Scientific research has discovered, it is important to view the holidays as an opportunity to enhance your psychological well-being. The University of Pittsburgh’s Mind-Body Center surveyed nearly 1,400 people and discovered that leisure pursuits which include vacations contributed to higher positive emotional levels and less depression, not to mention lower blood pressure and smaller waistlines. For many, the holidays are an excuse to throw diet and exercise plans out the window until the new year.
Vacations are not a luxury; they are a necessity for a well-balanced, healthy life – as important as eating well and getting exercise. Here are 5 reasons to make them a priority in your life!
1. Vacations Help Prevent Heart Disease
The research by the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies has revealed that vacations can decrease a person’s risk of heart attack and depression as well as improve the health of their brain. The trial followed 12,000 men over a nine-year period that had a high risk for coronary heart disease. The study found that any such men who take frequent annual vacations were 21 percent less likely to die from any cause and were 32 percent more likely to die from heart disease.
2. Vacations Relieve Stress
However, in modern society, chronic stress can be destructive to our bodies. Stress is a true physiological response originally meant to help us and keep us safe. Getting away for regular vacations and leaving our every day stresses give us a break from the constant high levels of these hormones and a chance to repair some of the damage.
3. Closer family relationships
Family vacations increase family bonding, especially when a lot of the activities have to do with talking about memories or even sharing stressful moments together. Though family vacations can have their own share of stress, the benefits outweigh the risks, even in families that are not particularly close.
4. More productivity at work
Fostering creativity and helping people reconnect with themselves, vacations allow people to return to work fully refreshed and refocused. Vacations prolong the ability to think more clearly, thus improving job performance.
Taking time to play has powerful benefits for children and adults. Play has been said to be the single most significant factor in determining our success and happiness. Play is just as important as sleep! Play involves anticipation, surprise and pleasure. Adults who play can enjoy freedom from time, rules and responsibilities, bringing balance to their busy lives.
Vacations make us feel alive again, which is exactly what they’re meant to do – make us feel free and relax. When you relax, sleep and eat properly, you help get your health back in balance.