Depression is becoming more and more omnipresent these days. The reason varies from hormonal imbalance to unhealthy lifestyle, poor eating habits, increasing ng competition and pressure, etc. A lot of people are now relying on therapists and anti-depressants to cure depression. While this definitely helps, did you know that travelling is an effective aid for depression?
Here are a few staunch ways travelling can help easing depression.
1. Wider perspective
Travelling opens the mind to new possibilities and gives a fresh perspective to the mundane. A traveller sees the his/ her destination with fresh eyes; it is a first for him/her or if not he would have visited it after a period of time. Hence, the way he/she looks at it is different from how the locals see the same thing. He or she will naturally form an opinion about it. This means that his/her mind has worked in a way it hasn’t done before. Thus, the scope of the mind widens and can accommodate wider perspectives.
Working of the mind in fresh, innovate ways activates certain hormones that can relieve depression. It also diverts a person from his problems and directs the mind to function differently.
2. The bigger picture
Travelling makes one realize that the world is massive. Each spot of the world is different from another, each place has a different culture, different cuisine and different geography. This realization makes one look at the world as whole and makes one feel that his/her problems are merely a dot in the wide world. Each person is going through something of his own. He/she isn’t alone.
This awareness again diverts the depressed, while making him/more more aware about himself/herself and the functioning of life. Understanding and knowledge instills a sense of pride and security, which can overlap the negatives.
A traveller comes across thousands of new faces. Interactions with other travellers opens his/her mind to new stories, new possibilities and gives exposure and inspiration. Interactions with locals increases awareness. Even if he/she chooses not to interact, observing others living their routine becomes motivational in some or the other way.
Stories are a great way to sharpen the mind because they involve a great deal of imagination. Inspirational observations or interactions can rewire the brain to produce happy hormones.
4. Sensory pleasures
Travelling introduces the traveller to appealing visuals, soothing sounds, new cuisines, aromas and fragrances of nature and different weather. Sensory satisfaction sends positive signals to the brain and directs it towards positive thinking.
The positive signals received by the brain rewire it to produce positive vibrations which can make a sad person smile. Such is the power of the mind.
5. Taking control of one’s own life
A traveller (specially a solo traveller) has to take his/her own decisions. This empowers him/her and rebuilds his/her self confidence. He/she learns to take responsibility of his life and regains the power to build life the way he/she wants.
This empowerment can make the traveller realize his/her self worth and the will to make his/her life better.
Travelling has proven itself as a natural anti-depressant with a lot of inspirational stories revolving around it. Having said that, each one’s coping mechanism is different. While travelling can help, we recommend you to consult a therapist in case of severe symptoms.