Phoenix, Arizona (NAPSI) - A national survey by StrategyOne for Hampton Hotels uncovered that one in three Americans claims to be a “completely different person” on the weekend than during the week. The survey, which delves into people’s weekend mind-set, shows that more positive, outgoing and friendly personality traits emerge for most Americans during the weekend.

Respondents reported that they tend to be more impulsive (53 percent), more imaginative (46 percent), more agreeable (45 percent) and more creative (44 percent) on Saturdays and Sundays. They are also likely to be less organized (34 percent), less neurotic (34 percent) and less competitive (23 percent) than their weekday personae.

“The weekend is a significant cultural norm that actually doesn’t change who we are but allows us the freedom and flexibility to take part in activities that elicit these positive emotional reactions,” said Dr. Christine Carter, a sociologist and happiness expert at UC Berkeley. “The trick is to learn how to foster and take advantage of the happiness effects that can occur during the weekend. There are important strategies we can employ to prolong the happiness we experience over the weekend.”

To help maximize the positive emotional response that the weekend brings to most Americans, Hampton Hotels worked with Dr. Carter to identify three simple tips to achieve the highest happiness results and to prolong the positive effects of the weekend:

1. Take a break. People often push work and chores to the weekend but, if possible, this time should be dedicated to rest, relaxation and doing the things you enjoy most. If you have vacation time, consider spreading it out to take several three-day minivacations versus one extended vacation. Human beings are most productive—and happiest—when “pulsing” activities, working hard and then resting and rejuvenating. Additionally, with approximately three out of four respondents (74 percent) saying they are more likely to do something spontaneous on the weekend than during the week, you may want to use the weekend as a time to explore new passions and experiences.

2. Prepare for Monday on Friday. Although the survey shows that stress levels are lowest on Saturdays and highest on Mondays, many people begin to feel more anxious and stressed at the end of the weekend. To reduce “SNA,” or “Sunday Night Anxiety,” take the time on Friday morning to prepare for the following workweek. Simply scheduling important tasks can significantly reduce worry, allowing you to fully enjoy your time off.

3. Give yourself something to look forward to. Not everyone recognizes the advantage that planning ahead can have on happiness. Thirty-seven percent of survey respondents report that they typically plan their weekends one week in advance or less, meaning these people miss out on the benefits that come from anticipating something positive in the future. By striking a balance of planning something you love for the weekend and allowing time for spontaneity, you can maximize the positive emotions that come from anticipation.

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