Can Travel Help Your Depression and Anxiety?

It’s true! Travelling can alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety. In an interview with the American Journal of Psychiatry, researchers found that travel positively affected nearly two-thirds of people with depression or anxiety. Here are some of the reasons why.

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1. It helps you calm down

Travelling helps you relax and gives you a new perspective on things. You see the world through a different lens, which can help you be more positive. Additionally, seeing new things will help trigger your brain, which can help keep your mood up.

If you get overwhelmed while traveling, type “find a local therapist” into Google, choose the therapist or counselor you have the most confidence in, reach out to them, and ask for the next available opening. A good counselor or therapist will be willing to fit you in for a session.

2. You make new friends

Traveling can help you make new friends. No matter where you go, there will be people who share similar interests. This relationship can help soothe any loneliness that is a part of depression and anxiety. It can also assist with keeping the mood up. There’s nothing like having someone to talk to who gets it.

3. Provides a sense of adventure

Being in a new place can allow you to explore, try new things and step out of your comfort zone. Doing this can help to boost self-esteem, improve confidence and give you a sense of accomplishment.

4. It boosts your self-esteem

In many cases, tourists act as ambassadors for their country and culture. They hope to represent their country well and make other people interested in it. Doing this makes them feel good about themselves and confident about traveling to more places in the future.

With your self-esteem boosted, you will feel better about yourself. The extra confidence will also greatly reduce your depression and anxiety levels.

5. Promotes creativity

Travelling helps keep the brain alive. It keeps it working and flowing with new ideas. This creativity can help keep depression and anxiety from becoming stagnant.

Besides that, traveling can also be a great learning experience. It doesn’t matter if you’re young or old. There’s always something new to learn if you keep your eyes open.

6. Boosts physical health

Travelling can have a positive impact on physical health. Being in a new environment can expose you to new types of physical activity, such as hiking, swimming, or cycling. These activities can help to improve cardiovascular fitness, muscle tone, and overall mental health.

Additionally, being in a new place can encourage you to try new types of food, which can boost your nutrition and help to improve your mental and physical wellbeing.

7. Improves cognitive function

Travelling can be stimulating for the brain, as it exposes you to new experiences, cultures, and ways of life. This exposure can help to improve cognitive function, including problem-solving, memory, and creativity. Additionally, being in a new place can help reduce stress, consequently reducing depression and anxiety levels.

8. Increases gratitude

Travelling can increase gratitude by exposing you to new experiences. This experience can make you appreciate what you have and be thankful for what you take for granted. Additionally, being in a new place can help you appreciate the simple things in life, such as the beauty of nature and the kindness of strangers.

Essential elements you should consider when travelling

As mentioned earlier, traveling can be very exciting and fun. However, it can also be a lot of work if you don’t prepare yourself. Below are some key points that may help:

1. Avoid visiting crowded areas

It will help if you avoid big cities and crowded areas during your trip. You don’t want to be in a place where you feel uncomfortable or scared. Being in these kinds of environments can make your anxiety worse.

Additionally, consider the weather of the area you’re visiting. It’s best if it’s not too hot or cold.

2. Don’t do it all at once

Packing in as many activities as possible is not a good idea. You need to make sure that your brain gets a break. You also need to give yourself time to rest and relax.

If you pack in too much activity at once, it can take away from the enjoyment of being there and cause significant problems with depression and anxiety later on.

3. Try new things

There are many things to explore when you travel. Even if it’s just a drink of something different, try it! It can help promote your brain activity in ways that are good for your depression and anxiety.

What’s more, is that trying new things helps increase your self-confidence as well. You’ll feel better about yourself knowing that you did something out of the ordinary.

4. Be outdoors

It’s best to avoid being indoors for the entirety of your vacation. Why? Because doing this can make your depression and anxiety worse.

5. Carry your doctor’s contact info

You should always have your doctor’s contact information, along with their address and phone number. This way, in an emergency, you can get quick help. If you are going on a long trip, consider taking medicine with you as well.

6. Research the place

Do your research before leaving. Know what to expect and where the best places are to visit.

It is also best to learn more about the language, culture, transportation, and customs of the place you visit. Doing this will help you have a better experience, as well as help you avoid stressful situations that can lead to depression and anxiety.

7. Plan for downtime

Traveling can be a lot of fun, but it can also be tiring and stressful. Make sure to plan for some downtime to rest, relax and recharge. Doing this can help prevent burnout and ensure you enjoy your trip to the fullest.

Travel and depression

Traveling is a great way of keeping your depression and anxiety at bay. Just remember that it’s a process, and you need to stick with it. It will pay off in the long run, so give it a try!


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