Vacations can be great ways to see the world, soak up some culture and get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. But traveling can have benefits that last longer than a one- or two-week vacation.
Traveling can have a positive effect on personal health and well-being, as various studies point to how travel can boost one's state of mind and overall mood. The following are five ways that traveling can positively affect travelers' mood and health.
People are happiest when they have a trip coming up, according to researchers at the University of Surrey in the United Kingdom. A 2014 study from researchers at Cornell University confirms the findings, noting people get more happiness from anticipating a travel experience than from an object they can acquire.
The brain is influenced by new environments and experiences, which is the hallmark of travel. Researchers at the Columbia Business School found that travel can encourage people to embrace different ways of living and influence their outlook on life.
Travel is a great way to get away from obligations at home and at work, allowing the mind to reset without having to make decisions beyond figuring out which activities to do during the day or which foods to grab along the way. The mental wellness site Psych Central adds that vacations take people away from the places and activities that contribute to their stress levels.
Remembering pleasurable experiences from vacations when one returns home can be a positive behavioral intervention. Dr. Tamara McClintock Greenberg, a San Francisco-based clinical psychologist, says you can incorporate those feelings into daily life by recreating food or experiences at home.
Vacations can be full of swimming, walking, sightseeing, or participating in other fitness pursuits. According to the World Heart Federation, moderate exercise lowers risk of heart attack by 30 to 50 percent, suggesting that traveling is good for the mind and the body. Exercise also has been shown to combat depression and help reduce stress and anxiety.
Traveling can improve one's mental health and overall well-being. Making time to take vacations is an important component of staying healthy.