Stress reduction includes setting up an everyday lifestyle that balances work, play, and important people in your life (family, friends). But, many of us get caught up in overdoing one aspect to the exclusion of another. The imbalance itself can lead to stress and bad health effects. ABC News recently explored this issue in terms of the simple concept — taking a vacation. Here is what they found…
“Rest, relaxation, and stress reduction are very important for people’s well-being and health. This can be accomplished through daily activities, such as exercise and meditation, but vacation is an important part of this as well,” said primary care …ABC News
Getting away from your usual responsibilities and schedule for a vacation gives you perspective and a chance to unwind. Scientists have long known that the body needs a chance to get back to baseline before the next stress hits. Over time, we can develop all sorts of chronic health problems, including high blood pressure, from not finding ways to unwind and give ourselves time to recover from the last hit we took from life. Even more than that, a vacation gives you a chance to live in the moment – something that the great meditation teachers of all time tell us is so critically important for well being.
Daily hassles can be even more damaging to health than major negative life events, as hassles come up daily and it is hard to escape from them. This is part of why taking the time for a vacation gives you chance to re-boot your inner hard drive, just have fun and relax, and even decide if it is really good for you to go back to the same old grind again after the vacation is over. Stress reduction takes a multi-pronged approach. On a regular basis, exercise, meditation, tai chi, yoga, certain natural vitamins and herbs can help with stress relief. But a vacation should also be on the list.
The article talks about how Americans in particular tend to skip vacations and stay around to work and be “productive.” But, sometimes, the way to improve your efficiency and productivity is to take a break and let the creative juices get going.
Another source mentions some alarming statistics on stress in the U.S. “According to the American Psychological Association 75% of Americans experience symptoms related to stress in a given month, 77% experience physical symptoms, and 73% experience psychological symptoms. In the latest CNN Survey, about half of Americans (48%) feel that their stress has increased over the past five years and 75% of those surveyed say Money and work are the leading causes of stress.” (source: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2011/07/26/prweb8655025.DTL; read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2011/07/26/prweb8655025.DTL#ixzz1VEZ6Uolz).
Think about including a vacation just as much as you would take a medicine that you needed to keep you alive. It may be more true than you think — vacations are a forms of stress reduction (unless you are in a funny summer movie about a disastrous family vacation).