Ah, summer! Right now, you might be anxious or even strapping yourself your dream vacation– Full of rest and relaxation. Long exhausting days of doing nothing, perhaps lying on the beach or hiding in a hut somewhere far from the city. Imagine how happy you are.
Then imagine how bored you would be. When you lie in the hot sun at the beach, you will still be stuck in your head and have plenty of time to think about your problems. To your surprise, you might start to feel lonely and bored — even anxious — with all this free time. The truth is that when it comes to vacation, rest and relaxation is not an exaggeration. They may even work against the very things the journey aims to cultivate: resetting my mind, feeling relaxed, happy. The best vacation is one in which vigorous exercise is most prominent. In this way, you can take a break not only from work and routine life but also from the tyranny of self-indulgence.
Recently, a close friend and his wife invited me and my husband to join them on their cycling vacation. I was a little nervous I am a serious swimmer but not an experienced rider. Riding 30 to 40 miles a day through Vancouver’s gorgeous hills for five days felt like hard work, not fun. But by the end of the first day of riding, a blissful calm had taken over.
The business of running hills with a bike has a special way of getting your attention. I was so busy thinking if I could maintain my pace for the next hike and how fast I could move down without even erasing that I didn’t have time to think about myself. I’m looking forward to getting up early and going on the road. I wandered through the mountains and forests full of cedar and fir trees, but my focus was really on the bike and the road.
A lost mind, which is It is often self-absorbed, in general is not happy. in one studyDuring the day, researchers sent random messages to people on their smart devices asking them what they were doing and how they felt. The team found that participants were happiest when they engaged in an activity and didn’t think as much about anything else, and were less happy when they were daydreaming and engaged with their own thoughts. This mind wandering was at least somewhat frequent in all reported activities except for sex. In another study, people who remained physically busy They were happier than those who were inactive, even when forced to get busy.
When we are truly Engaged in activities, we have less chance of worrying and feeling bad. It may be because you are temporarily focused on a task virtual network, a group of interconnected brain regions that are most active when a person focuses on himself, thinks about the past, or imagines the future. The virtual network is deactivated when people focus on the outside world – and interestingly, when using it anesthetic. In other words, when our full attention is focused on something outside of ourselves, we are freed from the uncomfortable burden of self-awareness.
Scientists can’t photograph people in motion, but it’s a good bet that exercise will calm the virtual network. To some extent, other absorption activities may also suffice, such as solving math puzzles or knitting. Ditto for cooking and painting. But I think nothing has the unique effect of physical exertion, which not only stops self-absorption, but leads to biological effects – such as releasing endorphins—It leads to a sense of well-being, and if we are lucky, rejoice. Exercise gives us a sense of accomplishment and mastery, stresses us out and improves our sleep in a way that reading, listening to podcasts, and enjoying music don’t.
In fairness lobby rest and relaxation, some Introspection he is really good for youThe ability to tolerate laziness and boredom is a sign of psychological strength. I am a clinical psychologist, and I know very well that self-understanding is a cherished goal of my therapy. But too much self-examination does not make you happier or more enlightened. Besides, vacation is not the time to work on that skill. You can incorporate moments of laziness into your daily life if you want to get better at sitting with yourself, but time off is a time to feel good and evade responsibilities, including those that fall on your shoulders. Accordingly, you should do what makes you feel good, and that is activity, not idleness.
This advice may sound heretical coming from deflation, but it’s actually informed by my experience with patients. I spend a lot of time trying to get my depression and anxiety to stop unproductive navel staring and interacting with the outside world and other people. A former patient who was bent on a relaxing vacation in Italy rented a villa, sat around the pool with a pile of books all day, and soon fell into an anxious state of misery. When he emailed me about his ordeal, I told him to get up and go with his wife every day. He came back from his trip after two weeks, barely read a book, but was very relaxed and happy. He spent almost all of his time outside, walking and eating.
The psychological benefits of effort don’t just apply to vacations; They are for everyone at any time. My father-in-law, 86, with a fierce intellectual appetite, never seems as happy and lively as he does after a short ride around the neighborhood on his idle bike. But taking on a physical challenge while on vacation is especially valuable. You’re guaranteed to get plenty of breaks while you’re away, a temptation to laziness, mind-wandering, and unhappiness – all of which can be remedied by exercise. You also have a lot more effort time during vacation than in normal life, so you can really get in the zone and enjoy yourself.
I don’t want you to think that the psychological benefits of an active vacation require you to travel far, or buy fancy equipment, or go to great lengths. You don’t have to bike 40 miles a day or hike from sunrise to sunset. Perhaps you could try to take long, vigorous walks every morning of your trip or stick to stretching for 30 minutes a day. All that matters is that your exertion exceeds your normal basic physical activity enough to get your attention. Breathe hard enough that you can forget about the mountain views around you or the cool ocean breeze, and you may find that you will forget about your worries, too.