Art of Living Retreat Center

Articles We Love: Happiness in March

By Paige Reist
March 19, 2018

Art of Living Retreat Center - Happiness

Spring is here, and what better time to refresh your outlook, brush the dust out of the corners of your mind and heart, and refocus yourself and your goals? The UN’s International Day of Happiness falls on March 20th this year, and we think it’s a perfect opportunity to spend some time in reflection on how to become your happiest, healthiest self.

The articles we love this month focus on digging into that inner well of happiness within yourself, and opening up the windows of the soul and letting in some fresh air.

Spring Cleaning 101: How to be a Tech Minimalist

Monique Serbu for MindBodyGreen

Spring cleaning doesn’t have to be limited to your physical environment. Monique Serbu shares four great tips on how to clear out your digital life so you’re feeling refreshed, rejuvenated, and ready to leap into the new season.
“Spring is steadily approaching, and that means spring cleaning is on the horizon. While many of us dread this annual ritual, it doesn’t have to be such a pain. Think of it more like an opportunity to clear any excess from your life—an exercise in releasing that which no longer serves you.”

3 Ways to Stop Sabotaging Your Happiness

Nicola Albini for Sivana Spirit

With the International Day of Happiness on the horizon, you might be inclined to focus on external ways to find satisfaction and fulfillment in your life. In this article, Nicola Albini details a few ways in which happiness actually comes from within, and shares affirmations and strategies for a pursuit of happiness that is drawn from your own mind, body, and spirit.

“[I] could no longer blame my parents, girlfriend, teachers, friends or anyone else for my own unhappiness and dissatisfaction. Underneath my complaints about what others were “doing to me” was a need to accept myself. I needed to take full responsibility for my experience and change my life from the inside out.


A Theory About Finding Real Happiness

Dakota Steyn for Thought Catalog

Real happiness is within your grasp. Dakota Steyn shares her thoughts on why happiness is a choice and a result of your actions, not a carrot on a stick to be chased.
“Let me share with you the secret to life: there is no “dummies guide to life,” there’s no one telling what to do or how to feel- at the end of the day life is made up of choices, the choices that you make. How your whole life goes; that’s up to you. You can choose to be negative about everything or you can make the most out of every second of what you do.


Interested in learning more about Ayurveda and the programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here!

Yoga Retreat Catalog for NC

TAGS: art of living , art of living retreat center , digital detox , happiness , knowledge , Spring , technology , wellness , wisdom , yoga
Digital Detox

Exploring Wisdom: The Digital Diet

By Heather Patton
April 17, 2017

Digital Detox


Mile marker 273. That’s when the shift happens. It’s so overwhelming that I have to look for markers to designate where I am. I know it is mile marker 273 because that sign is now one of my touchstones. I turn the curve in the road, and the mountain range opens up before me. This is my destination. This is when my breath deepens and my heart feels wide open. These are the North Carolina mountains. This range is approximately 1.1 billion years old, second oldest in the world. I’m a native of this state and this particular region is my favorite. I’m lucky enough to visit often and it always feels like home.


One of the joys of this magical place is an opportunity to disconnect from the digital world and soak up nature. On Average, Americans spend 1.7 hours a day on social media and check their phones some 46 times a day.

“We’re inherently social organisms,” says Paul Atchley, a cognitive psychologist at the University of Kansas. There’s almost nothing more compelling than social information, he says, which activates part of your brain’s reward system. Your noodle is also hardwired to respond to normal sights and sounds. (For most of human history, a sudden noise might’ve signaled the presence of a predator.) “So something like a buzz or beep or flashing light is tapping into that threat detection system,” he explains.


We are being asked more and more in this society to multitask, and we think we are pulling it off when we really aren’t. “Every time you switch your focus from one thing to another, there’s something called a switch cost,” says Earl Miller, professor of neuroscience at MIT. “Your brain stumbles a bit, and it requires time to get back to where it was before it was distracted.”


“You’re not able to think as deeply on something when you’re being distracted every few minutes,” Miller notes. “And thinking deeply is where real insights come from.”


Ironically, it seems technology is bringing us together when the opposite is true. While we may be liking each other’s photographs or sharing our political views, we are missing the opportunity for a face-to-face conversation. We are missing the connection of eye contact and interaction through body language as well as the words we speak.


The translation of the word yoga from Sanskrit to English is to yoke or join. It’s a great opportunity for us to feel a connection of our body, mind, and spirit. When we choose a class setting for our practice, it gives the opportunity to share some mat space with like-minded beings.


Do you take the time to be sure you’re guarding the sacred space and awareness of connection?


Does a yoga handstand sound more accessible than releasing a device from your hand for an entire day?


Maybe it’s time for a digital diet, an opportunity to disconnect from technology and reconnect with others and with nature.


The Art of Healing Retreat Center offers a sacred space for reconnection to yourself and those who share this beautiful planet.


What will be your mile marker for 2017?


What is your touchstone?


Come travel the road to defining inner peace with Terry and me at the Art of Living Retreat Center.

Join Heather Patton and Terry Brown for Yoga for Life! this May.

Works cited in this article: 
(Ellen Seidman, Mindfulness, The New Science of Health and Happiness, Time, Special Edition. So Give Yourself a Break! 38)
(Markham Held, Mindfulness, The New Science of Health and Happiness, Time, Special Edition. Devices Mess With Your Brain… 34-37)

Interested in learning more about programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here!


Yoga Retreat Catalog for NC

TAGS: art of living , art of living retreat center , digital detox , social media , wellness , wisdom , yoga , yoga practice , yoga retreat

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