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  >  Lifestyle   >  The Positive Impact of Travel on Psychological and Mental Health

An investment in travel is an investment in yourself, says Matthew Karsten. One of the reflections of your investment in travel is the investment in your psychological and mental health. Travel is no longer only a means of transportation or a hobby, but has evolved into a treatment for people and is a useful way to improve the mental health of the general public. In their new studies, the researchers stated that travel is good for mental health and has many positive effects on brain health. The World Health Organization (WHO) describes mental health as: “a state of well-being in which an individual is aware of his or her own capabilities, can handle the normal stresses of life, can work productively, and is able to contribute to the support of his community.” Clearly, mental health is an integral part of having a fulfilling life. In their study, the researchers used a special definition of travel: “Travel is visiting places outside the daily environment of the individual for a period not exceeding one year” and noted that the individual’s experience of travel has effects on the traveler’s mental and psychological health. Travel has a positive effect on psychological and mental health through:


1. Increase Creativity:

Improving productivity in your job and work, as studies have shown that travel makes you more productive, and the evidence for this is that British specialists who took a vacation were more productive than those who spent more time at work; When you are more productive, you are happier, and when you are happier, you are generally better and your productivity is better. Taking time away from work can increase your energy and the quality of your work. A Harvard Business Review study of over 400 travelers found that 94% of respondents had the same or more energy after returning from a good trip. So when you feel that your productivity has weakened or declined, all you have to do is book a good travel trip that will keep you away from the field of work.


Traveling helps your brain function better and enhances creativity by immersing yourself in new cultures that increase your brain’s ability to navigate different ideas, think more deeply, and integrate ideas. “Foreign experiences increase cognitive flexibility, depth, and thought integration,” says Adam Galinsky, a professor and author of several studies on the relationship between creativity and travel.


2. Traveling Helps Relieve Depression:

Traveling makes you more optimistic through the activities you do in the new destination such as walking, hiking, and skiing in scenic areas; A 2020 study found that people who were consciously aware of the sights and objects around them on a walk reported being more optimistic and hopeful than other walkers. What could be better than enjoying the wonderful scenery of a new destination on a hiking trail or while skiing down a beautiful slope?


Traveling contributes to relieving stress and depression and improving your overall outlook on life. According to a 2013 study with people between the ages of 25 and 70, 80% of the participants said that travel improves their general mood and outlook on life with 75% of the participants also saying that travel helps them reduce their stress. Research published in the Wisconsin Medical Journal found that among 1,500 women, those who took vacations more frequently reported less stress and depression. Recent research supports these findings. In a study published in January 2019 in the Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment, and Health, experts noted positive results among a group of 3,380 male and female workers between the ages of 45 and 52 and found that an additional 10 days of paid leave reduced the likelihood of depression by 29% for American women. “Travel can help with depression because it gets people out of their daily lives,” says Heidi McBain, a licensed marriage and family therapist in Flower Mound, Texas. “It can also be a wonderful reminder of our humanity, and seeing the pain of others in the world at large can be connecting Great when it comes to compassion for self and others.”


Other research suggests that even looking forward to a planned vacation may mitigate the effects of stress. Fifty-four workers completed surveys and wore heart rate monitors in the weeks leading up to and after vacation. The results indicated that they were less affected by stress in their daily lives the closer they got to their upcoming vacation, according to a study published in August 2020 in the journal Psychology & Health. “The stress-relieving effects of a well-timed vacation may be due in part to how it increases your connection to the present moment, which means that travel can share similarities with the practice of mindfulness,” says Elizabeth Jarkin, PhD, a licensed therapist. Beach, Florida Individuals with stress often have a lot on their minds and are unable to connect with the present. But when people travel they are in a completely new environment that is out of the ordinary, and this can lead them to be more mindful, she says. What is going on around them and may lead to greater communication with the people around them, their surroundings and the moments in which they live.


3. Travel helps to satisfy the need for love and belonging:

Traveling with your loved ones helps you fulfill your needs for love and belonging. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs identifies love and belonging as basic human psychological needs. Sharing amazing travel adventures with loved ones helps strengthen your connection with them while intensifying feelings of love, belonging, and loyalty. Think of a family vacation on a beautiful island or a trip to eat all kinds of delicious food with your best friend.

– Travel contributes to the consolidation of the family relationship, as there is some research by the scientist “Laurie” that indicates that travel can bring you closer to each other: “Couples who travel together enjoy more satisfaction, experience better communication, and have long-term relationships, and it seems that this applies as well.” On friendships and families, more time spent on recreational activities that are easily accessible while traveling strengthens our relationships.” Researchers in the Wisconsin Journal of Medicine reported that women who took two or more vacations a year had a higher level of marital satisfaction compared to those who took vacation every two years or less. And couples who vacation together are more cohesive and resilient as a unit with lasting effects after they return home, note researchers after examining 112 couples for a study from December 2019 in the Journal of Travel Research.


4. Boost Motivation:

Boost your self-confidence because travel does not always swing in comfort and ease but can also mean navigating crowds in sweltering heat, getting lost, facing language barriers or culture shock all of which present an added challenge if you are prone to feeling frustrated or anxious. Claire and Laura from the travel company Twins found that dealing with the stress of traveling helped them cope in their daily lives. Traveling gives context to the smaller tasks in life that often feel overwhelming when you suffer from anxiety. For example, the exhilaration of getting off the plane after arriving on the other side of the world makes completing a short train ride achievable. Travel continues to keep our lives open and fulfilling which in turn improves mental health.


Travel changes perspective in every way. Even if you’ve received mental health treatment, you can still associate negative feelings or thoughts with places, situations, people, or even certain aspects of your usual routine. Another big reason why travel is good for your mental health is that it provides a change of perspective. You may need to disconnect from the things you see and do each day to see how much progress you’ve made or what you might need help with.





5. Helps Treat Insomnia:

– “Travelling can help improve your sleep health if you don’t sleep well,” Simeone says. This means that if you’re a restless sleeper at home, your sleep in a new country can be better. He also said, “One in three American adults does not get enough sleep.” Poor sleep hygiene has been linked to chronic conditions such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and depression. Getting away from your routine at home even on the weekends can help reset your sleep pattern by disrupting any habits that are negatively affecting your sleep quality. For example, Simeone says, many of us bring our smart devices to bed with us to take a last look at the backlit screen before we go to bed; Even a weekend just being in a different environment can help you relax enough to be able to fall asleep, stay asleep, and feel rested when you wake up.” This does not apply to the first night but to the nights that follow because often the first night is a little restless. This was discovered for the first time in sleep clinics, where researchers discovered a consistent “first night effect.”Other research has found that first night’s sleep quality is reduced even in an attractive environment.The source of these studies is the National Library of Medicine.


Paul Simeone, Ph.D., vice president and medical director of behavioral health with Lee Healt, says there is extensive research to support that positive travel experiences can make a person healthier, strengthen relationships, and benefit their overall well-being. This explains the title of our article and confirms that travel It has a positive effect on psychological and mental health in a large way. I hope the article was useful and you benefited from it.



Translated By: Nasser Al Turk

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