Travelling is an incredibly beneficial thing to do for mind, body and soul, with various studies showing the positive effects that travel can have on mental health. This extends beyond having fun, with the unique challenges we face while travelling strengthening us in numerous ways too.
If you’re thinking about getting away, or even planning your next trip, these 5 mental health benefits of travelling might offer a bit of inspiration.
1. Increases happiness
Travelling is one of the most joyous and enjoyable things you can do. Seeing and experiencing new things, and getting away from your everyday routines is a great way to improve your happiness.
In fact, a study from Cornell University even suggests that just anticipating an upcoming trip can boost your happiness levels!
2. Decreases stress
It’s easy now in our busy working lives to get caught up in high stress levels, often making us irritable and distracted from the things we really value in life.
Travelling is a great antidote to stress, leading to lower cortisol levels, which make us feel calmer and happier. One study notes that 80% of the people interviewed noticed a significant reduction in stress levels after just a few days of travelling.
3. Makes you resilient to new situations
While travelling can often be a relaxing thing to do, exploring new countries can also be a challenge, but usually a beneficial one. Getting outside of our comfort zones builds resiliency, allowing us to cope better in new situations.
As those who have travelled extensively will tell you, travelling will certainly make you more resilient! Finding yourself in a country with completely different languages, cultures and customs makes you more creative and adaptive. Once you get home, challenges you may have previously found daunting may not actually seem quite so bad afterall.
4. Improves your relationships
Choosing to travel alone is definitely a brave and rewarding thing to do, but sharing these experiences with somebody will create a bond for life. Every trip is a unique experience, and by sharing this with somebody else you can develop and improve existing relationships.
This doesn’t need to be with a partner, going away with friends or family is a great way to both strengthen a relationship and build your own self-esteem and wellbeing too.
5. Move on from a tough period
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, if you’ve been dealing with a particularly challenging period, such as the loss of a loved one, or problems at work, travelling can help you take a break from it all and rediscover yourself.
Perhaps you’ll experience a place or culture that you fall in love with, or maybe just get a chance to clear your head, but while travelling you will have new experiences and gain new skills and perspectives.
As travelling becomes increasingly quicker and easier, there has never been a better time to book your next trip. So what are you waiting for?