The 11 psychological benefits of traveling
Who does not enjoy a good trip to a city he had never been to? Traveling is a great motivation, as well as a source of joy, reflection and self-discovery. Traveling allows us to explore new climates and cultures, immerse ourselves in them and stimulate our mind.
Obviously, there are other people who prefer monotony and be comfortable in their home. But the truth is that the rush for travel has been increasing in recent decades. Television, film and internet have opened a window to other parts of the world, unique places that call our attention. The fact that prices have been going down, allowing more people to move around the globe has also influenced this boom to travel.
Psychological benefits for travelers
There is an extensive scientific literature about the psychological and emotional benefits of good travel habits. Of course, some of these benefits may be quite intuitive, but It never hurts that science investigates and discovers the details that cause travel in our psyche .
Science has spoken
Without going any further, a study that was published in the Journal of Positive Psychology discovered that the feeling of happiness is in the record of memories and experiences relevant to us, and whose maximum expression is travel.
Other investigations point to a clear correlation between being a traveler and longevity. Although this could be due to a socioeconomic factor (and therefore would be a spurious correlation), it also seems to have detected something like a traveling gene. The fact of traveling to different places on the planet is not in itself a factor that explains a greater longevity, but it does seem clear the psychological benefits that the experiences acquired during the trips give us. These yes can improve our quality of life and, ultimately, lengthen the number of days we live .
All kinds of travel is positive
When researchers talk about travel, they are very clear about it: every type of trip is positive for the psychological health of those who do it. From nearby destinations to trips to hidden and exotic places, all trips can be a great source of emotional well-being . It is not necessary to go very far, spend a lot of money, or practice any specific activity: all trips "add up".
However, and as is logical, there are trips that report much more interesting experiences than others. Anyway, all the experiences that we live away from home can be very positive to stimulate our mind. Each person has preferences regarding the adventures, and depends on many factors, such as personality, age and other variables.
Requirements for a trip to change our lives
Many people confess to their friends, assuring them that a trip they did literally changed their lives. It is true, sometimes trips destroy many of our thinking schemes and make us see beyond, opening us to new worlds and possibilities that we did not even contemplate before.
Some of the requirements for a trip to be a kind of 'reset' of our mind, are the following:
- The trip was made without company or together with a group of individuals unknown until then.
- AND The trip represented a challenge of a spiritual nature .
- The culture of the country or region that was visited was substantially different to the traveler's own culture.
- They were rather long trips , of more than 2 weeks.
If you have ever had an existential crisis, you may have noticed that sometimes we need a change in our daily dynamics. In this sense, traveling can help us recover our faith in ourselves and even overcome bad times.
The 11 psychological benefits of traveling
Surely there are many more than eleven, but in today's article we will list the 11 most important benefits of the good habit of traveling and knowing the world .
1. Reduce stress and anxiety
Stress is the pandemic of the nineteenth century in Western countries . The demands of work, the rush and the hectic pace of life cause us a latent discomfort that, sooner or later, manifests itself through stress pictures. We can not stop thinking about our obligations, at the meetings of tomorrow or in the labor uncertainty that haunts us, and we forget to enjoy the present and the small pleasures of life.
However, when we embark on a trip, we disconnect from all these daily anxieties and we focus on living the present , relaxing in the pool, visiting paradisiacal beaches, moving us with the beauty of the scenery ... We focus on the moment and we are not waiting for any meeting or to comply with the work routines.To learn more: "10 essential tips to reduce stress"
2. Power your ability to solve problems
During a trip, we force ourselves to leave our comfort zone and we have to face certain situations and contexts that require greater involvement. You will live certain experiences in which you will have to make decisions and solve problems .
It is likely that you get lost in the streets that you do not know, that you go with the right time to the places and that you must communicate with natives who do not speak your language. In summary, throughout the odyssey you will have to solve several problems and complicated situations that will arise, and this will help you improve this capacity.
3. Increase your communication and social skills
If you've always wanted to meet new people and make friends, you must bear in mind that traveling gives you the best opportunity to connect with other people . Being in an unknown place, it is very likely that you will be encouraged to talk with people and thus develop your social skills.
Do not worry if during the first days it costs you a bit to address people you meet along the way. Once the stage environment has been overcome, you will surely be able to meet exceptional people who will make your experience meaningful. Until you can make friends and come back after a while to visit them , or you receive them in your own home.Recommended article: "Guide to meet new people: sites, skills and advice"
4. Open your mind and expand your horizons
Traveling is the best solution to get rid of stereotypes and prejudices. In fact, you often hear that "traveling is the best cure against racism." Prejudice makes us feel suspicious of people for irrational reasons , and they take us away from the possibility of connecting with new people.
When we are expedition to a new culture, we will realize that some of these thoughts were not well founded . We will discover people and new customs that deserve our appreciation, helping us to open our mind and to relate in a more friendly way with all kinds of people.
5. Encourages self-discovery
Taking an exciting trip is the best way to get to know yourself. We temporarily abandoned our daily context and visited a totally different environment, which can help us take perspective on who we are and what we want in life .
In addition, traveling can give us a new vital focus, discovering things we did not know we liked.
6. It makes you happier
The experiences we experience during trips make us secrete different happiness hormones, such as endorphins. When we are away from home we forget the worries and labor and family obligations. During a trip we carry out activities that we like and that promote that we relate with other people .
All this plays in favor of our psychological well-being.
7. It keeps you away from fear and insecurities
Fear is a sensation that paralyzes us. And, as many experts say, the best way to overcome fears is to confront them. Once we become aware that fears are only in our head, little by little we relativize and banish them .
Surely, before embarking on a trip to a distant and unknown destination, you have fears and insecurities such as: "Am I going to feel alone?" And even, depending on the destination you choose, you may feel that you risk being robbed on the street or not being able to understand people if you have any problems.
The reality is that exposing ourselves to fears is the best way to overcome them . Many people have gone on a trip before and only a minority has experienced something serious. Give yourself the opportunity to know a new culture and overcome your insecurities.
8. It makes you rethink many things
Spending time away from home can expand your way of seeing things and life in general. Your priorities may change, henceforth you give less importance to material things and values plus other things you did not value before.
9. Encourage you to be more empathetic
Change context and immerse yourself in a new city and a culture hitherto unknown offers you the possibility to relativize your daily problems and put yourself in the shoes of other people that, perhaps, have a life much more complicated than yours.
This can encourage you to be more empathetic and to be able to value that other people may have different value systems.
10. You learn constantly
Live unique experiences in different environments to which we are accustomed they provide us with learning and knowledge that improve us as people . It gives us another insight into things, about relationships, about religion, about the way different cultures deal with life.
In addition, the habit of traveling provides us with the tools so that we can question our day to day, and our most ingrained values. Knowing new things strengthens us skills and abilities that we had latent , and develops our critical spirit.
11. Develop your vision of things and expand horizons
Travel and get to know new countries and cultures broadens our vision of society . It makes us more respectful and flexible, since we learn to value the needs and thought patterns of the people we know.