Dreaming of kicking back on a remote island beach with a good book? It might seem like an indulgence, but there are plenty of reasons to make it a priority.
In fact, there are proven benefits to setting your email to out-of-office and making your latest travel dream a reality.
Free your mind
When you’re caught up in the daily grind, it’s hard to get some perspective and think about what’s working in your life. According to positive psychology expert Professor Lea Waters, our brains are either in “task mode” or “default network mode.”
When we’re not focused on work, we enter default network mode. “Areas of the brain that are responsible for creativity and solidifying memory are activated,” she explains.
That’s why we often have new ideas or find the solution to a problem when we take a break. Sitting by the water, watching the waves roll in gives you the perfect opportunity to let your mind run wild.
Hit pause and unwind
It’s so easy to de-prioritise relaxation when you lead a hectic lifestyle. But don’t underestimate the importance of getting plenty of sleep, lazing around and doing nothing — it’s actually good for you.
“When we get time to slow down, appreciate the simple things in life, we give our brain a chance to use serotonin for positive mood and oxytocin, the bonding chemical,” Waters says.
That means your mind is clearer, you feel upbeat and it’s good for your relationships too.
Whether you’re wandering on the beach, or swimming in the ocean, you’ll be getting plenty of exercise without trying. “On holidays, you do more walking, you’re moving around, you’re getting vitamin D,” Waters explains.
Simply being out in the fresh air and sunshine, away from a desk will have you moving muscles and getting blood circulating again. This is good news for your nervous system.
A busy life can have an impact on your relationships. “There’s a reason why cultures have built in the idea of eating together. It connects us,” Waters points out.
If you need to put down your smartphone and spend more time with the kids, or really be in the moment with a partner, there’s no doubt a holiday will help. You get to take home some wonderful shared memories, too.
You build up a happiness buffer
“I look at happiness like a resource. You’re building up a bank account. You leave with a full bank account. You have that happiness buffer after the holiday because your body is relaxed and your social connections are good. It takes a while for life to take the withdrawals,” Waters concludes.
Choose a destination such as Fiji —a go-to spot for wellbeing — to take a break. The sun-drenched beaches, crystal blue waters and infectious spirit of the Fijian people means it’s really no surprise they’re some of the happiest people in the world.
If you’re inspired to get away and improve your wellbeing, visit Fiji Tourism and start planning your next holiday — there’s a reason why Fiji is home to some of the happiest people on earth. Plus, it’s only 3.5 hours away from Australia!