Have you ever felt better on vacation? Do you feel great while you are away and then feel miserable when you come back home? Sounds like a silly question but it can be an important clue into the impact of your environment on your health and happiness.
You see, we are all a products of our environment. How we eat, move, and think dramatically alters gene expression (health). This is known as epi-genetics. The concept of epi-genetics is covered in great detail by Dr Bruce Lipton in the Biology of Belief. This book is a must read/listen. Just like the way outside weather conditions impacts how we drive, our environmental inputs coupled with our beliefs also alters how our body functions.
Before you start popping more pills or running to the supplement store to treat XYZ condition, consider why you felt better while you were away from home. What did you add to your life to make it better and what did you take away from your life to make it better?
The answer to these questions can provide the insight you are looking for.
Let’s first consider what you added to your life. If you are like me, your vacations are likely a combination of outdoor site-seeing, relaxation, lots of down time, lots of family time, and freshly prepared foods, on a hot and sunny ocean beach.
Next, let’s consider what you took away from your life that possibly made you feel better; work deadlines, rush hour traffic, cell phone radiation, artificial blue light, the stress of meal preparation, rushing the kids off to school and the list can go on and on.
I once had a patient with challenging health issues who always felt better when she left her home for a few days. After spending lots of money trying to fix her health it turned out to be her childhood home was full of fearful memories (she was abused growing up) that were deeply engrained in her subconscious mind. Our environment impacts us more than we can consciously be aware of.
Planning your next vacation
When planning your next vacation, try to establish new habits that you can bring back with you. A few suggestions might be; less screen time on the phone/computer, more walks/activities in the sunlight, better eating habits and meal timing, more family face-to-face time.
I recently came back from a trip to Jamaica and I asked my son if he missed Jamaica as much as I did. My heart melted when he said, “No, I don’t miss Jamaica, I miss mommy and daddy”.
The power of time away and time together is truly priceless.