Traveling to new and exciting destinations can do wonders for opening your mind and immersing you in experiences you otherwise wouldn’t have been exposed to. This reprieve from your typical life can be a little stressful to plan, but it can also be extremely good for you as well. Apart from just being a great way to take a break from your normal routine, traveling or taking a vacation also can have some amazing benefits for you mentally and emotionally. To show you how, here are three ways traveling can help with your mental health.
Strengthen Cognitive Function
According to Randy Yagi, a contributor to CBS Los Angeles, the mental stimulation that comes as a part of traveling can have a large positive impact on your cognitive functions. Through the acts of hearing and attempting to speak a foreign language, maneuvering yourself around an unfamiliar city, and experiencing a culture you haven’t be exposed to before, your mind literally opens up to allow for greater learning. For an even more pronounced effect, try to experience as many new things as possible while you’re traveling to somewhere you’ve never been before.
Increase Your Emotional Range
By seeing new places and people, your mind not only opens up in the way you process information, but also in the way you experience that information emotionally. Julie Loffredi, a contributor to U.S. News and World Report, shares that traveling to a location that is near water can help to balance your emotions while simultaneously helping you to feel emotions like compassion and empathy much stronger than you might have previously. So if you’re looking for an emotional reset, consider traveling somewhere where water plays a big role in the landscape.
Give You Some Perspective
One of the best things that can boost your emotional and mental health is a little perspective. And according to Lauren Suval, a contributor to PsychCentral.com, that’s exactly what traveling does. By witnessing how other people live and comparing their lives to yours, especially in less developed nations, you may feel a renewed sense of appreciation for your own life. This perspective can also help to reduce feelings of stress or depression that could lead to bigger mental or emotional problems like addiction.
While you likely have heard how traveling or taking a vacation from work or other responsibilities can help to recharge your batteries and keep your spirits up, the profound benefits traveling can have on mental health, in general, are often overlooked. If you feel that your mental health could use a little rest and relaxation, considering traveling to somewhere you’ve never been to see just how this experience can help you mentally and emotionally.