The World Health Organization reports that over 300 million people suffer from depression worldwide, the leading cause of disability. If you’re one of them and can get motivated enough to do some travelling, you might just find that it helps ease your depression, getting that spark lit so you can enjoy life again, whether you choose a health resort or a more traditional escape.
Travel Instantly Removes Us from External Stressors
Travelling takes us away from our natural environment, and the external stressors that come with it. Getting a total change of scenery can provide a sense of relief that frees the mind, allowing one to tune in to what they really need. Director of the Center for Cultural Studies & Analysis Dr. Margaret J. King says that travelling relieves stress and improves overall well-being. She says it brings many psychological benefits from the change of venue to taking part in different activities that allow the mind and body to reset and de-stress.
It Gets You Up and Moving
One of the biggest challenges that come with depression is mustering up the motivation and/or energy to keep going. It can sometimes feel as if you’re wearing cement blocks on your feet. But travelling provides the inspiration we often need to make those cement blocks disintegrate as we move on from one attraction to the next, and perhaps meet a few inspirational people along the way. We can make that benefit even more significant by taking part in activities while travelling, like walking tours, hiking, swimming, paddling and so on. Both travelling and getting active help to get those feel-good hormones triggered to boost the mood and ease depression.
Meeting New People
Speaking of meeting new people, it can be a lot easier to do it when you’re away from home. Many people with depression suffer from social anxiety, but somehow when travelling it’s a lot easier to meet open, friendlier people to strike up conversations with. Meeting people from various walks of life can often bring out new beliefs, ideas and essential advice that you may never have received otherwise. And in the end, after you return home, those friendships carved from travelling can be a great reminder of good memories that help to battle depression later.
It Allows You to See the Bigger Picture
Oftentimes when we’re depressed, we tend to lose the bigger picture of our lives. We get caught up in the cyclone of day-to-day life without the opportunity to step back, take a breath and evaluate our problems. We can end up with a very skewed, negative view of the world. But travelling lets us see the bigger picture, putting our beliefs and thoughts into prospective and allowing us to think more clearly. When we’re outside of our normal environment, we’re forced to look at the world differently. The experiences we have when we travel can create an entirely new thought process that can go a long way in overcoming depression.