Staying healthy, both mentally and physically, in today’s fast-paced world is sometimes quite a challenge. We cannot help but be overwhelmed by our jobs, routine, numerous responsibilities, and stress that is present on an almost daily basis.
All of these factors are scientifically proven to greatly affect our overall health. Luckily, there are so many ways and techniques that can help us improve our physical and mental health, ranging from eating healthy to meditating and doing some leisure activities.
One of the best ways to take care of your mental hygiene, however, is traveling. While we can all agree that exploring new places is fun and exciting, there is now a wide variety of scientific research that shows just how beneficial traveling can be for us. In this article, we will focus on some of the main reasons traveling can help you boost your mental health.
1. A great way to combat stress
Work is the primary source of stress for most people. When we have too much work on our hands and when we have to do the same things over and over, we become distracted. There’s no time for what we usually find meaningful and exciting, and our daily lives become nothing more than a series of tedious routines.
So, taking a break from our busy lives every now and then becomes more of a requirement than just a necessity, as it gives us a chance to recharge and relax, and what better way to achieve that than by visiting some beautiful and exciting destination?
Traveling has been proven to decrease our cortisol levels, which means that when we travel, we feel satisfied and calm, as we have an opportunity to focus on something new and exciting rather than on stressful situations from our daily lives.
2. Improves happiness and satisfaction
How many times did you to simply feel sad and discontent for no particular reason? Well, that unknown reason is actually stress or anxiety which has piled up over time. This stress is preventing you from being happy and enjoying some things that you normally loved to do.
When we are making plans for our trip, not only can we take a break from work and forget about the things that constantly get on our nerves, but we have something that we can look forward to, something that makes us feel fulfilled and happy.
There is even a study that was conducted by professors from the Cornell University which states that the kind of anticipation people feel when they are planning their trip gradually increases their feelings of happiness and satisfaction.
3. Helps with creativity and inspiration
Visiting a place that you have never seen before, taking part in some new activities, and familiarizing yourself with new cultures enhances your cognitive flexibility. This makes you more creative and productive and gives you a chance to develop a new set of skills.
However, it’s important to emphasize that traveling can only be beneficial for your creativity if you are really involved in some country’s local culture. It’s not enough to simply go somewhere and take a look at the famous tourist attractions – instead, you are advised to meet with some locals, find out what their favorite daily activities are, immerse yourself in the environment, and really get the feel of their culture.
Creativity is directly connected with neuroplasticity, which means that our brains are easily influenced by new experiences and environments, so the best way to boost your creativity is to do something that you have never done before!
4. Boosts interpersonal growth
It’s impossible to be happy and truly comfortable with ourselves unless we are willing to constantly improve ourselves and grow. When we are required to always do things the same way and to think the same way, there’s not much room for interpersonal growth. And without that growth, our daily lives are bound to become tedious.
Traveling allows us to think outside the box, learn new things, become more adaptable to changes and people around us, and to get out of our comfort zone. All of this can help us get to know ourselves better, as well as to discover some hidden abilities or personal traits we didn’t even know we had.
Seeing how other people live and think will help you broaden your horizons, re-evaluate your own values, and improve yourself.
5. Helps break even the most rigid routines
As we have already mentioned, routines really take away the joy from our daily lives and make us stressed and dissatisfied with both ourselves and our environment. When we are required to do the same things in the same way regularly, there is no room for spontaneity.
On the other hand, when we travel, there is no strict schedule and no deadlines! This allows us to be more present instead of overwhelming ourselves with thoughts about what we need to do next. This way, you can break all of your routines, and learn how to do things in some new and exciting way.
While going on a trip does involve some planning, this kind of planning is exciting and far from just another routine.
The reasons listed above are only some of the many ways people can boost their mental health by traveling. So, the next time you are feeling stressed and worn out, pack your bags and get ready to explore the unknown!