People travel from one place to another because it is an enjoyable experience, because of business or because of necessity like in the case of the nomadic lifestyle or natural disasters. The travel experience is not just good because of tangible and immediate benefits or the nice photos, it is good for your state of mind too. So before you cancel that trip that you are planning to take, think twice. Traveling is good for your mental health.
First, let us clearly define traveling. To travel is to go from one place to another or to make a journey, whether it is abroad or within your country. People travel by car, trains, bikes, motorcycles, ships and other forms of travel including animals like horses and camels. Next, check out the following benefits of traveling to your state of mind.
How is traveling beneficial to your mind?
Traveling plays a role in:
1. Stress management and happiness.
Traveling to new places makes you happy because you get the time to replenish our soul and become rejuvenated. You get the opportunity to clear the mind when you take in the scenes around you during the journey. The scenery of being above the clouds, above a vast mass of water or enjoying the nature growing by roadsides or the terrains are things you take for granted but not everyone has the chance to enjoy such views because they are blind, underprivileged or dead. It is not just about the destination but also enjoying the journey itself. Traveling helps you to cope with stress. When you go view places as you pass by and visit exotic places that feel you with ayou, you get a calming effect. Some sceneries are breathtaking and have a positive effect on us.
Consider oceans, lakes, waterfalls, mountains and how their immensity makes you realize how small your problems are in relation to the world. Furthermore, you get the time to meditate during the journey while waiting to arrive at the destination. So, traveling trains you to be patient, which is required when coping with stress. Traveling alleviates symptoms of depression and grief. It does not have to be a long distance journey, even a few hours of travel and change of environment could make boost your moods.
2. Source of creativity.
How can traveling boost your creative abilities?
You may travel for pleasure or business, either way you will meet other people and realize that they have a full life of their own as yours. It is a big world and everyone is facing similar struggles similar to the ones you face at our homes, everyone has a story to tell. Traveling broadens our perspective and insight of the world, other people and ourselves. The more you travel to places that you have never been to before, you get in touch with different cultures, other forms of art and creative works. Traveling can boost your creative thinking process because you learn about a world that is very different room your own and yet it is on the same earth. Artists, poets, musicians, photographers and other creative people are often inspired by their traveling experiences. In fact, during your journey you have time to think deeply about your works and the stranger who sits beside you could have an interesting story to tell that will save you from your creative block.
3. Understanding the purpose of life.
Cases of suicide are usually associated with hopelessness, disillusionment, frustrations and lacking a purpose in life. In your interactions with other cultures and traditions, you learn that life in deed has a purpose.
You get in touch with people of all kinds who live different lives that are so similar to our own and yet they manage to survive. You may encounter people who are in worse positions than yours and yet they manage to move on. It motivates you when you see other people from other places coping with similar issues that threaten to make you give up. Furthermore, every time you travel, you are putting your life at risk, because there are accidents that occur. Hence, whenever you reach your destination, be grateful for life and the safe journey. Traveling makes you realize that life is worthy. I think mental health specialists should recommend traveling to people who are losing their grip on life.
4. Appreciate things that you take for granted.
For you to enjoy traveling, you have to be of good health. The things you easily take for granted such as legs, money, eyes, ears because you have them can be valued more after traveling to other place. When you travel to other geographical areas where people have different social, physical or economic status, you learn to be humble. How so? Also, you meet people who are better than you in many ways and this makes you realize that you have a long way go. This is good for your mental health as it lowers your ego and increase your empathy and understanding of fellow human beings, hence, keeping your psychopathological tendencies at bay.
5. Knowledge and learning.
Traveling increases your knowledge because you will have constant learning opportunities. In the Swahili culture there is a saying that states “kutemebea kwingi, kuona mengi” meaning ‘travel a lot to know a lot’. The more you travel the wiser you become because in your traveling experience you can learn a lot of things firsthand rather than from hearsay. For instance, you, learn about how different cultures perform universal activities such as cooking, marriage, parenting, funerals and others. By traveling you may learn how to cook the food you eat every day in a differently. That is to say, you get to learn how different people do things and you can even apply it to your own place and create significant change. It is not just about the people and the culture, you may learn amazing things found in nature that do not exist in your area. Thus, traveling boosts your mental abilities.
6. Facing your fears.
Some common phobias such as agoraphobia can be faced and conquered through the traveling experience. So if you are afraid of airplanes, buy a ticket and fly somewhere. Are you are afraid of heights? Go and climb the Eiffel Tower or any other tall building or go climb a mountain. Are you afraid of sinking? Take a trip to an island where the only way to reach there is by ship or boat. In psychology, this technique is called flooding. You are exposed to the fear you have until it decreases to normal levels.
Locomotion is one of the characteristics of able living things in kingdom Animalia of which you are members. You are not trees, you can move from where you are born and settle elsewhere. You are not mere animals, you can travel with a purpose. Take advantage of your ability to move from one place to another and travel while you still can to boost your mental health and cognitive abilities.