Traveling is something most people wish they could do more of, but don’t. It’s viewed as a luxury, an occasional treat where you can have fun with friends and family and take a break from the daily grind. Though travel can be expensive and is something that needs to be penciled into your busy lifestyle, after reading this you’ll find that a vacation can do the mind, body, and soul some good.
Increased Physical Activity
Whether you’re going on a yoga and meditation retreat or on an adventure trip with the family, traveling will encourage you to get active. From getting to and from your destination to strolling the streets of a foreign country or participating in outdoor activities, you’re sure to get your exercise in. This, of course, is ideal for so many reasons as increased physical activity promotes improved heart health, reduced stress, healthy weight management, and a reduced risk of life-threatening illnesses like heart disease or cancer.
Improved Brain Health
When exposed to new environments (as you often are on vacation), your brain begins to adapt or become accustomed to its surroundings. The brain becomes stimulated by the environment, communities, cultures, and experiences developing resilience. The increase in stimulation to the brain essentially works to improve concentration and memory.
Whether you’re a travel blogger or a business professional, you could be one trip away from coming up with your best idea yet. The exposure to new surroundings and experience stimulates the brain’s neural pathways which are believed to enhance creativity. When you think about it, being in a new space exposes you to things you’ve never encountered before. Being in such an environment clears the mind while opening your eyes to new perspectives.
Reduced Stress and Improved Mood
Chronic stress rears its ugly head in the form of body aches and pains, moodiness, lack of concentration, sleep trouble, weight issues, eating problems, anger, self-harm, and self-medicating with drugs or alcohol. These symptoms then spill into your everyday life affecting your personal relationships, reducing productivity in the office, and more until things get out of control.
Making healthier lifestyle changes like eating a well-balanced diet, exercising, reducing stress, and getting 7-9 hours of sleep is often the course of correction. For those who struggle with addiction, however, treatment often includes the need for participation in a Utah drug rehab center like Reflections Recovery for treatment.
Traveling, however, has been proven to be a very effective method of relieving stress. Whether just for a weekend or an entire week, you get the opportunity to take a break from your normal stressors. You can enjoy some time doing things that are fun and/or relaxing.
Improved Sleep Patterns
Most working adults aren’t getting the amount of rest they need every night. Over time, this sleep-deprivation begins to harm them physically and mentally. Trying to get enough sleep when you’ve got so much going on can be difficult. However, when you’re on vacation, you’re more relaxed and able to catch up on some sleep. You might rest at the airport waiting for your plane, on the plane, in the hotel room, or even while catching a tan at the beach. There’s just something about being away from home and the normal routine that relaxes the mind and body encouraging you to get more sleep.
Renewed Sense of Self and Others
When you travel you have an opportunity to connect with people (those you’re traveling with and otherwise). As you communicate with them, whether for directions or to get a feel for the culture, you create a sense of connectivity. Social connection is imperative to your mental wellbeing, so the more you step outside of your comfort zone and connect with others, you’re improving your mental health.
Traveling can also give you a renewed sense of self. Whether you’re just a few states away from home or have traveled abroad, you’re immersed in these different cultures and environments than what you’re used to. You get to look at the world and yourself through the eyes of others which helps to strengthen your identity and help you to develop a positive sense of who you are in this big world.
You may have thought of traveling as nothing more than an expense you can’t afford all the time. Yet, when you think of the many benefits there are to traveling (and the many ways there are to travel for cheap), you may want to reconsider. Getting away a few times a year can help heal your mind and body and enrich your life.