How Travel Can Improve Your Mental Health
Traveling is something many people love to do. The enjoyment you get from going somewhere new and experiencing something that isn’t the mundane monotony of everyday life never fails to improve your mood which in turn works to improve your mental health. In this article, I will briefly touch upon several different ways in which exploring the different corners of the world can improve your mental health and why that is the case.
Can you remember the feeling you get when you’re planning a journey or even a holiday at home? The anticipation and joy of what you are going to do give you something to look forward to and be excited about. A holiday can be that bright spark in the future to keep you going and is something to look forward to when other things are pulling your mood down. Planning the various activities can also be a way of keeping your mind focused on the future and what is yet to come instead of other darker thoughts and feelings that may crop up.
Holidays also act as a great stress reliever. They are a way for you to escape the monotony of our everyday lives, where you are constantly thinking of the next job that needs to be done or what is going on at work that desperately needs your attention. A beach holiday is one such example of pure relaxation, a place where all you need to remember is to put on sun cream so that you don’t burn, leaving the rest of your worries behind so that when you do return to everyday life it is refreshed and ready to start with a new frame of mind. While I know this feeling doesn’t last forever, it is always nice to come home feeling so relaxed and like you can tackle anything.
Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone
From what I have found, stepping out of your comfort zone is another way to improve your mental health. Trying to learn a different skill or culture while you are on holiday is the perfect example of doing this. Apparently, doing things that you wouldn’t do normally or immersing yourself in another’s culture is a great way to open your mind further than it was before, improving your acceptance and mental health at the same time by proving that you can handle more than you think, even if it causes great anxiety at the start.
Creative outlets are a great source of mindfulness, settling down to color or paint a picture, for example, can be a great source of reflection time. It has been proven that a change of scenery can improve and encourage the creative outlets that many of us use without thinking about their impact on our mental health, therefore improving it as a result of our travels. In this instance perhaps a car trip would be the best example, get your international driving permit and hit the open road for a continually changing environment to stimulate your creativity and make lasting memories on the way.
A creative activity that many participate in while on holiday is photography, which can help your mental health long after you return. When your mood is feeling low or you simply need a good memory, it is easy to flick back through a photo album, be that physical or a digital version to see images of a happier time. The images from previous holidays can be used as a reminder that there were good times and they will come again even when it may not be the case.
Overall, there are many ways that travel can improve your mental health, this article is just a brief outline of a few ways in which this is true. The different stages of a holiday are all helpful to us in different ways, be that the planning with its anticipation and the control it provides you over your own life; the actual holiday that removes everyday stresses; or the memories and creativity it leaves you with once you return. Even if it doesn’t go to plan a holiday is still definitely a good idea to improve your mental health.
Do you have a story about how travel improved your mental health? If so, post below in the comments!