How Travel Helps the Body and Mind
Mark Twain hit the nail on the head when he said, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.” Indeed, travel is incredibly beneficial for the body and mind.
Just exploring another place lets you see things from a different lens. For instance, if you’ve traveled as a way of getting medical care or withdrawal help from professionals in another city, this change of scenery could be the first step in healing. All five senses get engaged and your world begins to look different.
Experiencing new things, tasting different foods, even smelling different smells can actually create new connections in your brain. This builds resilience in the brain and is thought to be protective against cognitive slowdown. Additionally, being happy because you are traveling raises your serotonin levels. It’s a low measure of serotonin that researchers say can lead to conditions such as depression, anxiety, insomnia, and even alcohol abuse.
Deep Breath In
Scientists tell us that travel also lowers stress levels, even when travel comes with its own challenges. Simply anticipating traveling raises your happiness bar, studies have shown. Going somewhere else takes you out of your routine and your normal environment. This gives your mind a break from everyday stresses. If you are looking at getting addiction help from professionals in another city, stress reduction will help with that process.
You know that great feeling when you accomplish something new. Traveling someplace different lets you experience this in small doses over and over. You figure out what a shopkeeper is telling you as even though he speaks a language different from yours. You navigate a new continental train system successfully, or you try a new activity and have fun with it. All of these little successes give your confidence an extra boost that carries over into your regular life when you return home.
See Things Anew
We know that when you leave your home country and experience another culture, your perspective on what is normal shifts. It allows you to see other people’s normal and open your mind to a different way of being and thinking. You don’t have to leave your country for this shirt. Even visiting another city can also give you new eyes.
One study shows that women who travel twice a year were less likely to develop heart disease than women who only travel once in six years. While this is a small, narrow study, researchers believe going on vacation can help your heart by reducing stress and increasing your physical activity. You may do more walking and less sitting than you do in your day in and day out life, and this is always helpful to the body.
So, don’t vegetate in your little corner of the earth. When it’s time to use those vacation days and turn in those airline miles, do so with joy and confidence. After all, by going on vacation, you are becoming a better person, body, mind, and spirit.