Many Americans are familiar with the term “daily grind” but aren’t aware of just how grinding our daily lives our when we miss out on our relaxation time.
Jet Setting for Your Mental Health: Exploring the Psychological Benefits of Travel
We refer to vacations as “getaways” for a reason. According to a recent article from The Huffington Post, one of the main reasons that people love to visit new places is because it affords them a little break from their daily lives. Travel can play a positive role in refreshing our spirit and quieting our minds.
In fact, there are multiple ways that traveling can help to improve our mental health. Individuals feeling overwhelmed with their daily life should take care to remember that the big break they need might be just one plane or a train ticket away.
Looking for more excuses to take some time off and plan your next vacation? This helpful guide outlines all the reasons why travel is so effective at taking the edge off of our high anxiety lifestyles.
Goal Setting Drives Better Habits
One of the most apparent benefits of travel is that it encourages you to become a goal setter. Whether it’s scheduling the trip or checking off destinations on your city tour, the easiest way to handle the hassle of travel is by setting realistic goals.
A habit of realistic goal-setting (and following through on these plans and strategies) is extremely beneficial for one’s mental health. Here are just a few ways the goal-setting revolving around travel can boost one’s mood and peace of mind.
- Added Motivation – A warm beach and perfect sunset are great motivation to help one through the day; life is easier when you have something positive to look forward to. With time, the positive feeling of setting and achieving your own goals becomes another layer of added motivation.
- New Habits, New Disciplines – The hardest part of improving your mental health is changing self-harming behaviors. One way you can make this process easier is by practicing other, less daunting disciplines. Achieving small goals like saving money for a trip can help encourage you to take on other negative habits that are holding back your mental health.
- Identify Mental Health Triggers – It’s difficult to predict what types of situations will cause us to fall out of new, positive habits. Being self-aware about these potential threats to your peace of mind is a good way to avoid them in the first place. Setting goals and taking on the challenge of new disciplines is a good way to expose your mental health triggers before you head out on vacation.
Relaxation In Nature Supports Anxiety Management
For some people, there is no more relaxing environment than in the midst of mother nature. Positive, aromatic experiences from exotic flora. The sound of rushing, falling water. Bird calls and the crunch of pine needles underfoot. These are the things that draw people away from the busy, noisy city and running headfirst toward the serenity of nature.
One of the best gifts that you can give yourself is giving yourself a real break from your daily grind. Nature vacations allow you to immerse yourself in a new world and forget about the stress and rigors of your regular life.
Physical Health Supports Mental Benefits
Traveling is all about the get-up and go. It’s hard to remain stationary when you’re standing in line for a plane, trailing a tour guide, exploring sprawling city streets, or hiking to a secluded campsite. For individuals stuck sitting at work on a daily basis, this is a great opportunity to stretch your muscles and start getting into better shape.
Once you’ve enjoyed the rewards of exercise on your trip, keep it going. Translate that behavior back to your normal lifestyle. Getting regular sleep and staying in shape goes a long way toward keeping your mind healthy along with your body long after your vacation ends.
Expand Your Perspective By Meeting New People
Many holistic treatments for mental health issues incorporate a strong social component. That is because the mental health benefits of successful, encouraging communication are substantial. In addition to helping an individual work their way through mental health problems, improving communication skills also helps to prevent isolation from making mental health problems worsen.
You can experience many of the same benefits when traveling. Visiting new locales, especially where they speak a different language, creates several types of communication challenges. Working through these challenges, and learning some new skills along the way, is a rewarding process that boosts self-confidence and feelings of personal efficacy.
New Experiences Inspire Creativity
What an artist craves, and needs most, are new experiences. For creative types, working on their craft and finding new fuel for inspiration is an extremely healthy and productive process. Travel provides a very effective and palpable platform for both of these experiences.
For some, writing a travel journal can turn a two-week vacation into a fourteen-day self-help session. For others, visiting other cultures and seeing how people live in other countries will provide the extra perspective they need to deal with their own daily stressors. Any and all encouragement is essential when individuals are working through long-term mental health issues.
Travel With Loved Ones Builds Trust
A reliable support system is necessary to overcome mental health problems. The hard truth of the matter is that these relationships take time to build. You can’t build trust overnight and you can’t build trust on good intentions. Thankfully, you can build trust by sharing a lot of time and intense experiences together, which is far more likely when you travel.
If a family member or loved one is feeling isolated in their mental health issues, taking them on a trip may help to offset that loneliness.
Exploring Other Holistic Mental Health Solutions Therapies
Travel is just one example of a specialized treatment found in holistic mental health therapy. This approach to health care draws from a wide range of practices to tailor a person’s treatment specifically to their needs.
At Bright Future Recovery, we specialize in helping patients discover a holistic solution to life-threatening drug and addiction issues. You can visit us online to learn more about how our unique approach helps individuals improve their mental health and quit abusing substances for good.
About the Author:
Cheree Ashley is the CEO and founder of Bright Future Recovery, a family-oriented substance abuse treatment center in northern California. As a leader in the industry, Cheree enjoys sharing her knowledge with other practitioners and clinicians within the health care community and while providing case management and intervention services for over five years. Learn more about her latest book, Balance Life, Lessons & Success, on her website.