The Value of Travel on Your Mental Health
When coming back from a trip abroad, have you noticed that subtle change in who you are and what you feel comfortable doing for the first days to weeks?
Sure, those memories of lounging on the beach are pleasant to think back on, and you will always have the thoughts of sipping a drink watching the sunset.
But I want you to stop and think a little bit more outside the box.
Do you feel more confident in your daily actions? Perhaps willing to ask out that particular person you have been putting off for the last few years
Are you willing to step outside your usual boundaries? Something as small as sitting at the bar by yourself for dinner, not worrying about what others think of you.
It's almost as if travel has re-wired who you are, down to your core.
As a mental health advocate, I have spent countless hours going over the correlation between travelling and mental health. Seeing in my own daily actions post-travel, I've grown immensely as a human in multiple areas. Without travel, Never Alone wouldn't have been created to help those in the mental health community.
One of those areas of growth brought me onto the team of Monos Travel, allowing me to explore even more the overall value of travel on our culture.
Travel can mean so many things to different people worldwide, but I do believe there is value in travelling to benefit one's health and confidence as a whole. If you want to boil it down to specific action that you can grasp onto, think of it as purposefully pushing back against your comfort bubble that has been created over your life.
As our civilization ages, one thing has become quite evident. We create something to make our lives easier. The ability to do the least amount of work for the most significant return has propelled our society into areas of success we couldn't have imagined only ten years ago.
I am all for this. We were meant to grow and get better.
However, with more success and ease of everyday living, there is one drastic fallback ... We are the most comfortable we have ever been.
Comfort is good in some areas, but comfort over time hinders us in personal and mental health growth.
When you are comfortable, you spend less time in the presence of anxiety, stress, depression and the unknown. The less time you confront these areas, the harder it is to overcome them when they show up in your daily life.
Travel is the one area that I have found holds all of these in abundance, plus a thousand other joyous and happy actions.
Take, for instance, these common feelings when travelling...
When heading to the airport at the beginning stage of a long solo trip, the feeling of anxiety is intense compared to a short time later as the wheels leave the ground and a considerable weight leaves your chest.
Or as you are walking around a culture that speaks a different language than yours, taking in the new sites and sounds. However, you need to interact with some locals to buy something or get your next meal. The feelings of uncertainty with a deep desire to keep moving along can be intense at these times. However, after finally taking the courage to step into a shop and sit down with a meal in front of you, the sense of pride and accomplishment quickly wash away those fears you just felt.
Both of these examples are cases of pushing against your comfort zone, purposely stepping into areas of anxiety, stress and fear of the unknown.
We all need more interactions with these uncomfortable situations, but they are getting harder and harder to find at home.
So, where will you fly to next to push your comfort limits and come back a stronger person?
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