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Life can be hectic and we all need a break from everyday stresses and challenges of juggling work and family life.

Going on holiday provides the opportunity to spend time with family, friends and loved ones. Whether you are soaking up the sun on a beach, going on an active adventure or visiting a new place, you are likely to experience physical and psychological benefits.

Scientists from the Icahn School of Medicine, University of California and Harvard found that just six days away triggers genetic changes which dampens stress, boosts the immune system and lowers levels of proteins linked to dementia and depression.

Listed below are a few benefits of holidays.

1.0 Helps to Reduce Stress

Relaxing helps to lower cortisol or stress hormones. When you rest, relax and restore your energy levels physically, mentally and emotionally you also decrease the chance of mental burnout.

2.0 Improves Productivity

If you are feeling mentally or physically exhausted, you won’t be performing at your best. Taking a long break, be it a weekend getaway or a two-week vacation will give you time to rest and recover. Having a holiday often leaves you feeling refreshed and motivated, especially if you have come up with new ideas and goals that excite you.

3.0 keeps You Active

Taking long walks on the beach, swimming or exploring new places by foot provide opportunities to stay physically active which boosts your overall well-being. Don’t forget playing board games or completing crosswords will also give your brain a workout.

4.0 Broadens Your Mind

The brain craves novelty and challenge and a great holiday can provide these in spades. Visiting a new location will provide new sensory information as your brain has to take in new smells, sounds, sights and tastes. New surroundings enable you to become more culturally aware and adds to personal growth.

5.0 Restores Relationships

Choosing to spend time with friends and family whose company energises you is important. Take time to reconnect, have meaningful conversations and having plenty of belly laughs will increase your oxytocin, sometimes known as the “love hormone,” as it is released when people snuggle up or bond socially. Don’t forget to set some boundaries regarding mobile phone and internet usage. Take time to disconnect and go offline.

Wherever you decide to go on holiday, make sure you connect to what you enjoy, eat and drink in moderation, stay active physically and mentally, reconnect and optimise your sleep.

Studies show that all these factors can help to increase levels of dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin and endorphins which are neurotransmitters and neurochemicals that contribute to maintaining your overall well-being and happiness.

Over To You

Share your favourite holiday destination in the comments below.