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3 Ways Travelling Can Improve Your Mental Health

Time to satisfy your wanderlust.


Posted on 17 August 2019



"If we were meant to stay in one place, we would have roots instead of feet."

- Rachel Wolchin

We are always told not to run away from our problems. However, when the drag of the daily grind sets in, “running away” to foreign new places can sometimes be the cure that helps us feel alive again. In fact, science has proven that travelling can improve one’s mental health in many ways, which is why wellness retreats have become so popular with contemporary travellers. If you didn’t know already, here are the 3 major reasons why you should go on a holiday in the name of mental health!

1. It provides some much-needed stress relief.

Whether you’re a stay-at-home parent, a student or an employee, the hustle and bustle of daily life can make you feel like you’re living an unrelenting Groundhog Day -- where your story is simply stuck on repeat. *cue existential dread*

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Travelling provides an escape from the commitments of everyday life that contribute to our stress levels. Although the escape is usually a temporary one, there’s still new people to meet, new sights to see and new things to do along the way. This change of scenery is exactly what you need to release all that built-up tension, which helps you approach your usual work with a fresh mind and a pair of fresh eyes upon return.

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In other words, travelling is not always about seeing new places -- it’s also about escaping old ones… even just for a while. Hence, don’t overwork yourself and be sure to claim that annual leave! You can’t heal a tired mind by forcing it to pull through, just like how you can’t heal a broken leg by standing on it.

2. It broadens your perspective.

When you’re too accustomed to the clockwork drive of work, it’s easy to get stuck in your bubble where everything is viewed in a tunnel vision.

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That’s why you should take the opportunity to travel overseas when you can! Cross-cultural experiences have the ability to pull people out of their comfort zones and help them realize that the world isn’t so small after all.

By trying exotic foreign dishes or meeting new people with unique outlooks, we gain a wider perspective on the way things are and not how they should be. This realization prompts us to reflect on our own mindsets and the changes we can make in pursuit of self-improvement. In fact, a 2013 research found that travelling improves emotional stability and makes people less sensitive to day-to-day changes. By travelling, you learn to embrace the different, accepting that the world is diverse and colourful, which brings us to our next point...

3. It enhances your creativity.

Are you constantly stuck in a creative rut? Well, pack your bags and board the next plane/train to wherever, because the best ideas often come by surprise rather than by will. And there is actually a scientific explanation for this! Creativity is directly linked to neuroplasticity, or the brain’s ability to reorganise itself by forming new neural connections throughout its life. When you immerse yourself in foreign cultures and unfamiliar environments, the burst of new sensory information allows your brain to make new connections and pathways. This is why most people are more likely to get their Aha! moments while sightseeing during their vacation rather than doing this at the office desk:

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