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Why You Should Travel to Improve Your Mental Health

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by Melissa Snape Wisniewski

January 29, 2019

2 minute read

Traveling isn't just a time for some R&R from your everyday life, it can have a profound benefit on your long term health. Travel has been clinically proven to reduce anxiety and depression by encouraging gratitude and boosting happiness and satisfaction.

Here are 3 ways travel can improve your mental health:

It gives us confidence

No matter how perfectly we plan a trip ahead of time, there are always unexpected challenges. Whether it's getting lost without wifi, missing a flight, or struggling to communicate in the local language, something unexpected seems to happen on every trip. In most cases, we find solutions to such setbacks; navigating our way through a new city relying only on a local's directions, securing a flight at a different time, or communicating with body language. After having surmounted challenges in an unfamiliar destination, we have a renewed sense of confidence and little challenges at home feel much easier to face.

It makes us happy

Booking hotels, finding the perfect flight, and packing our bags are proven to make us happy. A study conducted by Cornell University found that planning and anticipating a trip can significantly improve our levels of happiness-even more so than the anticipation of obtaining material possessions like new clothes or a new car. Time to relax and do what we wish on vacation without thinking about the stress of home increases happiness as well.

It gives us a chance for self-discovery

When we are traveling to new places, we almost always push ourselves outside of our comfort zones. We try new foods and activities, we see things we have never seen before, and we meet new people. These experiences may help us discover new hobbies or passions, or even a hidden talent- just because we had an opportunity to try things we would never have tried at home. The health benefits of traveling help us learn more about ourselves and grow as individuals, which in turn has a positive impact on our mental health.

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