One of society’s greatest ironies is how disconnected we can feel despite the level of connectivity with our technologies. The constant smartphone and Internet use can be taxing and unplugging once in a while has numerous mental health benefits. Going on vacation doesn’t just become a luxury, it becomes a necessity. It is widely known that traveling improves our mental health, but what is surprising is just how much it does.
Here’s how traveling helps improve your mental health:
Lowers stress levels and improves brain health
Studies indicate the positive effects of traveling where travelers felt better rested, less anxious, and in a better mood. Additionally, a study by the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology also indicate that those who spend lengthy periods abroad also become more open and mentally stable.
It isn’t something so easily explained unless you experience it yourself. But the change of scenery coupled with the outdoor experience and a rush of novelty can all contribute to the de-stressing. A poll also indicated how travel increases seniors’ lifespans and prevents dementia and helps prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
Improves physical fitness
yes, a majority of traveling involves sitting down on long plane trips or car rides, but one thing you can’t avoid: walking. While this doesn’t seem like a lot of exercise, studies suggest walking reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases by as much as 31 per cent and helps trim your waistline.
But that’s just the basics. You’re still likely to engage in other physical activities like yoga, swimming, hiking, rock climbing and sports for more adventurous types. All of these help improve your fitness, which in turn help improve your mental health.
Teaches new things and stimulates your creativity
Traveling not only exposes you to new people but also teaches you new skills or redevelops old ones. You don’t literally have to take a class. Traveling itself exposes you to new things: a new language, new culture, new excursions, which in turn stimulate your mind and make you happier.
You may also pick up additional skills like learning to budget your travel expenses, starting conversations with strangers, or reading a map. These help build your confidence as you accumulate more abilities that will be transferrable to your everyday life.
Strengthens and develops old and new personal relationships
Forging new relationships or building on existing ones is a big reason why so many of us enjoy traveling. Traveling with a close friend or relative may show us new sides of them we haven’t seen before and vice versa. You get to really know each other and while it can sometimes lead to quarrels, once you both get through, your bond will be stronger than before.
Traveling also alters our personalities in positive ways. Plenty of us who may be a bit more introverted may suddenly find ourselves proactively meeting new people. It can become easier to approach strangers when we’ve disconnected from our regular routines. While traveling, we become more open and friendly.