A guest post written by Bob Cummings, Committee on Publication for Michigan
Another holiday season is upon us. It’s supposed to be a joyous and festive time. But unfortunately for many, this season may come with feelings of loneliness or depression. There is, however, a spiritual solution for this.
A recent study¹ by the University of Michigan Health System published in Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing found that a nondenominational spiritual retreat could increase hope and reduce depression.
This got me to thinking of how beneficial it would be to have a “mini” spiritual retreat of sorts each day – a time to be calm and to think – to think of something good in our lives, to feel love for family and friends, to look beyond ourselves, focus on the connections we do have and to kindly consider others – a time to be quiet and to listen for inspiration.
I practice this in the form of a quiet period in prayer, usually in the morning. During this time I feel a connection to the divine, and am consciously aware of His great love for me, for my family and friends, and for everyone throughout the world. This heightened feeling of love and expanded sense of family leaves little room for loneliness. It adds to my sense of purpose for the day and I look forward to the good that I can do.
There’s a real temptation sometimes to skip this quiet activity to get a jump on the activities and demands of the day. But I have found that it is helpful to make it a priority. On days when I skip this spiritual activity, I can sure tell the difference.
And I find that my “mini” spiritual retreats are helpful, not just during the holidays, but year-round.
¹ Sara L. Warber,Sandra Ingerman,Vera L. Moura,Jenna Wunder,Alyssa Northrop,Brenda w. Gillespie,Kate Durda,Katherine Smith,Katherine S. Rhodes,Melvyn Rubenfire. “Healing the Heart: A randomized Pilot Study of a Spiritual Retreat for Depresson in Acute Coronary Syndrome Patients”; EXPLORE: The Journal of Science and Healing, July-August 2011, Elsevier.
Link to Bob Cummings blog