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The Happiness Track: Guilt-Free Time Off

<em>Edit Article</em> The Happiness Track: Guilt-Free Time Off

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I was wondering how to squeeze in a vacation this summer, and thinking maybe I should work through it or just skip it entirely, with all the other things going one—and suddenly I ran smack into the happiness data I’ve been working with in recent years, as well as a profound saying from the Ashtavakra Gita:Even when he is still, the foolish man is busy.Even when he is busy, the wise man is still.There is this Eastern idea that the greatest things come out of stillness, not out of striving. Not out of the hamster treadmill we seem to be on day in and day out. Whether we’re a stay-at-home mom or a corporate employee, we all want and need to get things done, of course. But we live in an age when everyone seems to be rushing around, exhausted and stressed, on the verge of burnout. We’ve entered an era where we can literally be “productive” 24/7, thanks to cell phones that live under our pillows at night.And nowhere is this more evident than our vacations. Americans have fewer vacation days than any other developed nation—and we don’t even take all our vacation days. What’s more, 91 percent of the p …

Emma Seppala, is the author of The Happiness Track (being published May 26th) and Science Director at the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research at Stanford Medical School.


Emma Seppälä, PhD, is author of The Happiness Track, founder of, and Science Director of Stanford University’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education.

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