4 Ways Travelling Impacts Your Mental Health

Do you have a tendency to hold your feelings in? Me too.

Mental health isn’t really discussed in the black community as much as it should be, which probably contributes to how we deal with our emotions. But come on, with all of the daily micro aggressions we have to face, along with work and social-induced stress, don’t you think that it’s time we actually think of ways to care for ourselves?

Our mental health is too important to sweep under the rug!

That’s why the beauty of travel is so important: it allows you to disconnect and spend time on you. You enable yourself to go on a journey of self-discovery, which can improve your life back home too. Here are four amazing ways how travelling changes your life for the better:

You Discover Who You Are

Travelling opens your mind to new things that you might not consider in your hometown. Sometimes we get stuck in a routine that is no longer challenging for us and it sucks. So whether it’s a new interest or a new skill, being in a new environment can prompt the best change by allowing you to have an open mind and change your perspective.

That requires you to actively try to be more open-minded though. The more open you are to living outside of your comfort zone, the higher chance of you saying “yes!” to interesting opportunities. Exploring these new experiences will ultimately shape you as a person and improve your personal development. Realising your full potential can have a great affect on your mental health, and sometimes all you need is a little getaway to understand that.

Travelling alleviates stress

Have you ever felt like you’ve just been pushed to your max? Where is seems like everything and everyone is trying you and you think:

A vacation is a much-needed break for you to cool off and assess the situations with a clear mind. Being stuck in overwhelmingly negative environments is incredibly detrimental to your physical health too, so there is an urgency in evaluating your situations quickly. Travel will help.

Even if you can’t travel internationally, make travelling regularly a priority. Sneak in a quick break over the weekend, or explore a new part of your city. Seeing something completely different to your daily routine resets your mind and body, which can lower your stress levels. If you’ve travelled before, you’ll know that these effects don’t disappear the moment you get home either. So, your issues probably won’t seem as serious as they did before – can I get an amen?

You become more adaptable

Travelling throws a lot of curveballs at you that makes you question your ability to handle challenging events. Your itinerary won’t stick to plan. The attraction you’ve always wanted to visit? It may have closed down. Your passport may get stolen. But as I said in my first point, these times bring out the greatest change in you as you begin to realise that you can’t be in control of everything.

Once you’ve understood this, you’ll start to adapt and roll with whatever is happening. Your newfound resilience might even shock you… Hell, you might even like it. Just make sure to embrace the change, adapt and grow. It is during this process that life really happens!

You foster new connections and strengthen old ones

Meeting new people is always a positive experience, and travelling gives you the opportunity to meet individuals that you otherwise would never come across. In a lot of situations, the things causing us so much pain stem from the people in our lives (or lack of), so sharing social connections with new people can be beneficial to your mental health. Stressful topics are often avoided in new friendships, so you will constantly be forced to have extremely positive conversations, which may just affect how you talk with people back home.

What’s better is that the more connections you have with others, the easier it is to identify what traits from others may not be compatible with you. If social issues seem to be the cause of your stress, this could help you establish who has a positive impact on your life.

If you tend to travel with other people, travelling can also help you strengthen bonds with those you know already. Sharing an experience together in a positive environment will bring out the best in both of you, deepen your relationship and create some dope memories that you’ll both remember.

Changing your surroundings is far more therapeutic than you may realise. So venture out in the world, go back home feeling fresh and be ready to take on the world again. But please do remember: your mental health matters. Life can be hard and exhausting, but you only get one.

How has travelling impacted your mental health?

Featured image photo credit: movewithdoyin.com

Kirsten Lawrence

Kirstin "Kay" Lawrence is a travel blogger based in Atlanta, Georgia. She has been travelling for as long as she can remember. Her favourite places to date is Turks & Caicos, with Barbados coming in at a very close second. She is a self-proclaimed island lover. Make sure to check out her blog, or her Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat: @kornertokorner.