How many travel miles have you saved up since last year? When was the last time you planned a vacation? We are so wired and programmed into our stressful life that we rarely take a break. Maybe knowing the health benefits of vacation can persuade your mind.
We all know about the bubbling excitement that we get in the pit of our stomach when we plan a getaway, don’t we? If it makes us so elated, why don’t we do it more to keep our mental and physical health in check?
Here, we are going to walk you through the physical and psychological benefits of vacation that you possibly didn’t know of.
What taking a vacation does to your body and brain?
A vacation does more than just make you happy and your bank account empty.
To be honest, it imposes a plethora of benefits on your health that you wouldn’t get from any other source.
Let us take a look at some of the science-backed health benefits of vacation, shall we?
1. Reduces stress
If you are here wondering how does vacation relieve stress, it does so by detaching you from the source of the stress.
Being in a situation or place that is constantly acting as a trigger for your stress is what you can avoid with a vacation.
It helps take you away from a stressful situation and lets you catch a break instead.
Even a study published (R) by the American Psychological Association found that vacation helps reduce the signs of stress and anxiety by removing them from the triggering situation, be it work or any other factor.
Aside from that, another study found that indulging in a vacation had positive impacts on reducing the work-induced stress and enhances productivity as well.
The benefits don’t just limit to eradicating the stress but also the accessory symptoms that come along with it including headache, dizziness and affected heart rhythm.
2. Reduced cardiovascular complexities
One of the best benefits of vacationing is that it helps reduce cardiovascular complexities.
Studies (R) have found that going on a vacation to de-stress can effectively reduce the risks of a heart attack by 30% in men and 50% in women.
Not just that, the researchers also found that the individuals who went on a vacation more are likely to have lesser risks of metabolic syndrome, further ensuring to keep your heart healthy.
3. Positive impacts on your mental health
The mental health benefits of vacation are possibly the most astounding of them all.
Having and following the same routine every single day can take a toll on your mental well being. Vacation acts like a buffer and lets you get yourself out of that constant funk.
For those who struggle with anxiety or depression, vacationing can effectively help manage those symptoms and enhance your mental stability.
Taking a vacation after being stuck at your desk job is the best way to break through the monotony of life. It allows you to explore new opportunities, gather better experiences and just have the time of your life.
4. Churns productivity
If you are an ardent worker, you would know that work can sometimes be your biggest stress factor in life.
According to some of the statistics presented by the American Institute of Stress(R), it suggested saying that 25% of the workers considered work as the biggest stressor in their lives.
That aside, taking a vacation helps rejuvenate your mind and soul, thus helping boost your creative mind as well. So, it is likely that when you return from a vacation, the same help in boosting your productivity at work as well.
It allows people to refocus on their work and look back again at their goals. It helps you think more clearly, thus improving the overall job performance for the better.
5. Cultivates healthier relationships
In a world where divorce is peeking at extreme heights, it is all because of the constant stress in one’s life that later reflects on their relationship.
A conducted study from Winsconsin University found that couples who take vacations, either alone or together, have a much healthier relationship in comparison to the ones who don’t.
The reason why vacations are important is that they reduce the complaints of stress and helps rejuvenate you.
The combination of the two keeps your mental well being in check and helps you enjoy the company of your partner.
6. Helps boost brain function
If you are stuck in a routine life doing the same thing over and over again every day, the same doesn’t allow your mind to have enough mental flexibility.
This affects the brain functions for the worse. What happens is that it affects your creativity and makes you feel less enthusiastic about tasks.
Going on a vacation acts like a much-needed recharge to restore your brain function and get those creative juices flowing again.
When you are stuck in a routine job, it affects your brain function and it is thus important that you sometimes break through the routine to charge it back again.
Learning new things and gaining new experiences further helps form new connections in your brain for better functioning.
7. You will be happier
We have a very bad misconception when it comes to vacation. We believe that taking a vacation is only worth it when it is for a long period.
That is not a necessity at all.
In fact, studies (R) have found that the more vacations you can take, the happier you will be. The researchers found that the individuals showcased better signs of being happy for the next two weeks following their vacation.
Now, unless you are a travel writer who gets paid to travel, you can’t take longer vacations, now, can you?
So, instead, take smaller ones but enjoy the amazing psychological benefits of vacation as well.
If you don’t want yourself to stay frustrated throughout the year, we would suggest you take 2-3 small vacations every 3 months or so.
8. Promotes quality sleep
For the peeps who struggle to get some quality sleep, one of the best ways to break through that is by taking a vacation.
While you might be thinking of how vacation improves sleep quality, the observations do suggest that they do help.
The studies have found that vacations act like a buffer and get rid of the habits that have been disrupting your quality of sleep.
Be it the constant thoughts on your mind about work or even the financial stress that you have been struggling with, taking a quick and short vacation can help you detox from these situations.
Take the much needed time off and focus on resetting your sleep pattern to get things back on track again.
9. Helps you feel more energetic
As much as you are dreading going back to work after your vacation, it is believed that your productivity is higher after a vacation.
Studies have found that the individuals who take a vacation come back energized and more enthusiastic about their work and surroundings.
While you might have been struggling with your life and career before the vacation, chances are that the post-vacation you wouldn’t face similar struggles all over again.
10. A possible digital detox
Just last year, I went on a vacation to a hill station in my country. While I was excited about visiting the place, my excitement quickly fizzled out when I realized that the homestay I was in had no networks around.
I stayed there for two nights without any Internet connection.
While this seemed like a very daunting situation the first night, by the second night, I didn’t even want to reach for my phone anymore.
It is sometimes important to unplug from the constant fury of technology and just focus on taking in the surroundings and focusing on your mental well being.
If you want to experience the mental health benefits of vacation, shut down the phones and digital equipments around you and just enjoy your own company.
11. Might help lose the belly fat
Now, listen, this is something that is a hit or miss among people. While some do report experiencing the positive benefits of this, some have reported experiencing no change.
The main reason why vacationing can help reduce the appearance of the beer belly is by reducing stress.
The lesser the stress, the lesser are the levels of cortisol in the bloodstream.
Studies (R) have found that when you have a regulated level of cortisol in the blood stream, the same has direct impacts in helping reduce the belly fat effectively.
12. Induces calmness in mind
If your mind is in constant haywire, taking a vacation can help get everything back in place.
One of the most common health benefits of vacation is that it helps restore the calmness in your mind.
Some researchers believe that there are dedicated neural connections in the brain that are responsible for keeping your mind calm and soothed. When the same connections aren’t activated for a long time, there are chances for them to become inactive over a some time.
Taking a vacation helps in keeping them recharged and helps you relax your mind and body.
Every once in a while, you must take some time off without thinking much about the consequences.
The health benefits of vacation are quite extensive and we have sorted out some of the most important ones. If you do want the best for your physical and mental health, you must catch a break every once in a while. It doesn’t have to be a long or lavish vacation, just plan something to break out of the monotonous routine.