The Scientific Reason You Should Always Have A Holiday Planned
Well, we're convinced.
Holidays are great, right? You get to take a break from work, explore the world and get our of your comfort zone – it’s almost like you’re a new and improved person once you return. But could the so-called “post-holiday glow” actually be a myth? A recent study has shown that you’re actually at your happiest in the lead up to your holiday.
A study conducted by Dutch researchers set out to find the link between vacations, happiness and, specifically, how long that holiday happiness lasts. They surveyed 1530 Dutch adults, of which 974 of them took a vacation during the 32-week research period.
Interestingly, the study all but proved we derive the largest amount of happiness from anticipating a holiday, not during.
Think about it: you’re probably the happiest when you’re thinking about all the possibilities of your trip – all the sights, sounds, smells… and the food! Just thinking about all of the delicious and interesting snacks you’ll be ingesting should definitely make your heart beat at least a little faster.
Also, in the days leading up to your departure you’ll be fielding questions from co-workers and hearing your friends telling you how jealous they are. Excitement levels are at an all-time high.
As lead author Juroen Nawijn, tourism research lecturer at Breda University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands says, “Since most of the happiness boost comes from planning and anticipating a vacation, the study suggests that people may get more out of several small trips a year than one big vacation.”
Therefore, always having a holiday on the horizon will increase our chances of staying happy. The study also didn’t find any relationship between the length of the holiday with your overall happiness, so having a short trip over a long weekend to look forward to is still conducive to feeling good.
Mr Nawijn goes on to say, “The practical lesson for an individual is that you derive most of your happiness from anticipating the holiday trip. What you can do is try to increase that by taking more trips per year. If you have a two week holiday you can split it up and have two one week holidays. You could try to increase the anticipation effect by talking about it more and maybe discussing it online.”
Any excuse to use that #Europe2016 hashtag, right?
(h/t NY Times)