5 Ways Traveling Improves Your Mood

One of the best parts of traveling is bringing home souvenirs. And what could be a better souvenir than peace of mind?

Believe it or not, traveling can help you…

Get away from stress

People take vacations for a lot of different reasons: to reconnect with their cultural roots, visit historic sites, sample unique foods, etc. But perhaps most importantly, traveling to a new place allows you to hit the “pause” button on your life. Work and other responsibilities are put on the back-burner while you unwind. By keeping those things at a real, physical distance, it becomes that much easier to give your mind a break from them, to tune the stressful stuff out and just focus on the here and now. It’s amazing how just not thinking about things for a few days can be enough to renew a person’s ability to tackle everyday pressures.

Build stronger relationships

While solo travel is becoming increasingly popular these days, the fact remains that most people prefer to travel with one or more partners. Fortunately, with that comes the unique benefit of improving the bond between travel companions. Whether you’re with that one special someone or a relatively large group, sharing with others the kind of rare experiences that arise while traveling is a good way to increase intimacy. Not only do travel companions develop one-of-a-kind memories with one other, spending so much time together encourages people to grow closer, deepening their mutual trust, comfort, and affection.

Appreciate what you have

We all get into ruts from time to time. Going to the same places and seeing the same faces every day can make anyone feel trapped in a boring routine. Luckily, traveling for a little while is a great way to remind you why you fell in love with your hometown, to begin with. If you’re used to the snowy slopes of Vermont, for example, a few days among the sunny mesas of New Mexico might send you excitedly scouting Albuquerque houses for sale. Once the novelty wears off, though, you, like many other vacationers, will probably start yearning for a return to more familiar environs, newly appreciative of those very same places and faces you once took for granted.

Be active and energetic

The importance of staying active can’t be understated, not just for a person’s physical wellbeing but for mental and emotional health as well. Conditions like depression often exacerbate themselves by making people avoid doing things that would otherwise bring them joy. The less active they are, the less energy they have. And the less energy they have, the less active they are. Traveling, however, is an active experience, not a passive one. It requires the presence of mind and body. Thus, when you travel, you are not only flexing both your physical and mental muscles, you’re also breaking the depressive cycle.

Feel connected to the world

It’s easy for people to cocoon themselves into comfort zones that provide familiarity and safety but leave them feeling disconnected from the larger world. Traveling to different places, meeting different people, and experiencing different cultures serves a vital function in broadening one’s perspectives and building empathy for others. Getting a peek at how another group lives can make you feel enriched and educated, and it helps reduce our anxieties around brushing up against foreign cultures and ideas. Even not-so-drastic travels, something as simple as going from an urban area to a rural one, can open your mind in ways you never thought possible.

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