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“Go at least once a year to a place you have never been.” ~Anonymous

 

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The GoGo's said it best, "Vacation All I ever Wanted. Vacation Had To Get Away!" Have you ever noticed that the minute you click “purchase” on that airline ticket transaction, that you immediately become overjoyed with anticipation for the adventure you are about to embark upon?

Whether your trip is 2 weeks or 6 months away, everyday until takeoff you are reminded that “I’m going somewhere!  I’m jumping ship! I’m outta here!” You can’t help from smiling at the very thought of what the journey will bring!

Well, researchers conducted a study and the results were rather interesting. They found that the anticipation of a trip provides the real happiness, not the actual trip itself. So, if you ever needed validation to stop thinking and start booking that much needed vacation...here it is!

In the study, researchers from the Netherlands set out to measure the effect that vacations have on overall happiness and how long it lasts.  They studied happiness levels among 1,530 Dutch adults (974 took a vacation during the 32-week study period).

The study, published in the journal Applied Research in Quality of Life , showed that the largest boost in happiness comes from the simple act of planning a vacation.

In the study, the effect of vacation anticipation boosted happiness for eight weeks.

After the vacation, happiness quickly dropped back to baseline levels for most people.  This can be contributed to getting back to the normal daily routine of everyday life.

“Vacations do make people happy,” the researchers state “But we found people who are anticipating holiday trips show signs of increased happiness, and afterward there is hardly an effect.”

This just goes to show you how powerful the “theater of the mind” is. Its seems just the simple act of us thinking and knowing we are about to take a trip and have a new adventure is all we need to add a little positive motivation in our lives.

So, the next time you say to yourself…”I just don’t have the time to take a trip right now or I don’t want to spend the extra money.” Think about it this way and just say to yourself,  “I do have the time to improve my mental wellness. I do deserve to be happy!”

Remember, life is short. You don’t want to look back at the end of the year and say, “I should have taken a vacation.”

So, start planning and start smiling!

Happy Trails To You!

~Catherine

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