The key difference between “taking” and “making” a break on your next vacation

We rarely give our brains the vacation they deserve

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Original photo by Ricardo Gomez Angel on Unsplash

“In 2005, the National Science Foundation published an article showing that the average person has between 12,000 and 60,000 thoughts per day. Of those, 80% are negative and 95% are exactly the same repetitive thoughts as the day before.”

This means that, if on average, I entertain 50,000 thoughts today that 40,000 would be negative and 47,500 would be no different than what I thought yesterday.

“Making decisions uses emotional and mental energy, making your mind flex it muscles. Its goal is to move decision-making to an automatic reflex as quickly as possible, allowing for the action to become a low maintenance function.”

“In fact, [as] the brain starts working less and less,” says Duhigg. “The brain can almost completely shut down. … And this is a real advantage, because it means you have all of this mental activity you can devote to something else.”

Breaking loose

This tendency of ours to get trapped in the tedium is precisely what makes travel such a powerful change agent for personal development.

What if, instead of taking a break from our 47,500 thoughts, we made a break from them, accelerating out of unhelpful thought patterns and embracing new ideas that have the potential to forever change our life trajectory?

Here are just a few ideas, to get us started:

1. Vacation Meditation

There are a huge number of benefits to meditation, including the reduction of stress, a healthier emotional state, better control of our anxieties, a longer and happier life, you name it.

2. Vacation Journaling

A lot of people lose their routine when they go on vacation. Even some of the world’s best journalers fall prey, either deciding to leave their journal back home (no space in my carry-on) or bringing it and then promptly forgetting it the minute the itinerary heats up.

3. Itinerary Slashing

Vacations can be stressful. There are trains, planes, or boats to catch, sights to see, dishes to not miss, people to spend quality time with.

Ready to take off?

Summer is a great season for vacations, especially family vacations. I’ve no idea where you’re off to next, but give the three ideas above a go and I guarantee you’ll end up places you’ve only dreamed of up to this point.

Are you interested in discovering a more creative and happier version of you; of engaging with the world around you instead of reacting to it?

I’ve developed a new cheat sheet with 23 ideas to get you started today.

Helping you be happier & more creative by developing a Traveler Mindset:

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