5 Reasons Why Travelling is Good for Mental Health

5 reasons why travelling is good for your mental health

Travelling isn’t simply good; it is a great revitalizer. Every time you travel, you come back with a truckfull of memories, a renewed vigour and a new perspective!

A rising sun radiating tangerine hues while the water of the ocean reflects a deep blue.  A glorious sunset while simply sitting on the rocks besides a gurgling river. All of these scenes belong to our world and yet they transport us to someplace surreal. Travelling to places that embrace nature or even a weekend drive to your favourite resort can be uplifting, to say the least.

I remember sitting by the window during the long train travels in my childhood, simply watching the changing landscapes. No textbook taught me as much as these sojourns. Observing the locals and experiencing new cultures were tremendous life lessons, etched in my mind forever.

When we feel stuck or simply find monotony creeping in, we often crave to travel. In fact, travelling or even the thought of travelling fills us with excitement. The change of place and the journey to reach our destination brings in us a renewed vigour, giving a boost to our mental health. It is a natural human instinct to travel, meet new people and experience new cultures. Our mind is constantly seeking new learnings. What better way than to travel, to expose the mind to new ideas and thinking patterns.

“There’s ample research to support that positive travel experiences can make a person healthier, strengthening their relationships, benefiting their overall wellness,” says Paul Simeone, vice president and medical director, Lee Health. Everyone agrees that travel brings in a new energy. It boosts mental wellbeing, alleviates stress and uplifts mood.

Soulveda explores a few reasons why travelling is good for mental health.

Reduces the risk of depression

A 2020 study published in the journal Nature concluded that people who see more changes in scenery are happier. Covid lockdowns showed how not being able to travel and facing restrictions dampened our spirits. The depression rate tripled in the US during the pandemic, a study by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey of USA revealed.

In contrast, moving out boosts happy hormones like serotonin, which is a feel-good hormone. Travelling uplifts mood, brings zeal and excitement for something new again. It stimulates the mind as you meet new people, come across new ideas and thought processes.

Makes you regain your calm

The mind feels refreshed and comes out of the whirlpool of overthinking when we travel. In the outdoors, we can rid ourselves of the shackles of overpowering thoughts and negativity. The grind of daily life often saps us of joy and composure. Handling too many tasks or what we call ‘multitasking’, makes us agitated and anxious. Traveling is a great way to regain the natural pace of life, to not follow a routine or a set pattern for a while and to absorb new surroundings. Traveling to a serene location makes the mind much calmer.

Try and catch up on breath-taking sunrises or sunsets, trek amid the woods and dose on nature as much as possible to find a remarkable difference in your outlook.

Lowers work stress

Does Monday or any other weekday give you the blues? Is the weekend all you look forward to? Well, you are not alone. Chasing deadlines, a confining work-culture and working indoors for long hours is enough to give anyone stress, anxiety and even a burnout. The pandemic made the crisis even more severe as people were unable to move out or spend time with their near and dear ones.

When a study of over 400 travellers was undertaken by the Harvard Business Review, it was found that 94% of the respondents had as much or more energy after coming back from a good trip. So one must travel not just for leisure, but to increase productivity, renew energy levels and allow oneself a fresh start.

Boosts creativity

Adam Galinsky of Columbia Business School found travel increases cognitive flexibility and depth, allows better integration of thoughts and ups the ability to make deep connections. He concluded that travel adds to the cognitive abilities of the traveller who experiences multicultural engagement. This further leads to better problem-solving skills and increased creativity along with clarity of thought.

The mind develops a new perspective from visiting new places, igniting a new lease of creativity. Travel exposes human beings to new cultures, languages, food, art and thought processes. The mind registers it and then reflects the same in creative pursuits. In fact, ‘well-travelled’ and ‘well read’ are said to be traits of productive and successful minds.

Increases bonding

Whether you are a homemaker or a top executive, if you are on a travel break with your family, it gives you an excellent opportunity to bond. Lately, when everyone is hard-pressed for time, travelling is an ideal way to spend quality time. It gives a boost to relationships, especially where stress tends to mount daily from the rigmarole of routine. When you travel together and enjoy no particular routine along with new sceneries, it reflects in your relationships.

Travel can be therapeutic like a balm to bruised hearts and minds. It helps people bounce back from sorrow. The change of scenery acts like a stimulant to the mind, making it leap into new zones. Each time I come back from somewhere, I resolve to go again. I recently read that travel is one of the best investments in oneself and I endorse this thought wholly. Travel breaks keep me going and make me look forward to the next place I can explore.

Our physical and mental wellbeing truly improves when we travel. Such experiences nourish our minds and give it a new lease of life.




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