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Why Traveling Is Good For Your Health

Jennifer KesterContributorForbes Travel Guide
Contributor Group
Forbes Travel Guide

When you return from a vacation feeling relaxed and refreshed, that’s not just an emotional response to time away from work and daily worries: you’re experiencing some of the nourishing effects of traveling. It turns out that jetting off to relax on the beach in Turks and Caicos or to explore ruins in Tulum isn’t an indulgence — research says that vacationing is actually good for your health.

Forbes Travel Guide consulted Dr. Mehmet Oz, who elaborated on how traveling for pleasure affects your well-being. He says that:

Taking vacations can lower men’s risk of death by 21 percent and mortality from cardiovascular disease by 32 percent. Among women, a lack of vacation is associated with a higher risk of heart disease and death from heart disease.

Women who go on trips more frequently are less likely to become tense, depressed or tired and are happier with their marriages.Vacationing improves your mood and reduces stress. It also can temporarily help boost productivity.

People who travel more frequently are more satisfied with their physical health and well-being.

Vacationing can increase creativity.

Yet, despite all of these benefits, Americans are not taking full advantage. According to the 2018 State of American Vacation survey from the U.S. Travel Association’s Project Time Off, 52 percent of Americans had unused vacation days at the end of 2017. The average worker uses only eight of his or her 17.2 vacation days for travel, the study says.

More: why-traveling-is-good-for-your-health

How Travel Can Benefit Our Mental Health

Ever feel like you are stuck in a rut?

Taking a vacation and having a change of scenery, even if it is just a couple of hours down the road, can work wonders, and it has been scientifically proven that travel provides a number of benefits to your mental health. Just one trip away could help change your outlook on life for the better — here are a few reasons why it may be worth packing your suitcase.

It enhances creativity

As creativity is generally related to neuroplasticity (how the brain is wired), it means our brains are sensitive to change, influenced by new environments and experiences. According to the Colombia Business School’s Adam Galinsky, the key to getting a creativity boost is to really immerse yourself in the place and engage with its local culture; this open-mindedness can help you to embrace different ways of living to your own, in turn influencing your own outlook on life. Having a creative outlet is a great way to practice mindfulness and so the more you are able to put it to good use, the better.

It can affect your personality

Travelling, particularly if you are in a foreign country, can sometimes put you out of your comfort zone, and so you often have to adapt to those differences. This challenge strengthens the ‘openness’ dimension of your personality, according to a 2013 paper by Zimmerman and Neyer. The paper adds that this adaptation makes you less emotionally reactive to day-to-day changes, improving emotional stability, while meeting new people can also help with agreeableness, depending on the size of your existing social network.

Stress relief

Our lives can often be constantly busy, and sometimes we may feel that we are living each day on repeat. Travel is a great way to escape the stresses and commitments of everyday life, offering novelty and change in the form of new people, sights and experiences. Margaret J King of the Center for Cultural Studies and Analysis has said this about the stress-relieving abilities of travel, “With a short list of activities each day, freed up from the complexities of ongoing projects and relationships, the mind can reset, as does the body, with stress relief the main outcome.” For some, travel is not about seeing new places, but rather escaping old ones that have a negative impact on our lives. Vacations can also help us to manage stress as they take us away from the places and activities that contribute to our stress levels.

Happiness is boosted even before you travel

The effects of travel aren’t felt only during and after your trip – in fact, even just the anticipation of going on vacation can boost your mood. People are at their happiest when they have a vacation planned, a study by the University of Surrey found, and are also more positive about their health, economic situation and general quality of life. A study by Cornell University also found that we get more happiness from anticipating a travel experience in comparison to anticipating buying a new possession. It turns out that money can buy you happiness, but just not in the way we expected!

It strengthens relationships

Sharing travel experiences with your other half can make your relationship with them stronger, according to a survey by the US Travel Association, which has a knock-on effect on your own mental wellbeing and self-esteem. The results showed that not only does travel have long-term effects for couples, such as an increased closeness and perception of shared interests and goals, but also that it helps to maintain relationships, as well as to reignite a romantic spark. Not only do you get to enjoy some quality time together and enjoy new experiences together, but overcoming the tougher elements of travelling together, such as planning the trip and making any compromises, can help bring you closer together and make you a stronger couple.

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Just Looking at Photos of Nature Could Be Enough to Lower Your Work Stress Levels

PETER DOCKRILL
23 MAR 2016

There’s no shortage of research highlighting the benefits of spending time in the great outdoors. All manner of studies highlight things like how access to the outdoors is better for our vision and improves our mental health. While the reasons for this are thought to be many and varied, the effect is quantifiable – said to feel as good as getting a $10,000 raise or even feeling seven years younger.

But the amazing thing is it appears that our access to nature doesn’t even have to be real for us to reap at least some of these benefits. A new study has found that just looking at still images of nature is enough ‘natural’ stimulus to lower our stress levels.

If you like, take a look at my travel images of nature to reduce your stress level :-).

More: Traveling to Nice Places

Researchers led by Vrije University Medical Centre in the Netherlands recruited 46 participants in an experiment designed to see how looking at images containing nature could settle a person’s nerves. Participants outfitted with sensors to monitor their heart rate and stress levels had to complete mathematical problems on a computer, with the test set to function at both normal and stress-inducing levels. After this, they would view one of two series of pictures.

Both image sets depicted urban environments, but one showed environments containing greenery amongst buildings, while the other showed a more stark setting, devoid of any natural flora.

The findings, reported in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, suggest that keeping a few snapshots of greenery around your work desk might not be a bad idea. When participants viewed the natural images in the experiment, their stress levels lowered, thanks to the activation of their parasympathetic nervous system – which controls certain rest functions.

“Viewing green scenes may thus be particularly effective in supporting relaxation and recovery after experiencing a stressful period,” the authors write, “and thereby could serve as an opportunity for micro-restorative experiences and a promising tool in preventing chronic stress and stress-related diseases.”

Interestingly, the green stimulus appears to work as a recovery from stress, but the researchers found it can’t act as a buffer. Looking at pictures of greenery before the stress-inducing test had no pre-calming effect on the participants.

The green images used in the experiment were intentionally kept as plain and drab as possible, so as not to distract the participants with their aesthetic or ‘majestic’ qualities. What this could mean is that any old pictures showing some aspects of nature or greenery could help to calm you down when you’re feeling hot and bothered – a result that even the researchers weren’t quite expecting.

”Short durations of viewing green pictures may help people to recover from stress,” lead researcher Magdalena van den Berg told Gretchen Reynolds at The New York Times. “[F]inding an effect with regard to such weak, even boring visual stimuli – no spectacular green views, no sound, no smells et cetera – is surprising.”

While the sample size in the study was not large and the results on their own should not be considered definitive, this is not the first study to show that viewing pictures of greenery can have a calming effect on people. Although the researchers acknowledge that looking at actual nature in the real world would probably have an even greater effect than a 2D image.

A 2014 study by researchers at the University of Queensland in Australia found that populating office environments with pot plants made staff happier and could boost productivity by as much as 15 percent. (Something to bear in mind if you work indoors and aren’t seated by a window.)

And if pot plants aren’t suitable for your place of work, at least you know now that you might be able to get by with just a couple of photos stuck up in your cubicle!

12 colours and the emotions they evoke
By Jerry Cao September 27, 2018 Web design

A web designer’s guide to using colour to target key audiences.

Poetry can make people swoon, and a shocking image can enrage people to action. But one of the lesser-known, but no less powerful, ways to invoke emotion is through colour. There is much written about colour theory, and you only need to look at the world around you to see – and feel – its impact. 21 outstanding uses of colour in branding Every colour elicits a dierent and unique emotional response in the viewer, and a clever web designer (or any visual professional, in fact) will know the effect of each colour, plus how and when to use each.

While the discipline of colour theory is broad, this article will teach you the fundamentals in a single, quick-reference source. But before we delve into the emotional nuances of 12 separate colours, we need to rest make a quick note about vibrancy.

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Meaning of Colors & what kind of Emotions they evoke

Brands-and-Colors

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Color psychology is a well-known, yet less explored branch of the study of how our brain perceives what it visualizes. Colors provide the building blocks of our emotions. It is not for nothing that we say we are “feeling blue” or “seeing red”. Colors have the power to improve our memory and attention, and even the power to convince us to make a certain decision. Knowing the meaning of colors is key to a better understanding of our behavior.

Colors act upon the body as well as the mind.

Red has been shown to stimulate the senses and raise the blood pressure, while blue has the opposite effect and calms the mind. Yellow, orange and red are associated with the heat of sun and fire; blue, green and violet with the coolness of leaves, sea and the sky. A certain color can evoke a reaction in one person and can often evoke the opposite reaction in another person, due to culture, prior association, or even just personal preferences.

More: mood-colors

More: 70. Residential green space in childhood is associated with lower risk of psychiatric disorders from adolescence into adulthood