5 Mental Health Benefits of Travelling
One in six people aged 16 and above have experienced mental health problems.
The House of Commons Library also reported that the prevalence of mental health conditions rose to 21% after the start of the pandemic. Staying at home and being forced to distance ourselves from people might have helped us stay away from the virus, but it didn’t necessarily benefit our mental health.
This is why it might be a good opportunity to travel and get away from things now that there are fewer travel restrictions. We understand that a lot of people still have reservations about travelling with the pandemic still around. As we previously discussed in our post ‘Coronavirus: Travelling, Working, Volunteering, Studying abroad, this year is shaping up to be a more hopeful year where we can finally travel and take more opportunities abroad. Moreover, studies have shown that travelling has many mental health benefits – some of which we will discuss below. Check them out and see why travelling will greatly help your mental health.
Planning for your travel can ease your anxiety
Travelling might seem anxiety-inducing because there are so many things that can go wrong. It may seem even more so when you're travelling someplace new. But Matthew Killingsworth, a senior fellow at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, says that trip-planning encourages an optimistic outlook. He notes that “As humans, we spend a lot of our mental lives living in the future. Our future-mindedness can be a source of joy if we know good things are coming, and travel is an especially good thing to have to look forward to.” This is why you must fight the initial anxiety.
SymptomFind.com outlines how having anxiety means you perceive something as a threat that urges you to think that you are in a dangerous situation. You feel restless and worried about possible negative events. Moreover, it can increase your heart rate and make you feel nauseous. However, creating your trip itinerary, getting your tickets, planning your route, and even packing your bags help assuage worry and allow you to establish expectations. Not only will a detailed itinerary ease your anxiety, but it can also make your trip more enjoyable.
Travelling can help you rediscover yourself
When you are not in a good headspace, it is easy to lose sight of who you truly are. You might feel disassociated with the world around you. Even doing the thing you liked might feel like a chore. Travelling helps you take a break from that and gives you a way to enjoy new things. By doing this it can help you reconnect with yourself and rediscover the things you love.
Going on a trip decreases your stress levels
The stress of the pandemic together with work stress and home demands can easily put us down mentally. This is why most people take vacations to relax and get away from any stressors. Travelling can give you the time to recharge and relax outside of your usual environment. This will give your mind the rest that it deserves. Travelling also helps us gain a more positive mindset that can help us rise above stressful situations.
Travelling can break your monotonous routine
Taking a break from your usual routine can break you out from any negative cycles. It gives you time to clear your head and gives you the distance you need to breathe. ThriveGlobal.com explains that breaking your routine challenges you to step out of your comfort zone to try something new. Travelling means leaving behind your familiar routine. This can help you open yourself up to new opportunities outside your bubble of comfort.
Preparing for a trip can boost your mood
A trip, or even preparing for one, can be a form of therapy. It can give your mood a boost knowing that you can accomplish a lot by planning your trip, booking it, packing your bags, and so on. You are overcoming the tasks that you might not have imagined you could do. Travelling also requires you to get past culture shocks, language barriers, and simply just being in a place you are unfamiliar with. Knowing that you can deal with this can give you a sense of satisfaction and can make you feel more confident in yourself.