From a therapeutic perspective, travelling can be amazing for your mental health when done frequently enough and mindfully.
Meaning that you’re not just booking a holiday out of being stressed because of work but rather planning your entire year around that time away as opposed to around your work. You see, this is where your values come into play. What’s most important to you? If It is indeed health, you can’t just burn yourself to the ground before you actually take time for yourself. When travelling, you are sometimes put out of your comfort zone (foreign language, different culture etc…), and so you often have to adapt to those differences. This challenge strengthens the ‘openness’ dimension of your personality, according to a 2013 paper by Zimmerman. The paper adds that this adaptation makes you less emotionally reactive to day-to-day changes, improving emotional stability. Changing scene and meeting new people can also help with agreeableness, depending on the size of your existing social network. As a mindset coach, I work with a lot of people struggling to find time for themselves and reconnect. Which is why I started organising retreats aiming to give the people that come to see me the confidence to take back control so they can live to the fullest. Which allows them to re-set, re-focus and re-energise.
In order to understand better the benefits of travelling on your mental health, let’s explore these 5 points below.
Run away from the grey busy city
The sun really does have an effect on our mood and emotional well-being. Research shows that too little exposure to sunlight can lead to so-called seasonal affective disorder (SAD) – a type of winter depression.
If you allow yourself regular intervals of sun and warmth, you’ll be able to appreciate time and self care much more thus improving motivation and focus. The clean air you breathe will also help to re-boot your immune system which in turn helps you to feel physically and emotionally healthier.
Sail away from the routine
People are at their happiest when they have a holiday planned, a study by the University of Surrey found. They also tend to be more positive about their health, financial situation and general quality of life.
Being able to reset from your everyday life is absolutely essential. By having less to do, you are able to consider your life more. By considering more, you are able to appreciate your family, friends and work (as it’s essentially enabled you to do the trip) and also understand your needs better.
Peace and quiet
When you feel like you are stuck in a rut, escaping your daily life by taking a holiday or even having just a change of scenery by travelling a couple of hours away from your home, can work wonders. It has been scientifically proven that a number of health benefits can be found when travelling.
More often than not, it doesn’t matter how many yoga classes you attend, how serious you are about meditation, you still need to literally find more quiet. Being away from every usual distraction in your life can make your relaxation practices all the more powerful.
Let go of the stress
“With a short list of activities each day, freed up from the complexities of ongoing projects and relationships, the mind can reset, as does the body, with stress relief the main outcome.” Says Margaret J King of the Center for Cultural Studies and Analysis about the stress-relieving abilities of travel. And I couldn’t agree more.
We’ve all heard at least once how important it is to manage stress. We simply can’t avoid it in our lives anymore whether it is affected by things in our control or not. Which means we will inevitably falter in some way whether through mental or physical disorders. Travel can be your best asset to guarantee stress relief.
The best time to re-evaluate your goals
You may already be working towards specific goals or you may want to set some new ones. By being ‘away from it all’, it is easier to be in touch with the creative focus you need to understand fully your goals and create a tangible plan of action for when you get home.
So go ahead, take your time to really re-evaluate your goals, check-in with yourself on what you’re doing well and what may need a bit more work and planning. It gives you the time to be creative, thinking more freely without having to default into ‘sensible thinking.’ Being away enables you to dream and envision the life that you want for yourself.
And if you need more information about how to use travel as therapy, how to change your mindset, or my upcoming retreat in Malaga, Spain on 4th-9th September 2019, you can always contact me through my website.
Frankly Unstoppable Retreat
Puja K McClymont is a Certified, highly effective NLP Life, Business & Mindset Coach in London. Coaching busy people to do less and be more. Helping clients manage the stresses of daily life so that they can clarify and achieve their life goals through mindfulness-based coaching. Puja K McClymont offers open and honest coaching and mentoring in partnership with clients, identifying the situation, going deep into reasons for being stuck, and finding solutions to help them manage the daily challenges and stresses of life, clarify and reach their life goals. Puja’s coaching and mentoring style is kind, real, authentic and challenging, helping clients find confidence and get more control of their lives. www.FranklyCoaching.com