According to Dan Peltier (Skift), 42% of Americans are not taking a vacation this summer. Why is 42% of Americans not taking a vacation such a big deal you may ask? To me, this is very disturbing. It is not just because I am a travel agent. Rather, it is because vacation plays such a vital role in health, relationships, and overall quality of life.
Vacations affect our health by reducing stress. Stress produces the fight or flight mechanism in our bodies and without releasing the endorphins our bodies will eventually break down. Yes, exercise may help; however, even exercise places a certain level of stress on our bodies. A vacation allows our bodies to get away from the constant stressors of everyday life, allowing the body to repair itself. Personally, I enjoy getting away and leaving work behind a couple times a week because it allows me to recharge the battery and refocus. When I return, I usually have an uncanny ability to apply new concepts or process on how to approach situations pertaining to work. As an added bonus, we may become happier overall.
The improved happiness can strengthen a relationship and the connection that we have with family, friends, loved ones or significant others. The shared experience heightens our emotional response to one another and intertwines memory with emotion. The mixing of memories with emotions allows us to place higher value on the bonding that is taking place. Meaning, it becomes a fixture in our memory and allows us to recall this information when we have certain emotions surface. The good moments tend to stay in the forefront of people’s memories. I still remember vacationing as a child with my family in Wildwood, NJ down to harassing my older sister or running into my mother and brother as we rode the bumper cars. I have heard my wife speak of vacationing at Martha’s Vineyard with all her cousins each summer. These are the moments we hold dear and make us happier overall.
The happiness that we experience as children when we vacationed with our families is something that should be shared and passed on, even created for your own self-actualization. Happiness occurs from the chemical reaction in the brain because it is identifying something positive. As nurturing parents this positive happy reaction and embedment of memories is the type of reaction we would like our kids to have, as significant others we should strive for the strengthening of our bond with one another, and as individuals, we seek self-reflection. Happiness through vacationing will translate to your everyday life. So, please do not forgo a break this year whether it is a day at the shore, weekend getaway, or a time for self-reflection.
Geramiah Fox, DBA
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