Traveling is a good method to release stress because it gets you away from your problems. Just planning a vacation keeps your mind off things that can stress you out. Dreaming about where you're going to go and what you will do when you get there can take your mind off pressing issues that cause sleeplessness, high blood pressure, and tension.
Why Traveling is a Good Method to Release Stress
For many people, vacations or simple weekend getaways are part of their plans each year. Vacations are a great way to get families and couples to spend time together away from the everyday pressures of their lives. They are also good for people who like to travel solo. The simple act of "getting away from it all" helps people reduce stress, whether it is for a day or a week.
Travel can help you relieve stress in the following ways:
- Fresh air and sunshine are good for our health. Fresh air increases oxygen in our blood and in turn, gives us more energy. Sunshine is a mood elevator and can help people ward off depression.
- Play and relaxation are perfect ways to decrease tension. Whether you spend your time mountain climbing, riding roller coasters, or just sitting on the beach, doing the things you enjoy most will relieve stress.
- Freedom. When you're on vacation, throw any schedules away. Sleep in, stay up late, do things when you want to. The whole point of a vacation is to get away from a daily schedule. Put those cell phones and lap tops away if you want to experience total freedom from your everyday life.
Health Benefits of Travel
Employers in France and Great Britain know traveling is a good method to release stress for their employees. Employees in France have an average of 37 vacation days each year and Britain gives employees 26. The average employee in the United States receives 14 days of vacation.
Vacation time has been proven to do wonders for productivity and improve health for employees. Studies have shown that vacation is very important for the following reasons:
- Improved performance at work. If you are tired it is hard to keep motivation levels high. While you may enjoy your job, you also need time to relax and play. Travel can do that for your mind and body - it is like recharging your mental batteries. When you return to work after traveling your performance levels will be higher than they were prior to your vacation.
- Improved heart health. According to the co-author of the Framingham Heart Study, Elaine Eaker, women who took only one vacation once every six years or less were almost eight times as likely to develop coronary heart disease or have a heart attack as their counterparts who took at least two vacations per year. For men, those who didn't take vacations had a 32 percent higher chance of dying from a heart attack than those who did take vacations.
- Improved sleep. Mark Rosekind, a chief scientist at Alertness Solutions, performed a study where participants had their quality of sleep and reaction times monitored. They vacationed for a week to 12 days and they were also monitored three days before they left for vacation and three days after they returned home. After two to three days of vacation, their sleep improved and they slept an average of one hour longer and their reaction times improved 80 percent.
Legislating Vacation Time
The United States does not have a minimum paid leave law, unlike 127 other countries around the world. Many people who do have vacation don't take it all, and others who work in the private sector may not have any paid vacation at all. In order to counteract this, the Minimum Leave Protection, Family Bonding, and Personal Well-Being Act was introduced in 2007. If this amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act passes, anyone who works at least one year in the United States would be guaranteed 3 weeks of paid vacation.
If you haven't already made your vacation requests for the year at your job, consider doing so now. Studies have proven that traveling is a good method to release stress, and it can improve your overall health. In addition, it can improve your productivity and reaction time on the job. Plus it's fun, and that's a little enjoyment that everyone needs to reduce their stress.