How a Vacation Can Improve Your Health

A number of studies have shown that taking time away from the job can have physical and psychological health benefits. People who take vacations have lower stress, less risk of heart disease, a better outlook on life, and more motivation to achieve goals. If you still need a little convincing, here is a list of some of the additional benefits of taking time away from work:

Improved physical health

Stress can contribute to heart disease and high blood pressure. For both men and women, the New York Times reported, taking a vacation every two years compared to every six will lessen the risk of coronary heart disease or heart attacks.

Improved mental health 

Neuroscientists have found that brain structure is altered by chronic exposure to the stress hormone cortisol, which can be a major contributing factor to anxiety and depression. Feelings of calm arise from time away from work and relieve stress, which allows the body and mind to heal in ways that it couldn’t if it were still under pressure.

Improves Your Relationships

Study also shows that persons who take vacations at least twice per year are less likely to become tense, depressed, or tired, and are more satisfied with their marriages. A study published in the Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research also found that families who vacation together undergo shared experience, communication and togetherness, escape and relaxation and experiential learning, all which contribute positively to well-being and to relationships.

Increased mental power

On returning from vacation, workers are often more focused and productive. Studies have found that chronic stress can actually modulate a part of the brain that inhibits goal-directed activity and can cause problems with memory. Time off can tune up a well-functioning brain.

Decreased burnout 

Workers who take regular time to relax are less likely to experience burnout, making them more creative and productive than their overworked, under-rested counterparts.

Planning alone boosts happiness 

Research shows the biggest boost in happiness comes from planning the vacation. A person can feel the effects up to eight weeks before the trip!

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