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The Benefits of Travel and Vacations for Mental Health

Summer is the prime time for taking a vacation, but this annual tradition does a lot more than just add new memories to your photo album. In fact, taking a trip is one of the best things you can do for your mental health, something that is often neglected in our daily routines.

Numerous research studies have proven what we already know – that vacations make us happier, healthier, and more satisfied with life. If you need a little convincing that now is a good time to start planning a getaway, read on to learn about the mental health benefits of travel.

Photo credit: Mark Fischer via Flickr

Travel and Getting Out of a Rut

Practically everyone experiences the feeling of being stuck in a rut from time to time, whether it’s related to a career, relationship, or where you live. Travel offers a break from routine and allows the mind to expand and soak up new experiences. Chances are that you’ll feel more refreshed, rejuvenated, and ready to tackle whatever comes your way when you get back home.

Travel and Stress Relief

Admittedly, travel planning isn’t always a stress-free endeavor, as flight delays, lost luggage, and taking wrong turns can be incredibly frustrating. But after those hassles, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment that you moved past the obstacles and came out successful on the other side. Vacations take your mind away from daily stresses that wear you down and help you gain perspective on the things that stress you out. And since stress is one of the most common triggers of physical illness, taking a trip can offer substantial benefits for both mental and physical health.

Photo credit: Nick Kenrick via Flickr

Travel and Creativity

You don’t have to be a professional artist to crave creativity in your daily life and come up with new ideas and methods to make yourself happier. It can be very difficult to tap into your creativity side when you see and do the same things every day. But when you travel, your mind is engaged and active in new ways, allowing you to become more open-minded and rethink your outlook on life. While traveling, do your best to be observant and soak up the cultures and senses that surround you to fuel your creative side for later use.

Travel and Relationship-Building

Vacations also offer a wonderful opportunity to bond with friends and family members in new and exciting ways. Travel presents you and your companions with new challenges, but also new experiences that you can share and always remember enjoying together. Solo travel also offers relationship-building benefits because it encourages you to get out of your comfort zone to meet and get to know new people in different places.

Photo credit: Scott Jennings via Flickr

Travel and Personality Development

If you’ve been looking to grow and develop as an individual, then perhaps a summer vacation is exactly what you need. Travel has the power to strengthen the openness and resilience components of your personality and help you adapt better to emotional challenges that you encounter in daily life. By taking you outside of routine and your comfort zone, this is a great way to boost your social skills, become more emotionally stable, and feel more independent and confident in your own abilities.

Many people think of vacations as a short-term fix or a distraction that will soon be over and replaced by familiar stresses and negativity. However, these are the types of benefits that can have a long-lasting impact if you are self-aware and committed to improving yourself for better mental health every day of the year.

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