory understands that we, as human beings, are composed of body and mind that relate to each other as the hardware and software do in the computer.  And we know that if we don´t pay much attention to any of those elements, illnesses arise and our decaying process speeds up. Our body needs care – water, clothe, shelter, exercise, and nourishment. And our mind, our inner world, our consciousness, needs proper care too. This type of care can be called Mental Health, or, Psychological Care.

In order to sensibilize ourselves about our own health, we require experiencing ailment. There is no other way. Experiencing both sides of the coin gives us knowledge, and by getting sick we understand that we need to take care of a certain aspect of our health to which we didn´t pay attention before. In our body this is easy to see, few days with flu are uncomfortable enough to pay more attention to its causes and take some actions to prevent the same experience in the future. For our minds, when we are burnt out, when we are stressed out and collapsing, creating chaos in any aspect of our lives, is when we realize that we need to learn how to take care of it.

Meditation is one of the most effective ways, a good medicine, to heal our mind from stress and related illnesses (this Harvard Health post talks nicely about it). Relaxation is a key part of the process, it´s actually the foundation of our meditation practice because it is by relaxing that we learn to unload our mind from worries, problems, heavy emotions. Those things are a part of our daily life. Left unsupervised, they cause stress, anxiety, emotional problems, insomnia, digestive problems etc. The list is long.

Medicine is as important as prevention. The cycle of knowledge is not complete, the lesson remains unlearnt until we not only heal but also learn to manage and prevent the same unfortunate experience. We examine the causes and act upon them. If we know that A creates B, and B is not something that we want to experience too often, we develop strategies to prevent A. If I discover that I´m allergic to lactose, I check the sources of it and avoid them, or, if I can´t help it, I take a pill to decrease and manage the symptoms. As simple as that.

What we can do for our psychological health is to ask a couple of important questions in order to check how everything is going. These questions are not exhaustive (there are more that you can try), but these are a good starting point:

  • What gives you mental clarity and inner peace?
  • What stresses you out?
  • How do you relax after a long day?
  • How do you take care of your mind?

The answers to these questions are key to your psychological wellness and can help you a big deal to clarify where to act on to take proper care of your own mind. After all, the things that weigh on our minds have a great impact on the way we deal with our job/studies, relationships, duties and life in general. They can create chaos or peace, it´s up to us.

“Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky” Rabindranath Tagore