I know we still have a month or two to go (here in Australia, anyway) before the summer holiday period (a time when most of us have a longest break from work and studies) but many of you are probably already thinking about plans for breaks and holidays and accordingly, I thought you'd enjoy this very important article from Positive Psychology News Daily...
How to improve vacations? 5 new research findings
by Genevieve Douglass
It’s fall in New York City. A mostly beautiful summer has blown past, and, with it, vacation season. This means that most of us are back to our pre-vacation stress levels. Research shows that positive effects of vacations fizzle out quickly, within a month, with one study finding that they were entirely absent after just one day back at work.
As we all look ahead to holiday visits, how can we make vacations more worthwhile?
1) Plan Trips
Just anticipating your upcoming trip may be the best aspect of vacationing. Researchers Jeroen Nawijn, Miquelle Marchand, Ruut Veenhoven, and Ad Vingerhoets found that pre-trip happiness was higher in vacationers than non-vacationers. Getting excited about leaving your stresses behind before you go on an adventure (or lay like a lizard on a hot rock somewhere) increases positive emotion, so it’s worth going on a trip, even a little one, to get this boost. One idea may be planning a few vacations in a row so that when you finish your first one, you’ve got another one to look forward to. I recently tried planning a trip while on a trip and found it to be a useful way of keeping away the dread of drowning in the never-ending work-ocean.
2) Take Vacations Often
In a recent study, Dutch researchers Jessica de Bloom, Sabine Geurts, and Michiel Kompier found that health and well-being (defined as a composite of health status, fatigue, satisfaction, mood, tension, and energy level) increased at the onset of the vacation and peaked on the eighth day. This is aligned with previous research showing that it takes time to wind down from a stressful period of work into a vacation.
This implies that taking a vacation of at least eight days may be the ticket to fully enjoying the potential benefits, but the authors suggest that more frequent, short vacations throughout the work year might maintain higher well-being overall. Previous studies indicate inconsistent associations between length of trip and post-trip happiness. The theory discussed by the researchers is that depletion of resources should be followed by recharging them.
In the same study referred to above, respondents who rated their vacations as “very relaxed” had longer-lasting boosts in happiness than did vacationers who rated their trips as just relaxed, neutral or stressful. The positive effects lasted for two weeks (not enormous, but still useful)...
...keep reading the full and original article, along with the remaining 2 happiness tips - HERE
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