Individually two very mundane words but when put together have so much stigma you could almost feel the suffocation. One would not think that getting on a plane solo to fly to the other side of the world by yourself would help someone with anxiety, but I am going to try and change your mind.
Mental Health does not just mean that you have something wrong with your brain.
Very much like your physical health, your mental health needs to be taken care of too.
Your brain is a very complex organ and a very vulnerable one. It can take only so many bashes before it breaks. There are many ways in which we can take care of our mental health especially in this stressful day and age and traveling is one of them.
Traveling solo while having the likes of anxiety may be what people think as the craziest and most stupid decision on the planet. I am part of many travel networks and forums asking for advice and the number of people I see asking if they should cancel their trip because they are too nervous is astonishing! Travel to me is one of my happy places, where I do not feel anxious or sad.
Travel has many benefits for both your physical and mental health. And who doesn’t want an excuse to book their next holiday? Below are just five of the ways that traveling can help your mental health.
5 Ways Travelling Can Help Your Mental Health
1. Solo Travel Gives You Time for Yourself
Traveling solo is one aspect of staying healthy that a lot of people tend to forget. We spend so much time trying to please and do things for others that we often forget about the most important individual in our lives – ourselves.
How many of you reading this put at least an hour of your time aside every week to indulge you and only you.
To reset, recharge and refocus your mind without the noise of the world around you. Very little probably. Traveling solo is a perfect opportunity to have time for yourself, working through any thoughts you have and take a step back from your busy everyday life without the pressure of having to act a certain way around people. You can be yourself.
2. Being Outside Helps Reduce Stress by Improving Your Mental Health
Many studies conducted, show that just being outside can minimize stress and everyone could do with a little less stress in their lives. Our modern lifestyles lead to increased pressure from work and society. But taking the time out to be outside; be that a staycation or abroad, there is a reduction in the symptoms of depression and an increase in mindfulness as you must focus on what is in front of you to avoid tripping over something.
Breathing fresh air can help reduce anxiety, likewise removing yourself from the place that could be the cause of deteriorating mental health can help lead to recovery as you are removed from the situation. Less stress will improve anyone’s mental health.
3. Navigating Your Way Around the City Is a Mind Game
Many remember the time when Nintendo bought out the brain games to play on a DS and how it became such a big thing to keep your brain active and solving puzzles to reduce the risk of developing dementia. Well, something as simple as navigating a new city can stimulate and get your brain working.
We take for granted how well we know our cities, but when we arrive in a new one, we have to map it all out in our heads, pinpointing landmarks to get a sense of direction and remembering where we have been so that we can get back. A fun way to train your brain, experience something new and exercise.
4. Helps Build Confidence and Self-Esteem
Many people have low self-esteem and confidence, a fundamental cause of mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. Travel, especially solo travel, is an excellent way of building this back up again. Everyone is jealous of those that get to jet off to far off places.
Traveling indeed gives a severe feel-good factor, you feel better and refreshed inside and out. Navigating your way to and around a foreign country is something to be proud of, helping boost your confidence that you can achieve amazing things and traveling solo helps to show that you do not need other people to do things something. You are enough if not more.
5. Makes You a Better Person
Some people travel and volunteer on community or conservation projects as a great way to immerse yourself in a culture and give something back to a community. There are several volunteer programmes to get involved in that can suit your skills or passions – you may technically be working, but you want to enjoy it.
Travelling can make you a better person as it can boost your creativity and make you more accepting of other people and cultures as well as more empathetic. Being a better person can help you feel better about yourself as a whole.
These are just five reasons why traveling can help your mental health, but there are so many more benefits of experiencing new cities, countries, and cultures and not just for your mental health. Travelling can be a scary experience and could be a cause for worry or stress, but it does not need to be. It should be a time for yourself, relaxing and resetting your mind. With traveling becoming cheaper and more accessible there is no better time to book that flight.
What are your comments on how travel can impact your mental health?
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