Getting out of your comfort zone and exploring new places can have an impact on your mental health. Travel can help you feel more appreciative of your surroundings and less anxious about what may be happening back home.
However, travel can also have a negative impact on mental health, so it’s important to consider the social and cultural acceptance of mental health in your destination country when planning your trip.
1. Getting out of your comfort zone
Whether you’re starting a new job, going back to school or moving to a different town, getting out of your comfort zone is an important part of any major life transition. It’s the difference between settling for mediocrity and living your best life.
Leaving your comfort zone is all about letting go of what you believe to be true, exploring alternative perspectives and challenging entrenched beliefs. It also helps you to become more creative and open to new experiences and situations.
Ultimately, stepping outside of your comfort zone leads to greater self-actualization and better mental health. This is because it helps you overcome fear, increase confidence and learn how to adapt to change in a more productive way.
2. Experiencing new things
Trying something new, be it a new type of food, an unfamiliar activity, or even traveling to a foreign destination can boost your mental health. Aside from the novelty of trying something new, it can also improve your overall mood by stimulating your brain.
A study published in Nature Neuroscience found that people who were encouraged to explore their surroundings experienced a better mood than those who were not.
Experiencing new things can be daunting, so it’s important to use healthy coping strategies for handling the challenge. The most common is to consciously try to think of the situation in a positive light and find positive solutions to negative problems.
3. Getting away from stressors
Travel can help you get away from the stressors that you may be facing at home. Getting away from the everyday stresses of work, family or school can help to improve your mental health and increase your quality of life.
People react differently to stressors. Some individuals may feel more stressed than others due to previous experiences or mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, or PTSD.
Getting away from the day-to-day can also improve your mental health by giving you time to relax and recharge your batteries. This can improve your overall mood, sleep quality, and reduce your stress levels, which can also help to decrease the chances of developing a mental health condition such as depression or anxiety.
4. Having something to look forward to
Taking the time to think about your next trip can help you feel more relaxed. You’ll likely find that you’re better able to handle the stress of your everyday life and will be more focused in your work, too.
The most important step is to start planning well in advance. This may require a little bit of research, but it will certainly make the whole process go more smoothly and ensure you’re able to have that dream vacation you’ve always wanted.
The best way to do this is to look at the big picture and see how much of your normal routine can be shifted to include your future travel plans. This will not only improve your mental health but also your physical well-being.
5. Getting away from home
Whether it’s a job change, a family crisis, or simply being on vacation, getting away from home can have a significant impact on your mental health. It’s especially important to be aware of how this can affect you if you have a history of anxiety or depression.
Often, people feel compelled to run away because of problems at home that they can’t resolve. Common issues include physical, emotional, or sexual abuse; parents under the influence of drugs or alcohol; and even divorce or the loss of a family member.
Although it can be tempting to think of running away as the only way out, it’s best to avoid this route if possible. Luckily, there are ways to get help when things are tough at home, and you’ll find it easier to solve the problem instead of running away.