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Do you suffer from stress? Go into the monastery for a moment!

  1. Stress. Almost everyone knows it. Many people suffer from stress due to a busy job, deadlines and too much work pressure. But other factors can also contribute to the development of stress such as relationship problems, too many stimuli, perfectionism, etc.Unhealthy tension can result in both physical and psychological complaints. To reduce unhealthy stress as much as possible, it is important to relax regularly. However, do you regularly suffer from stress and difficulty relaxing? Then the solution for you may be in the monastery.

Stress: a common phenomenon

  1. One quarter of all employees in the Netherlands suffer from fatigue complaints. In addition, 50 new disabled people are added every day due to burnout symptoms. Reasons for this are often too much work pressure, deadlines and labor disputes. (Mental Health Fund, 2015). 'Moreover, our brain is exposed all day long to thousands of stimuli, which have also increased enormously with the advent of the internet. This allows us to hold our attention for less time than before, ”said Michael Rich, professor at Harvard Medical School.

Too many stimuli

  1. According to psychiatrist Edel Maex, people in 2015 have everything available so that stimuli are present almost everywhere. Most people at home have a television and a computer in the living room alone. When you come into the bedroom, television is often also watched there. Moreover, Dutch children make massive use of tablets. For example, research has shown that half of the 3-year-olds regularly play on the tablet (Mediawijzer, 2013). In addition, another study shows that 9 out of 10 Dutch people own a smartphone (Telecompaper, 2015). Sleep psychologist Laury Quaedackers claims that all those stimuli often lead to a bad night's sleep. '' They have more and more trouble switching off because of all the stimuli that they get fired at. That has consequences for sleep, "said Laury Quaedackers.

Need for silence

  1. Due to all the stress and stimuli, there is a great need for silence. No wonder that guesthouses in monasteries are fully booked almost every weekend. An opinion poll by Omroep Brabant shows that staying in a monastery or other religious community is becoming increasingly popular. People are looking for peace and reflection. That is not surprising according to psychiatrist Edel Maex. '' It is true that we often look for silence outside the home: in a monastery or in nature, for example. By taking physical distance it often becomes easier, because you do not have your computer within reach, your mobile phone is switched off and you cannot see the dishes. 'Silence is much harder to find between companies'. It often helps to seek silence in a group, in a way we have always done that in community and we can use each other's help. "

Zen between the sisters

  1. Do you often experience stress and are you looking for relaxation? Then get to know various monasteries in the Netherlands. In this way you can discover what silence does to you. By staying in the monastery for a weekend (or longer), you experience the power of real silence. No incentives, no fuss and nothing at all. After all, there are no distractions or social obligations in the monastery. Due to the serene atmosphere, visitors often describe the monastery as a pleasant place where people can relax.

Where on retreat?

  1. There are plenty of monasteries in the Netherlands. It just depends on what you prefer. Plus Magazine selected seven monasteries in 2013 where people can find a hospitable reception for reflection, prayer, meditation or mindfulness. Some monasteries are Mission Monastery Holy Blood, Sint-Adelbertabdij van Egmond and Castle Slangenburg. Moreover, the guide '100 x abbeys, monasteries and reflection centers' contains enough addresses to experience silence.

After the retreat

  1. It goes without saying that most people revert to their old habits. This can create some kind of inner conflict. They prefer to keep the peace, but on the other hand they also want to participate in society again. To maintain relaxation, it is therefore recommended to create a moment of rest every day.


  1. Be prepared. Read carefully before the monastery stay so that you realize where you will end up. Some books you can read are Rest and Regularity, First Aid for Monastery Visit and A Rule of Life for Beginners; Always stay for three days or more. To get the most out of the retreat, it is advised to stay at least three days. In this way it is possible to get used to the monastic rhythm somewhat; Bring appropriate clothing. The cold pews can be annoying. Always take warm, comfortable clothing with you. Moreover, it is not appropriate there to walk around in short skirts; Bring food reserves. Do you like to drink coffee or tea when you get up? Then take something with you from home. You only get drinks after the second prayer service in the morning. Moreover, do you not like Dutch food such as boiled potatoes, red cabbage and stew? A tasty sandwich in your hand luggage is never wrong.

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