July 5th, 2012
Image courtesy of SlaughterDevelopment.com
Many of us go on vacation to escape from the anxieties of reality – but perhaps we are unknowingly bringing our everyday life with us. Between constantly checking our phones, computers, and crafting mental to-do lists for work and home, we are not allowing ourselves to fully decompress and appreciate the beauty of a stress-free vacation. Nevertheless, there are secrets to avoid this vacation sabotage. According to a recent article by Matt Richtel of The New York Times, the secret involves understanding your motives and your brain. Here are some tips from the article to take advantage of your next vacation:
1. Start now and practice letting go on a daily basis. Whether you prefer to engage in meditation techniques to slow the mind or to simply turn off your phone an hour before you go to bed, try to shift your brain out of work mode and into relaxation mode.
2. While on vacation, break your gadget habits and try disabling your e-mail or leaving your phone in the room for a few hours.
3. Absorb and enjoy boredom. Try to relax and stay in your lounge chair for more than five minutes. Experts suggest low-stake activities such as hiking or snorkeling to help your brain out.
4. Do not raise your expectations of your trip. According to Richtel, raising expectations builds dopamine (the organic chemical that is responsible for the brain’s reward and pleasure centers), but if our expectations aren’t met, we are often left disappointed.
5. Work and vacations do not mix. Experts believe that mixing the two not only interferes with your supposed-to-be relaxing trip but it also prevents you from reaching your full creativity potential.
6. Don’t worry about the load of e-mails that will be waiting for you when you get back to work. Experts say this will also restrict you from tranquility and from thoroughly enjoying your vacation. Your workplace will survive and so will you!
So unplug from the office, detach yourself from the phone or computer and give your brain a little R&R.