Are you a person who likes to travel? When you go, do you notice anything different, like a change in your usual mood? If your answer to the two questions above was yes, it means that you probably already have a good idea of what we are going to talk about in this post. After all, do travel and mental health have any relationship?
Can traveling help your brain? This is what you can check out below.
Travel and Mental Health: two indispensable things?
According to an article published by Forbes, traveling has numerous benefits for your mental health, such as:
- Reduces the stress you face in everyday life;
- Helps you to reinvent yourself;
- Increases levels of happiness and satisfaction;
- It makes you mentally resilient;
- It increases your creativity – the new stimuli that your brain receives during a trip (new smells and flavors, different languages and cultures) stimulate synapses that have the potential to revitalize the mind.
According to a 2013 survey by the American Psychological Association, vacations help to control stress and negative emotions by removing us from environments and activities that are the cause of that stress.
In addition, a 2014 study by Cornell University found that people achieve greater happiness in anticipating a trip than in anticipating some material possession.
If you think about it, all the beneficial effects that a trip has on our mental health can make it an excellent ally in fighting mental illness and disorders, as in the case of depression and anxiety.
But this, of course, does not eliminate the need for a qualified mental health professional.
So if life is making you very stressed, don’t be afraid. Traveling may be the best medicine for this.
6 Ways in which Traveling Improves Your Mental Health
Traveling makes you change the scenery
A simple change of scenery can be all we need to awaken that desire to know the world, things, and people. If you are finding it very difficult to find the motivation to study, if you are stuck in a job you don’t like or if you have just left a difficult relationship, pressing the pause button can be the perfect way to start over.
Aaron Arias, Founder of Water Softener Solution says “Staying in the same place doing the same thing every day can be a comfort to some people, but it can also make you feel psychologically and mentally trapped. Changing your routine and location while traveling somewhere new will help you stimulate your mind, increase your level of happiness and make you feel like you are doing something that is really worthwhile”
Traveling brings you independence
If you’ve never spent a lot of time away from home, challenging yourself to travel for a few weeks (or months!) Will definitely give you a sense of independence. If you’ve never been very good at managing your money, try living on less than £ 25 a day in Southeast Asia. Or are you suddenly not so confident around people you don’t know well? Staying in hostels and participating in activities will show you that making friends is not as difficult as it seems.
Traveling opens your mind to new experiences and culture
Mimi McFadden, Owner of The Atlas Heart says “I believe experiencing different foods, getting to know incredible monuments and meeting people with a culture totally different from yours can open your eyes. This will help you not only put your life in perspective and make you appreciate what you have, but it can also be incredible to expand your mind and increase your level of creativity”
Mimi further adds “Seeing how people can live life differently, it can also help you make positive changes to your own routine. Suddenly you will take some of what you have learned home; be it a recipe or a new attitude that will make you be more attentive to things that you never gave much importance to”
Traveling brings you a feeling of achievement
People generally say that the only way to overcome their fears is to face them. If the thought of going to a place you don’t know (especially alone) makes you feel anxious, suddenly facing it may be a better solution than hiding from your fear. After all, if you can backpack on your own in countries where you don’t speak the language, things like a job interview or a job presentation will seem like the easiest thing in the world.
Being able to do things that seem very scary will make you feel like you’ve achieved something. Even if it’s a small thing like taking a plane alone or getting from place to place in a city you don’t know, you will automatically have a much greater inner strength and, consequently, increase your self-esteem.
Traveling can lower your stress levels
Julien Raby, CEO of Thermogears says “Our daily lives can be full of stressful situations like deadlines at work, crowded public transport or a lot to do at home. Taking time away from these things, traveling to a completely new destination, can be an ideal way to clear your mind and de-stress.
Julien further adds “When you are traveling, you will also be in charge of what to do and when to do it. Who would not want to have breakfast at noon or spend the day doing nothing by the pool where nobody expects anything from you, which means that you can just relax and see what happens”
Traveling can make you happier in the long run
Being happier does not need rocket science or applying marketing strategies, just one good vacation and traveling usually makes most people happy. In some cases, it even helped people overcome depression.
Marck Hawk, Owner of Animal Nerdz says “We usually look at holidays spent with nostalgia, either because we had a unique experience, ate something very good or simply enjoyed the company of someone we like”
Marck further adds “Even if it gets worse at the end of the trip, returning home is never as bad as you think it will be, sleeping in your coma or seeing your dog again are usually the most attractive points. You will also have many new memories to process – many of them documented in photos – that can give you instant happiness just when you think about it” And finally, having an amazing vacation usually makes you want to plan more trips and have even more epic experiences in the future!