Put Your Stress on Vacation!
Have you got stress? Feeling burnt-out? If you answered no, then cheers! (By the way, do you belong to this planet?) But if you are nodding an yes (like any normal human being), you are most likely heartened and gay by the oncoming vacation season. Just your perfect getaway for a little stress reduction. This can have some splendid payoffs. It can enhance your immune system, lower your shooting blood pressure and help you to live longer. Apart from these perks, it can even make you smarter and attentive! Read onto know how vacation acts like a stress-buster!
Recent studies reveal that vacation time and weekend getaways can go a long way in minimizing stress. Also, it helps to bring our brains to a more even, sharp keel. According to Jens Pruessner, who is an associate professor in the departments of neurosurgery, neurology, psychiatry and psychology at McGill University, Montreal, a vacation or weekend getaway is not a mere luxury. It is an intelligent investment in your health and longevity.
Most facts what researchers know about chronic stress and the brain come from rodents’ studies, whose response mechanisms are similar to ours (disconcertingly so). Hence, they make prefect stand-ins for humans. Although, rodents don’t pack their bags and head for a summer destination when the heat mounts. Therefore, it is difficult to use rodents as models for human vacationers.
Nonetheless, scientists have learned enough from studies of rodents to make a few useful suggestions:
Plan Well in Advance
A vacation or weekend getaway is a perfect option to get away from various stresses you can’t avoid in your daily life (the chaos in your home, your commute, your boss, your subordinates). But, it can also lead to new stresses. Even though some of these may be out of your control – missed connections or bad directions – planning well in advance can forestall some other stress factors.
For instance, if you find your in-laws stressful, then avoid arranging a long camping trip with them. If you are afraid of flying, then pick a vacation spot you can drive to instead – and avoid getting lured into skydiving lessons.
As per a 2010 study conducted in Netherlands, making your vacation or weekend getaway as stress-free as possible definitely pays off. When the team of researchers observed how happy and exuberant people were after coming back from a vacation, only those who were completely relaxed while they were holidaying were happier when compared with people who stayed back home.
But, the same study also revealed that people who were busy planning a vacation or weekend getaway were much happier compared to those who never had time to plan a vacation – even if their vacation turned out to be disappointing, the time invested in planning it made it all worthwhile.
The Caveat – Going on a vacation can be more stressful for some than not going. This can be because they are uncomfortable being away from work or from home, or have money concerns. Hence, in such rare cases, no amount of planning can make a trip a good idea.
Make Sure It’s Fun
Even though this is not a shocking news, it is good to know scientifically that fun and frolic is beneficial for your brain and you! This study finding was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences last year. According to James Herman, study co-author and director of the Laboratory of Stress Neurobiology at the University of Cincinnati, a vacation or weekend getaway does not eliminate the stresses, but minimizes it across the hormonal levels.
To Travel or Not?
Even if you love to pack your bags and travel, at some instances the hairy, frustrating logistics can present you with many opportunities to blow your cool. On the contrary, a situation or moment is only irritating or stressful if you perceive it as one. According to Carlos Grijalva, a professor of behavioral neuroscience and psychology at UCLA, all these are based on an individual’s appraisal of the evidence. How one evaluates the situation is really important and critical.
Hence, if you are bogged down by your daily demands and feeling burnt-out, start planning for a weekend getaway or vacation. It will really help you to beat the blues and act as a perfect stress-buster. So, take out your bags and think of the most brilliant destination to explore and unwind! Enjoy your vacation and come back cheerful, with a zest to live your life to the hilt!