5 Ways Travel Is Good for Your Mental Health
It’s time for travel lovers to celebrate. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lifted the requirement for airline passengers to test negative for COVID-19 before boarding a flight into the U.S. After more than two years of stay-at- home orders and other travel restrictions, the majority of Americans are ready to explore and travel. It has been found that satisfying our collective wanderlust has a number of benefits for our health.
It’s more than that because time away from work and the responsibilities of daily life helps us. It is best to check the CDC’s COVID-19 Travel Recommendations by destination before booking any trips to check travel restrictions.
What does travel do we get? Your next trip may contribute to your health and well-being.
1. Travel Makes You Happier
According to research published in the journal Tourism Analysis, people who travel frequently are 7 percent Happier than people who travel rarely.
Researchers found a link between travel and happiness before the Pandemic. The location of 132 adults was tracked for months. The results, which were published in May 2020 in Nature Neuroscience, indicated that people who spent time in a variety of places reported more positive emotions than people who did not. The scans showed a strong association between visits to diverse places and activity in the hippocampus and the striatum, two parts of the brain that process novelty.
It is possible to increase happiness simply by looking forward. The study found that consumers experienced more positive feelings when they anticipated spending money on an upcoming experience than they did when they had.
2. Travel May Lower Your Risk of Depression
You may have heard that you should take your paid vacation time, but you may have wondered if there was any evidence to back it up. According to research published in the Wisconsin Medical Journal, women who take vacations more frequently report less stress and depression.
A group of 3,380 working men and women ages 45 to 52 were observed to have positive results from a study published in January 2019. There was an association between depression and extra days of paid leave for American women.
According to a licensed marriage and family therapist in Flower Mound, Texas, travel can help with depression because it gets people out of the rut of their everyday lives. When it comes to compassion for self and others, seeing other people’s pain in the world as a whole can be a great source of inspiration.
3. Travel Makes You More Creative
Travel can help you get back on track if you’re feeling burned out. Adam Galinsky, a social scientist at Columbia University in New York City, studied the relationship between travel and creativity and found a positive connection. Adapting to different cultures can be powerful enough to foster creativity.
Researchers discovered that living abroad can facilitate a process called multicultural learning, which allows you to solve problems in new ways, increase your awareness of your surroundings, and reduce rigidity.
According to a licensed marriage and family therapist in Los Angeles, novel experiences may prompt you to be more inventive. The novelty of travel, including people, cultures, customs, and places, can broaden a traveler’s perspective. Travel can give us the possibility of a new perspective if we are away from a problem or situation.
There is recent research that supports this view. 274 workers were assigned to self-report their creativity as a result of a study published in 2001. While workers reported less creativity the first day back at work, they felt more creative two weeks after a vacation.
4. Travel Can Strengthen Your Relationships
You’re not imagining things if you feel closer to your loved ones after a vacation. Travel can bring you closer together, according to research. Couples who travel together report more satisfaction, better communication, and longer lasting relationships. It seems like this is true for friendship and families. When traveling, more time is spent in leisure activities which enhances our relationships.
Researchers found that women who took two or more vacations per year had a higher level of satisfaction than women who took a vacation every two years or less. When couples vacation together, they are more cohesive and flexible, with lasting effects after they return home. The more positive vacation experiences you have with your partner, like communication, shared moments, and affection, the better your day-to-day functioning at home will be post-vacation, noted researchers after studying 112 couples.
5. Travel Relieves Your Stress
Stress is an inevitable part of life, but long-term or chronic stress can negatively impact both your mental and physical health according to the American Psychological Association.
A study of 40 German middle managers published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health found that a short vacation may lower stress. The small study concluded that a four-day solo stay at a wellness hotel had a significant, positive, and immediate effect on stress and well-being, and suggested short vacations can be as effective as long ones.
The effects of stress may be mitigated by looking forward to the vacation. Fifty-four workers wore devices to monitor their heart rate in the weeks before and after a vacation. According to a study published in August 2020 in the journal Psychology & Health, they were less affected by stress in their everyday lives the closer they got to vacation.
According to Elizabeth Jarquin, PhD, a licensed therapist in Dania Beach, Florida, the stress-busting effects of a well-timed vacation may be due in part to how it increases your connection to the present moment. Individuals who are stressed tend to have a lot going on in their minds and are not able to connect with the present. When people travel, they are in a new environment that is out of the ordinary. She says this can lead them to be more aware of what is happening around them, and may result in a greater connection with the people around them.
After two years of staycations, now is a good time to get a new passport or go somewhere new. The doctor ordered a summer break as COVID-19 restrictions relax in the US. Studies show that taking a vacation can have benefits for your mental health. According to some research, it can increase happiness and help prevent depression, and it can also help you recover from burnout, heighten your creativity, and expand your horizon.
To help keep you and your family safe, be sure to look over the CDC’s guide to COVID-19 Travel Recommendations by the destination.