Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Photo: ThinkstockIt’s a fact: Going on a vacation can boost your
level of happiness by improving your health, making you more rested, putting
you in a better mood, and giving you a higher energy level.
 Unfortunately, research shows that once you get home, that extra
happiness can quickly fade.
So what are we to do? World traveling club Travel researched and talked to
the experts to find out how to maximize your vacation happiness and make it
last longer when you get home.
Plan (way) ahead The planning of a vacation is almost as important as the
actual getaway, because having something to look forward to ups your
happiness.
"People actually get pleasure and joy out of anticipation," explains
happiness expert Christine Carter, author of The Sweet Spot.
According to psychologist and University of Chicago postdoctoral
research fellow Amit Kumar: "People are excited when they’re looking
forward to the satisfaction they’ll get from … vacations.
… One way they can extend these pleasurable feelings is by increasing
the amount of time and hence the number of opportunities they have to think
about, to talk about, and to savor their future experiential consumption.
"Go on a unique trip If animals are your thing, why not head to the
Galapagos — it will be unique and meaningful.
(Photo: A.
Davey/Flickr)
"Experiences seem to be [most] beneficial when they provide a
unique opportunity that isn’t easy to compare with other options,"
according to Elizabeth Dunn, a happiness researcher at the University of
British Columbia and the author of Happy Money: The Science of Happier
Spending.
And according to Frank Farley, a Temple University psychologist who
specializes in travel, whatever that unique quality is, it should be
meaningful to you.
"We find that when you’re doing things that connect to your
personality and your personal strengths, you’re probably a pretty happy
person.
"Related: People Have More Sex on Vacation — Plus 7 Other Ways Travel
Makes You Win at LifeMake the beginning amazingResearch shows that the start
of a vacation can have the biggest impact — and if that’s a
great experience, you’re likely to remember the whole thing in a more
positive light.
According to Dunn, if you’re going to stay at an amazing hotel or
splurge on a show or a meal, it can be a good strategy to do that early on.
Travel with happy peopleHappiness is actually contagious, according to
research.
"A person’s happiness is best predicted by the happiness of the people
around them," explains Carter.
So make sure you travel with people who will multiply the happiness, rather
than strangle it.
Plus, social connection is another big happiness booster.
"We all have a deep need to connect.
Use your vacation time to nurture your personal relationships," suggests
Carter.
Make sure to relax — a lot Nothing says relaxing like a hammock on
the beach.
(Photo: Thinkstock)"What we know about vacation happiness that lasts beyond
your return home, is that the break needs to be relaxing," says Carter.
One study found that participants who "did nothing" on vacation had longer
lasting feelings than those who spent their time engaging in physical
activity.
In fact, it’s a common mistake people make — planning adventure
for every moment because they think they should be seeing the sights or trying
things.
They have FOMO (fear of missing out), says Carter: "For most people,
that’s not relaxing," she says.
And while you’re at it, sleep more.
"Sleeping well and for longer periods [is] also associated with higher
well-being," explains positive psychology coach Genevieve Douglass.
Smile at peopleSeveral studies seem to show that even fake smiles may increase
happy feelings — apparently facial changes when you’re smiling
can actually affect the brain.
Plus, when you smile at someone, you "experience the warmth of others," says
Carter.
There’s a ton of research about the benefit of connecting with people
— even ones you don’t know — while on vacation, according
to Carter.
"It will make your trip.
"Be flexibleNot planning every last detail has a few benefits when it comes to
your vacation.
First, having the freedom to choose is good for your well-being, according to
research.
Second, things can go wrong on holiday, and studies show these
disappointments can make a vacation less enjoyable.
However, more-flexible expectations for your vacation may help you deal
better.
Third, being flexible leaves room for discovery and a more memorable trip,
says psychologist Pauline Wallin.
"If you allow for surprise experiences, they’ll be unexpected and
novel, and you’ll remember it more.
"Related: Try These Simple Tips to Maximize Your Vacation HappinessTake
pictures the right way These flowers are ready for their close-up.
(Photo: Parvin/Flickr)A great thing about vacation is the memories.
In fact, positive vacation memories "occupy disproportionately large tracts
of real estate in our minds," according to Nymag.
com.
 But taking photos can sabotage that.
"Something we know about taking pictures," says Carter, is that
"you’re less likely to remember something if you take a picture of it.
The mechanism here, we think, is in your brain — it unconsciously
makes a note, ‘I’ve outsourced that memory.
I don’t need to keep it.
’" But there is a way around it.
"If you zoom in and take a picture of a small detail, it doesn’t have
the same effect.
Your mind still has to construct the rest of the scene," explains Carter.
"Plus, you get some really cool pictures that way.
" Additionally, "If you spend the whole time behind the camera trying to get
the best shot, you’re not experiencing it," says Carter.
"Since taking photos can be an act of creation that people enjoy, it’s
really about finding a balance between taking pictures and allowing your mind
to make vivid memories.
"Have a "no hellish travel home" rule"Most people’s instinct is to stay
on the beach (or wherever they are) until the last possible moment," says
Carter.
"But you can actually create anxiety by taking the last flight out, being
exhausted, and not leaving enough time to prepare to get back to real life
when you get home.
It’s really important to allow enough time and space so you can settle
in in a relaxed way when you get home.
" Often that means coming home a day or two early.
Have someone cover for you at work while you’re awayYou’ll need
to plan this before you leave, and it will keep you from worrying about work
and home while you’re away, but the real benefits come when you return.
"Don’t pretend you’re not going on vacation," suggests Carter.
"Have a kid come by and pick up your mail.
Have an assistant or an intern handle deleting promotions and putting other
emails in folders by importance or category.
Put on a vacation responder.
That way you don’t have that horrible punch to the gut when you get
back.
" According to one study, the post-vacation happiness of participants who did
not return to a mountain of piled-up work lasted longer than those who did.
And not being overwhelmed with work may also give you the ability to use
post-vacay free time after work and on weekends to relax, which studies show
also prolongs residual happiness.
 Share your stories Tell pals about your vacay and share your photos.
(Photo: Thinkstock)It’s been shown that people are happier when they
spend their money on experiences like vacation rather than on material things.
Part of the reason is that "experiences provided more conversational value,"
according to Kumar, and we "derive utility from discussing them with others
after the fact.
" Just be sure to do it the right way: share, don’t compare.
Some research has shown that if you think someone had a bigger, better, more
awesome something (in this case, vacation) than you, it can reduce the value
of your own experience.

Watch: Flying Singapore Airlines in First Class for an Hour Ruined My
Life Let World traveling club Travel inspire you every day.
 Watch World traveling club Travel’s original series, "A Broad
Abroad.
" Here's how to maximize your vacation happiness.
.
Travel with happy peopleHappiness is actually contagious, according to
research.
"A person’s happiness is best predicted by the happiness of the people
around them," explains Carter.
So make sure you travel with people who will multiply the happiness, rather
than strangle it.
Plus, social connection is another big happiness booster.
"We all have a deep need to connect.
Use your vacation time to nurture your personal relationships," suggests
Carter.
Make sure to relax — a lot Nothing says relaxing like a hammock on
the beach.
(Photo: Thinkstock)"What we know about vacation happiness that lasts beyond
your return home, is that the break needs to be relaxing," says Carter.
One study found that participants who "did nothing" on vacation had longer
lasting feelings than those who spent their time engaging in physical
activity.
In fact, it’s a common mistake people make — planning adventure
for every moment because they think they should be seeing the sights or trying
things.
They have FOMO (fear of missing out), says Carter: "For most people,
that’s not relaxing," she says.
And while you’re at it, sleep more.
"Sleeping well and for longer periods [is] also associated with higher
well-being," explains positive psychology coach Genevieve Douglass.
Smile at peopleSeveral studies seem to show that even fake smiles may increase
happy feelings — apparently facial changes when you’re smiling
can actually affect the brain.
Plus, when you smile at someone, you "experience the warmth of others," says
Carter.
There’s a ton of research about the benefit of connecting with people
— even ones you don’t know — while on vacation, according
to Carter.
"It will make your trip.
"Be flexibleNot planning every last detail has a few benefits when it comes to
your vacation.
First, having the freedom to choose is good for your well-being, according to
research.
Second, things can go wrong on holiday, and studies show these
disappointments can make a vacation less enjoyable.
However, more-flexible expectations for your vacation may help you deal
better.
Third, being flexible leaves room for discovery and a more memorable trip,
says psychologist Pauline Wallin.
"If you allow for surprise experiences, they’ll be unexpected and
novel, and you’ll remember it more.
"Related: Try These Simple Tips to Maximize Your Vacation HappinessTake
pictures the right way These flowers are ready for their close-up.
(Photo: Parvin/Flickr)A great thing about vacation is the memories.
In fact, positive vacation memories "occupy disproportionately large tracts
of real estate in our minds," according to Nymag.
com.
 But taking photos can sabotage that.
"Something we know about taking pictures," says Carter, is that
"you’re less likely to remember something if you take a picture of it.
The mechanism here, we think, is in your brain — it unconsciously
makes a note, ‘I’ve outsourced that memory.
I don’t need to keep it.
’" But there is a way around it.
"If you zoom in and take a picture of a small detail, it doesn’t have
the same effect.
Your mind still has to construct the rest of the scene," explains Carter.
"Plus, you get some really cool pictures that way.
" Additionally, "If you spend the whole time behind the camera trying to get
the best shot, you’re not experiencing it," says Carter.
"Since taking photos can be an act of creation that people enjoy, it’s
really about finding a balance between taking pictures and allowing your mind
to make vivid memories.
"Have a "no hellish travel home" rule"Most people’s instinct is to stay
on the beach (or wherever they are) until the last possible moment," says
Carter.
"But you can actually create anxiety by taking the last flight out, being
exhausted, and not leaving enough time to prepare to get back to real life
when you get home.
It’s really important to allow enough time and space so you can settle
in in a relaxed way when you get home.
" Often that means coming home a day or two early.
Have someone cover for you at work while you’re awayYou’ll need
to plan this before you leave, and it will keep you from worrying about work
and home while you’re away, but the real benefits come when you return.
"Don’t pretend you’re not going on vacation," suggests Carter.
"Have a kid come by and pick up your mail.
Have an assistant or an intern handle deleting promotions and putting other
emails in folders by importance or category.
Put on a vacation responder.
That way you don’t have that horrible punch to the gut when you get
back.
" According to one study, the post-vacation happiness of participants who did
not return to a mountain of piled-up work lasted longer than those who did.
And not being overwhelmed with work may also give you the ability to use
post-vacay free time after work and on weekends to relax, which studies show
also prolongs residual happiness.
 Share your stories Tell pals about your vacay and share your photos.
(Photo: Thinkstock)It’s been shown that people are happier when they
spend their money on experiences like vacation rather than on material things.
Part of the reason is that "experiences provided more conversational value,"
according to Kumar, and we "derive utility from discussing them with others
after the fact.
" Just be sure to do it the right way: share, don’t compare.
Some research has shown that if you think someone had a bigger, better, more
awesome something (in this case, vacation) than you, it can reduce the value
of your own experience.

Watch: Flying Singapore Airlines in First Class for an Hour Ruined My
Life Let World traveling club Travel inspire you every day.
 Watch World traveling club Travel’s original series, "A Broad
Abroad.
" Here's how to maximize your vacation happiness.

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