Travel Impacts Depression: 5 Wonderful Ways to Boost Mental Health

Last modified: August 2, 2019

Richard Honaker M.D.
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Are you battling with depression? Book your tickets for travel, because travel could be just what the doctor ordered. Here’s 5 wonderful ways to boost your mental health!

Clinical depression is more than just feeling sad and unhappy. There is no switch that you can just flip to make everything stop. Living with depression actually requires day-to-day mental health management and is unique to each person.

It is very important to understand your own depression so you can receive the correct treatment needed to support you through your mental health journey.

“More happy hormones mean that you will feel less pain and starve off depression,” Positive Health Wellness explains. “If you do suffer from depression, you may find that you limit the relapses that you have.” Overcoming depression through travel is possible according to plenty of people suffering from depression.

They have mentioned that encountering different situations, people, and experiences through travel allowed them to either overcome depression or help cope with their depression in a natural way.

The feel good chemicals, endorphins and oxytocin, are released in many ways through the different experiences that you encounter through travel. The different experiences that you encounter through travel boost your mood and even improve your outlook in life.

A recently conducted survey found that travel gives a mood boost for people, whether it’s just a quick vacation or a much longer trip.

Here are some of the more specific reasons on how travel helps in coping with depression, boost your mood and energy, and aids in better mental health management.

Travel Impacts Depression: 5 Wonderful Ways to Boost Mental Health

1. Travel Opens Up Unique Situations

People suffering from depression tend to feel isolated and alienated from others and these feelings cause sufferers to indulge in negative thoughts and beliefs that cut them off from external environments that can help them overcome those feelings.

Travel opens you up to situations that would require you to pay attention to everything that’s happening around you. Your brain will get an instant boost and think in different ways to solve problems that you don’t usually face in your daily life.

You also open up to encountering new friends, and different circumstances that will distract you from dwelling too much. Distraction is not a cure for depression, but as time goes by your brain will get used to not concentrating so much about your inner thoughts and will eventually allow you to see things differently.

You’ll get to see things through different perspectives, which will be very good for your mental health. 

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2. Travel Shows You What is Possible

Depression can lead to thoughts of low self-worth and even create negative beliefs that can cause you to think you are incapable of doing a lot of things. It can cloud your from seeing your true potential.

Travel teaches you ways that no other experiences can, it shows you that most of what you think is impossible is actually possible. Travel also creates inspiration that can help alter your perceptions of yourself and those around you.

You also have the freedom to eat what you want, see what you want, and do anything that you want to do. These are some of the things that sometimes depression doesn’t allow you to think about in your daily life.

These experiences will give you an immediate boost in endorphins and oxytocin, which can only be very good for your mental health.

Travel Impacts Depression: 5 Wonderful Ways to Boost Mental Health

3. Getting Out and Meeting People Helps Cope with Depression

Depression is usually accompanied by social anxiety or anti-social tendencies. Meeting new people could be something that you would avoid and you may even have troubles connecting with others.

It may be difficult to meet new people at home, but while traveling, you are more likely to meet open and friendlier people who are easier to strike up conversations with. Travel creates a common bond between fellow travellers because most of you share similar experiences.

These will definitely help boost your happy chemicals in your brain. Also, friendships that you’ve had during your travels can be a consistent reminder of your positive memories which may help you contain your depression even when you are already at home.

It can even improve your outlook in life. It’s another win for your mental health.

4. Your Travels Help You See the Big Picture

You usually lose the ability to see the bigger picture of your lives whenever depression hits. Sometimes depression can cause you to have an outlook in life that involves a skewed view of the world.

Travel allows you to see the bigger picture. It helps you put certain thoughts and beliefs in perspective and assess the way we think more directly. You are practically forced to literally see the world from different eyes when you take yourself out of your usual environment.

The accumulation of all your experiences through your travels can possibly create a whole new thought process that can help you overcome depression. Your mental health will thank you for providing the boost that it needs.

Travel Impacts Depression: 5 Wonderful Ways to Boost Mental Health

5. The World Can Be A Natural Anti-Depressant

The beauty and wonders of Nature itself can elicit a sense of awe from travellers. It’s that sense that you don’t notice when you’re seeing the same places and people every day at home.

This sense of awe has a big effect on a person’s well-being and happiness, which you will have in abundance whenever you travel to different cities or countries. Instant boost to your happiness is almost guaranteed, which can be very good to your mental health.

Being at one with nature may sound a bit spiritual and mystical, but research has actually found that it’s a real and effective way of defeating depression.

Travel creates a whole lot of different opportunities that will help you be exposed to more of what the world has to offer to help boost your mental health. Start planning your vacation now.

Some also say that even the planning makes people already happier because of the anticipation. Even the beginning of the phase already gives you a happy boost think how much more your mental health will get from its entirety.

Dr. Kamran Kizilbash Bio: I am a board certified Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist with a strong clinical background related to 16 years experience in a variety of treatment settings, ranging from hospitals and community based clinics. I am a hard worker with an excellent track record of providing services to children, adolescents, as well as adults.

Submitted by Dr. Richard Honaker:

Disclaimer: This article provides general information and is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease or medical condition. If you require specific advice, please consult one of our medical professionals through the app. However, in case of an emergency, please call 911.

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