Vacation; doesn’t that word just make you perk up in your seat when you read it? Vacation or travel doesn’t look the same for everybody, but it’s typically an escape from the humdrum of the ‘wake-work-eat-repeat’ cycle that so many of us have fallen into. That same cycle has flushed the color out of our faces and assisted crippling emotions like depression right into our lives. It’s time to start being intentional about your travels and to do it often. You only live once, and that life shouldn’t be spent in worry or stress. Here are 4 ways traveling promotes mental health.
Stepping onto foreign land can create a whirlwind of emotions depending on how drastically your environment has shifted. When traveling, you realize that there’s a world of people who hold beliefs different from your own, who may not speak your language or look like you, and whose culture is astoundingly new to you. Embrace all of the change you experience when you set off to a new place and see how your thoughts are not only challenged, but your mind is expanded. Traveling is like being virtually engulfed into one of your favorite books. It takes you somewhere you’ve likely never been and allows you to be the main character who grows and changes with every flip of the page. If you’re open to it, there’s so much to learn, and sometimes teach, when exploring somewhere new. By the time you return home, you may find that you’re a renewed version of yourself.
Stress Relief 101
Stress is a disease that comes in so many deadly forms. Cancer, diabetes, heart disease; these can all be triggered by allowing the strain of things we can’t control weigh so heavily on our bodies and in our minds. One of the best ways I’ve seen stress relief via travel defined is as ‘mindfully withdrawing’ from everyday life. When traveling, especially for pleasure, taking the time to withdraw from responsibilities, bills, and life’s problems is a great way to step away from everything that’s happening in your normal environment and just breathe. Having a few days to act a little recklessly and release your inhibition may be just what you need to regroup and refocus.
If you’re like me, you get excited about your travels as soon as the flight is booked. Anticipation for a new experience alone has been proven to boost happiness. Once you step foot in a new state and especially a new country, the normal hustle and bustle of your everyday life is temporarily forgotten as you drift into a world of newness. There’s sites to see and foreign food to indulge in, but most importantly, you can do (almost) whatever you want to do. Your time away is yours to step away from everything that seems to have you bound at home. I think we’re all a little bit happier when we can just unwind and be free.
Strengthens you emotionally and mentally
Taking a trip anywhere can be the most beautiful experience, but it can also be one of discomfort and trials. Every year, there’s a small percentage of tourists who report missing or stolen items, muggings, injuries, or more serious occurrences while traveling. Besides the dangers that can be associated with an unfamiliar territory, there’s also the chance that there will be a struggle with cultural disparities. Everyone isn’t able to adapt easily to change which can lead to an internal war. Growing through these experiences will however teach you about yourself, your strengths and limitations, and hopefully help you to adapt not only when traveling, but in whatever life has the propensity to throw your way.