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These Five Benefits of Travel for Your Mental Health

What comes to mind for you when you hear the word “travel”? A getaway? meeting new people? Or perhaps gorgeous sunsets for Instagram? Travelling is much more than just sipping margaritas on a beach in the sun, as wonderful and exciting as that may be.

There is no doubt that travelling is good for your physical health, but a growing body of research suggests that exploring a new place can also be very good for your mental and emotional health.
Here are five ways that travel is beneficial to your mind, all supported by science:

1. It’s a great way to decompress. 

Psychodynamic Perspectives on Aging and Disease author Dr. Tamara McClintock Greenberg claims that “the pressure of work and everyday obligations might divert us from what we find to be truly significant and fascinating.” Greenberg has a San Francisco practise. In order for your mind to relax, refuel, and renew, it is vital to take a break from the daily chaos.

What better way to do this than to get on a plane and see destinations that will make you hunger for adventure? Traveling promotes enjoyment and helps to divert the mind from stressful circumstances.

This causes your cortisol levels to decrease, which makes you feel more relaxed and content. It also helps us reflect on our own individual goals and pursuits, says Greenberg. In a 2013 research, more than 80% of the Americans who took part said their levels of stress had significantly decreased a day or two after arriving. Even though I’m usually active when I travel—whether I’m touring, taking photos, or simply exploring a place on foot—I know I’m the calmest and most tranquil when I do.”

2. It helps with self-improvement.

 According to author Patrick Rothfuss, a long stretch of road may reveal more about you than a century of silence. By experiential travel, especially to a different country, you can evaluate and reinvent your life.

Also, the invaluable lessons you learn along the way broaden your perspective and make you more aware of and open to new situations. Verdegaal says, “I enjoy visiting nations with a variety of cultures because it helps me think about my own. “Different is different; it’s not always better or worse. Yet, having to deal with these differences makes me reevaluate my own beliefs and values and, occasionally, change them,” the seasoned traveller continues.

Exploring new regions might also provide you a fresh start if you’re recovering from a life-changing transition.” My world decreased for several years while I got Lyme disease. I lost friends who couldn’t care for a sick friend. Wilson said he felt really alone and lost a lot of confidence after starting to travel “because of fear of relapsing.” Through travel and connection with people around the world, I found a new zest for life. I talked myself into going even though I wasn’t feeling well. She claims, “I am now a confident, powerful woman who has a sense of fulfilment and purpose because of it.

3. It increases happiness and pleasure.

 In addition to the obvious advantages of not having to go to work, travelling allows you to escape from the daily grind (and eating pizza for breakfast). The new experiences and activities cause your brain to be rewired, which boosts your happiness and confidence. Most individuals, in my opinion, are not supposed to be restricted to one place for the duration of their lives.

4. It improves your mental toughness. 

By relocating to a situation where you experience both excitement and intimidation, you can develop your emotional and psychological toughness.

5. It fosters creativity. 

Adam Galinsky, a professor at Columbia Management School, asserts that actual exposure to a foreign culture might increase cognitive flexibility. Examples include competing in a “snake boat” race in southern India or eating crispy tarantulas in Cambodia. It also enhances the “depth and integrativeness of the mind,” which boosts creativity. Galinsky has produced a great deal of study on the connection between creativity and international travel. But, it’s important to keep in mind that discovering different cultures only encourages creativity when you fully immerse yourself in them. Just visiting a different city or country won’t cut it.

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