The Mental Health Benefits of Going on Holiday

holiday and anxietyWe all love going on holiday. Whether it’s a lazy two week beach break or an active adventure holiday, you can’t beat taking some time off to do the things you love the most.

If getting away from the stresses of everyday life isn’t enough of an incentive for you to book that break however, these statistics from The Holiday Health Report are sure to do the job. The study was carried out by tour operators Kuoni and healthcare charity, Nuffield Health in order to establish whether the feel good factor we get from holidays is based on physical or psychological fact.

* The average blood pressure of holidaymakers dropped by 6% whilst non-holidaymakers saw their blood pressure increase over the same period.

* The sleep quality of those who went on holiday saw a 17% improvement. Those who didn’t go away saw a 14% decrease in sleep quality however.

* The study revealed that people are also able to deal with and recover from stress much better after a holiday. Those who had taken a break saw an average improvement of an impressive 29%.

Dr Lucy Goundry, the Medical Director of Nuffield Health commented:

“For the first time, our clinical results show how holidays helped people reduce their blood pressure, improve their sleep and manage their stress levels better.

These results clearly demonstrate that on holiday our resilience to stress (ability to physically cope with stress) improves. Becoming more resilient to stress is hugely important as most of us will return back to stress when our holiday ends. Being more resilient to it helps lay the foundations for improved productivity at work, better energy levels and ultimately, happiness.”

Despite the health benefits of getting away every now and then, it’s thought that only one third of UK workers take their full holiday entitlement every year. If you are guilty of this then bear in mind that the Holiday Health experiment also found that participants experienced:

* Decreases in blood glucose levels which reduces the risk of diabetes
* Improved body shape (losing weight around their middles) which may lower the risk of heart disease and once again, diabetes
* Improved energy levels and mood

Do you make sure that you take regular breaks or are you guilty of overdoing it? How do you normally feel after a holiday? Feel free to share your thoughts with us on our Facebook page.

If you are worried about your stress or anxiety levels you can check out our depression and anxiety page or contact us for more information on treatment.

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