Silent meditation retreats have a lot of benefits. They promote better social connections and calmness. And of course the kind of mindful awareness that’s a hallmark of holistic and eastern medicine. But a recent study should make people consider whether that might extend to some more modern subjects as well.
The journal Computers in Human Behavior looked at the role of smartphone use in overall emotional durability. Basically, how well one could predict whether smartphone use would become problematic. One certainly doesn’t need to look far to see examples of it in action.
There’s a huge amount of people who retreat into the comfort of their apps the second the world becomes hard to cope with. It’s a natural feeling. A few decades back, many of the same people would retreat to a good book in those same moments. But the main issue comes down to the higher chance of emotional issues as a result. There’s not a lot of people who suffer emotional problems as a result of reading too many books. While overuse of a smartphone is quite common.
But one of the most interesting points relates back to the issue of silent meditation retreats. These retreats aren’t meant to be an escape from the world. In many ways they’re closer to an emotional gym. One goes to build up something known as mindfulness. This concept is a central part of most eastern meditative practices. And interestingly, it’s also part of the smartphone study.
Researchers discovered that lack of mindfulness is one of the stronger predictive factors for later smartphone usage problems. Basically, if someone lacks mindfulness the chances that they’ll suffer an emotional break is greatly increased. One can easily see a possible solution by combining meditation or retreats with his or her smartphone.
Instead of taking a retreat to step back from social interaction, it can include digital interaction as well. And when one returns it will be with a more healthy and balanced mindset. One which can better handle smartphone use.