Published On: Wed, May 9th, 2018

How Traveling Can Help Your Depression

When you are feeling down and depressed, it can be difficult to pull yourself out of a funk. Speaking with friends and professionals can get you so far, but if a particularly negative situation has triggered your depressed emotions, or you are feeling low and unmotivated to do anything then maybe taking a trip to sunnier climates can be a nice way to boost your mood. Though there is no scientific link between travel and happiness, we think that it’s a sure fire way to have something to smile about.

9 Ways That Travel Can Help Your Depression

photo/ Michelle Maria

It Removes You From the Cause of Stress

Have you ever heard that phrase “out of sight, out of mind”? It can be used here to describe the factors that are causing you to feel down and depressed as part of your regular life and routine. Perhaps you have lost your job and you are feeling upset without feeling as though you have a sense of purpose. Alternatively maybe you are going through a breakup and struggling to come to terms with the drastic change that has occurred in your life. The truth is, when you are traveling, all of these problems feel like they are a million miles away.

Who cares what your skeezy ex is up to when you’ve got the sand between your toes while sipping cosmopolitans by the sea in sunny Thailand?

It Gives You the Chance to Socialize

Whether traveling solo or among friends, travel is a great social opportunity and you will meet many friendly welcoming faces along your adventure who will help take your mind off whatever was bothering you before you departed from home.

Travel is a Wonderful Chance For Reflection

Some people may argue that when you are feeling depressed you should surround yourself with people to take your mind off what it is that ails you, however at other times, a little independence and “me time” may be just what you need. Relaxing by the beach as the waves of the sea gently lap against your feet, or hiking to a beautiful waterfall offer great chances to reflect and relax.

You Are Free to Do as You Please

Sometimes it feels as though there are far too many expectations and pressures in society today. There is the pressure to get married, settle down, and reach a specific point in our careers by a certain age.

If we do not comply to these standards then it can feel as though we are being judged and measured against our peers by those around us. Traveling acts as our escape from that. The majority of the people that you meet on the road are more open minded than those you meet in your hometown. The majority of travelers are living non conventional lifestyles and therefore you won’t face any judgements from them. Equally, travel is your time to start a fresh, and have a clean slate with everyone that you meet.

You Can Be Pampered to Within an Inch of Your Life

Everyone’s travel style is different, and whereas some people may want to explore new countries and trek around ancient ruins like Indiana Jones to take their minds off their problems, others may want to enjoy beach vacation getaways where they can stay all inclusive, read and relax by the pool, and enjoy regular massages and pamper sessions. Sometimes a little rest and self love are all you need to improve your mood.

Travel Inspires You to “Get Out There”

The fact about depression is that it isn’t something that you can just shake off. What some people don’t realize about matters of mental health is that they are genuine medical conditions. You will not suddenly wake up one day and discover they you magically feel better. However even if you find that you don’t typically feel motivated to do anything, when you are in a new and exciting place surrounded by beautiful nature and fascinating architecture, you will be surprised by how much you feel inspired to go out and explore.

You Can Practice Mindfulness

Whether you are religious or not, practicing mindfulness and embracing your inner spirituality is a lovely way to relax and enjoy a little stillness. Travel is the perfect opportunity for that and there are plenty of “once in a lifetime” style trips that you can take overseas that enable you to relax – from studying yoga in South East Asia, to staying at mountain top temples with Buddhist monks. You don’t have to follow a particular religion to participate in these programs, you just need to go with an open mind.

It Restores Your Faith in Mankind

Sometimes it can feel as though all we are surrounded by is negativity – in the news and media and in our own personal lives. If you have feeling down and out then this perception really doesn’t help your mood and state of mind, however travel can really restore your faith in humanity. When you travel around the world you will encounter friendly locals and fellow travelers who go out of their way to help you or make you feel welcome with no expectations from you in return.

It Restores Your Confidence

Travel can often mean pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. Dealing with language barriers, currency conversions and cultural clashes are challenging for even the most experienced travelers to deal with, but handling these situations and coming out stronger (or at least with a funny story to tell of something being lost in translation) reassures your confidence in yourself and your abilities.

Author: Richie Hedderman

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