Positive psychology yields new findings that may increase your odds of happy vacations
There has been a surge in “positive psychology” over the past decade, focused on finding ways to make life happier and more satisfying (as opposed to the traditional psychological emphasis that focused almost exclusively on illness, disorder and pathology).
In what may be a proverbial chicken and egg phenomenon, popular culture also seems to be consumed with happiness. Earlier this year, Pharrell Williams’ Happy song hit #1 on the Billboard Top 100, and video versions of the upbeat melody cropped up all over the world. So it shouldn’t be surprising that companies like Happify.com are linking applied research on happiness to vacation travel.
I was intrigued by their infographic, How To Maximize Your Vacation Happiness (reprinted below with permission) that popped into my in-box. Here are some of the key findings on happy vacations:
- Advance planning increases the odds of having a satisfying vacation because it reduces stress.
- The more time you have to plan, the more time you have to bask in the glow of anticipatory happiness.
- Frequent, shorter vacations may yield greater happiness than one long vacation.
- One of the most important factors associated with vacation happiness is our comfort level with our travel companions.
- The best part of a vacation is in the middle, rather than the beginning or the end.
- Reliving the memories of the vacation offers a way to boost the happiness factor after you return.
Check out the Happify infographic below that provides a nice visual representation of these and other factors associated with vacation happiness:
If you are a travel buff, you might also like to see this compilation on YouTube of Happy being danced to in 23 cities in 17 countries around the world:
What do you think makes for happy vacations? ( I think I’m hooked on the excitement they offer to discover people, places and things—and sometimes, new ways of thinking.)