TO many Christians, Lent is a time of prayer and repentance. People pray and recommit themselves to God and remember Jesus’ sufferings.
Some meditate and attend religious retreats while others find the Lenten season an opportunity to enjoy the long weekend, hit the beach and get intoxicated.
True, religious retreats would help you reset your daily life, renew your faith in God and enhance your wellbeing.
A new study found that attending religious retreats changes the dopamine and serotonin systems in the brain, which result in powerful, positive emotional experiences.
Dopamine is responsible for mediating cognition, emotion and movement, while serotonin is involved in emotional regulation and mood.
Religious retreats often involve spiritual exercises like morning mass, silent contemplation, prayer and reflection and spiritual sharing and pray-over.
Researchers at The Marcus Institute of Integrative Health at Thomas Jefferson University found that doing these religious exercises would help improve physical health, relieves tension and eliminates fatigue. They also reported increased feelings of self-transcendence which correlated to the change in dopamine binding.