How To Be Happier and Healthier: Take a Vacation
We oftentimes view a vacation as a luxury. But what if it's more than that? What if it actually makes you feel better? Happier? Healthier? Well the good news is that there are many science-backed benefits of taking a vacation. Read on to find out more, then take the next step by booking your Topsail Island, North Carolina beach vacation today.
Taking a Vacation Helps Your Heart
The Global Commission on Aging and Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, in partnership with the U.S. Travel Assn., released research that shows travel offers physical and cognitive benefits that link travel and vacation time to decreased risks of heart attack and depression—and even the promotion of brain health.
According to the study:
- Women who vacationed every six years or less had a significantly higher risk of developing a heart attack or coronary death compared with women who vacationed at least twice a year.
- Men who did not take an annual vacation were shown to have a 20% higher risk of death and about a 30% greater risk of death from heart disease.
- Benefits of travel are almost immediate. After only a day or two, 89% of respondents saw significant drops in stress.
- The study also noted that 59% of Americans dream of traveling during their retirement, and that the most impactful trips are those spent with family and friends.
Taking a Vacation Relieves Stress
It should come as no surprise that vacations that include plenty of free time bring stress relief, but research shows that a good vacation can lead to the experience of fewer stressful days at least five weeks later! The bottom line is that taking a good amount of time away from the stresses of daily life can give us the break we need so that we can return to our lives refreshed and better equipped to handle whatever comes.
Taking a Vacation Boosts Your Creativity
In recent years, psychologists and neuroscientists have begun examining more closely what many people have already learned: that spending time in a new place may have the potential to affect mental change. In general, creativity is related to neuroplasticity, or how the brain is wired. Neural pathways are influenced by environment and habit, meaning they’re also sensitive to change: New sounds, smells, language, tastes, sensations, and sights spark different synapses in the brain and may have the potential to revitalize the mind. Taking a vacation somewhere new and unfamiliar is actually a creative boost to your brain. You can read more about the fascinating affects of travel and vacation in relation to creativity here.
Taking a Vacation Lowers the Risk of Depression
A study from the Marshfield Clinic in Wisconsin found that women who vacation at least twice a year are less likely to suffer from depression and chronic stress than women who vacation less than once every two years.
"Getting away helps to distance yourself from stressful parts of your life. It can help restore your perspective, give you new viewpoints, and allow you to develop new strategies to cope, " according to Dr. Mel Borins, who is quoted in the research.
Vacation and Vacation Planning Increase Life Satisfaction & Overall Happiness
Most people tend to be happier when they’re vacationing and don’t have to worry about work, of course. However, one of the more interesting takeaways from a Cornell University study is that people also experience a direct increase in happiness from just planning a trip. The study found that the anticipation of taking a vacation is far greater than the anticipation of acquiring a physical possession.
So isn't it time you gave yourself the gift of a happier and healthier you? Yes! Start by planning your next vacation right now.
What is the biggest health benefit you've experienced from taking a vacation? We'd love to hear about it!