Ah, summer time! By now you may be yearning. your dream vacation— one full of rest and relaxation. Long, languid days doing nothing, perhaps lying on the beach or locked in a cabin somewhere far from the city. Imagine how happy you would be.
Now imagine how boring you would be. Lying on the beach in the blazing sun gives me plenty of time to get stuck in my head and think about my problems. Surprisingly, you may start feeling lonely and bored during this free time. The truth is, rest and relaxation are not only overrated when it comes to vacations. A better vacation is one in which vigorous exercise is prominent. Then you can rest not only from work and everyday life, but also from the domineering of narcissism.
Recently, a close friend and his wife invited my husband and I on a cycling trip. I was a little nervous. I am a serious swimmer but not an experienced cyclist. Five days of running 30 to 40 miles a day (30 to 40 miles) for him through Vancouver’s impressive rolling hills seemed like hard work rather than joy. But by the end of my first day of riding, I was overwhelmed with euphoria.
The task of managing hills on your bike has a special way of getting your attention. I didn’t have time to think about myself because I was so busy wondering if I could keep my pace for the next ascent and how fast I could go downhill without getting wiped out. I look forward to getting up early and going out. I incorporated mountains and forests overgrown with cedars and firs, but my focus was on the bike and the road.
A wandering heart, that often narcissistic, generally not a happy one.of one study, researchers pinged people randomly with smart devices during the day and asked what they were doing and how they were feeling. I have discovered that I am happiest when I am not thinking about much else, and I am least happy when I am daydreaming and preoccupied with my own thoughts. was seen at least somewhat frequently in all reported activities exceptIn another study, the remaining subjects physically busy Even when I was forced to be busy, I was happier than the inactive.
when we are For real Engaging in activities reduces the chances of worrying or feeling sick. Maybe it’s because concentrating on work temporarily calms the mind. default networkis a series of interconnected brain regions that are most active when we are focused on ourselves, thinking about the past and imagining the future. The default network, when people look to the outside world, and interestingly, psychedelicIn other words, when our full attention is directed to something outside of ourselves, we are freed from the uncomfortable burden of self-awareness.
Scientists can’t mentally image a person in motion, but there’s no doubt that exercise calms down default networks. . Food and painting are the same. But I don’t think any have the unique effects of physical activity that not only suspend self-absorption but also trigger biological effects. endorphins— bring euphoria and, if you’re lucky, ecstasy. Exercise gives you a sense of accomplishment and mastery, fatigues you, and improves sleep in ways that reading, listening to podcasts, and enjoying music do not.
In all fairness to the rest and relaxation lobby, a few introspection teeth really good for you, being able to endure laziness and boredom is a sign of psychological strength. I am a clinical psychiatrist, and I am well aware that self-understanding is an important goal of therapy. However, too much self-examination will not make you happier or more enlightened. Besides, vacation is not the time to work on that skill. If you want to get better at taking care of yourself, you can incorporate lazy time into your routine, but vacations are a time to feel good and get away from responsibilities, including responsibilities to yourself. Therefore, you should do what makes you feel good. It’s activity, not laziness.
This advice may sound like heresy from shrinking, but it’s actually informed by my experience with patients. A former patient who decided to spend a relaxing vacation in Italy said, and sat around the pool all day piling up stacks of books and quickly descended into a state of anxious misery. I told him to go hiking with his wife every day. He spent most of his time outside, hiking and eating.
The psychological benefits of exercise don’t just apply to vacations. Anyone can use it anytime. With a ferocious intellectual appetite, my 86-year-old father-in-law never seems happier and more vividly alive than after a short ride around the neighborhood on his recumbent bike. But it’s especially rewarding to challenge yourself physically while on vacation. A lot of downtime is guaranteed when you’re on the road, and this can lead to laziness, capriciousness, and unhappiness, all of which can be remedied by exercise. Also, there is much more time to exercise during the holidays than in normal life, so you can get in the zone and have fun.
We don’t want you to think you have to travel far, buy fancy gear, or put in extra effort to reap the psychological benefits of an active vacation. You don’t have to bike 40 miles a day or hike from sunrise to sunset. Perhaps you can commit to taking a long brisk walk or stretching for 30 minutes a day each morning of your trip. It’s just that it’s beyond You may even forget your worries as you take your breath away from the surrounding mountain scenery and cool sea breeze.