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Study Finds People Who Take Vacation More Often Live Longer

Study Finds People Who Take Vacation More Often Live Longer

For some workers they see vacations as a right, but for others they can be seen as a guilty pleasure – and one that they fear might cost them their jobs. John Morrey, Vice President and General Manager of Expedia.com explains, “A healthy work-life balance is critical, not only to give workers a chance to enjoy their lives outside of the office, but also to recharge, making you more productive when you get back to work.” This is supported by a research and apart from happiness and productivity, it finds that people who take vacation more often live longer!

Research Background

A large group of middle-aged men of high risk for coronary heart disease (CHD) were recruited. They were given questionnaires which ask them whether they had a vacation and how they felt after that.

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Findings

Mmore than 12,866 middle aged men (between the ages of 35 and 57 years) at high risk for coronary heart disease (CHD) determined that the frequency of annual vacations, a common form of respite, is associated with a reduced risk of all-cause mortality and, more specifically, mortality attributed to CHD. Vacationing, it turns out, can be good for your health.

The research report writes,

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“There are a few possible mechanisms through which vacationing might have direct protective effects on health. First, vacations may reduce stress by removing ongoing stressors (eg, avoidance). The health benefits of stress reduction are well documented. Furthermore, the current pattern of findings (ie, stronger effects with CHD relative to other causes of death, eg, cancer) is consistent with research demonstrating stronger stress and disease associations for CHD relative to cancer. Second, vacations may reduce stress by removing potential stressors and anticipated threats, providing a period of “signaled safety”.

…Finally, annual vacations may provide a unique opportunity for behaviors having restorative effects on anabolic physiological processes, such as social contact with family and friends (36–38) and physical activity (15), in the context of reduction of stress-initiated catabolic effects.”

Making the Most of a Limited Vacation

The perception that getting away from work means that we are bad employees in cultures like the US and South Korea, needs to change, and that starts with individuals stepping up and claiming their days. Making time for our vacations, and fully preparing before setting out.

When setting off on vacation be sure that you are fully disconnecting from work and other obligations. If you bring along your cell phone, laptop, and other devices you are sure to use them, and more likely to check into work instead of truly taking a break. Leave your connectable devices at home if possible, or at the very least, make an effort to sign out of any instantly updating accounts and messaging services (like email or Skype) so that you can truly get away from it all.

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

1. Breathe

The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

  • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
  • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
  • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

2. Loosen up

After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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3. Chew slowly

Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

4. Let go

Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

It’s not. Promise.

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Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

5. Enjoy the journey

Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

6. Look at the big picture

The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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Will this matter to me…

  • Next week?
  • Next month?
  • Next year?
  • In 10 years?

Hint: No, it won’t.

I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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8. Practice patience every day

Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

  • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
  • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
  • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

Final thoughts

Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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