5 Ways Travel Can Help With Mental Health
Discussion about mental health is important, especially during Mental Health Awareness Month, which is celebrated in May. While it’s no news that travel is good for your physical wellbeing, a significant amount of scientific research suggests that exploring a new place can do wonders for your mental and emotional health as well. Sometimes all it takes to uplift your soul is to travel, relax, have fun and go on a vacation in the middle of a hectic schedule. So, here are 5 reasons why travel is good for your mental health.
1. It’s a great stress buster
If you’re finding yourself stuck in a rut, whether it be in your personal or professional life, taking a break from your daily routine can be just the thing to help break the tedious or mundane cycle. Seeing new sights, hearing new sounds, and experiencing the new stimulate for different parts of your brain and boost your mood. A trip away allows you to rest and reset, helping to reduce burning out at your job and allowing you to thrive in your personal life.
2. It can help build your confidence
Having struggled with low confidence and social anxiety all my life, I made the surprising decision to book a one-way flight to Canada at the age of 21. This solo adventure would turn out to be one of the best decisions I’ve ever made and changed my life for the better. Moving to a country where I knew no one improved my ability to interact with strangers, speak publicly, be more outgoing and generate social networks. By travelling, you are learning key sociability skills & broadening your sense of community which are invaluable tools for everyday life.
3. Travel helps boost creativity
Immersing yourself in new cultures increases your mind’s ability to move between different ideas, think more deeply, and integrate thoughts. New research suggests travel can increase your levels of creativity and cause an uptick in your mind’s ability to produce positive thoughts, leading you to a happier, more inspired version of you.
4. A wellness trip can contribute to stronger mental health
A wellness trip can contribute to stronger mental health. On a wellness retreat focused on practices like yoga, meditation, and mindfulness, you can learn skills that you can bring home to help you keep up a regular wellness routine. This routine will be key in maintaining stronger mental health. Plus just the thought of doing yoga on an idyllic beach somewhere exotic instantly calms my mind!
5. It can help you stay fit and healthy
Physical exercise is known to improve mental wellbeing, and travel offers ample opportunity to get active. Whether you enjoy racking up the steps on a city break, practicing your breaststroke in the sea or summiting mountain peaks, getting to know a new destination by embracing the great outdoors can boost energy levels and improve your mood. Immersing yourself in and connecting with nature is another key way to reduce symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression – and while you can do this anywhere, it makes sense to incorporate a little ecotherapy into your travels too!
Now that you know the benefits, where are you going next? Head over to our website for inspo – here
While travel can contribute to improving mental health, we realise it isn’t always accessible to everyone. If you or a loved one is struggling please contact a Mental Health Crisis Helpline here
Written by Lucy Kaufmann, Untravelled Paths