Can Travel Change Your State Of Mind & Improve Mental Health?
Friends, take note. If life feels a little stale right now and your creative juices are slowly diminishing, international travel could be the answer. Take it from a collective group of writers, thinkers, psychologists, and neuroscientists. Here’s how it can change your state of mind..
It changes your brain and fosters creativity
Studies conducted by psychologists have proven that travelling can, in fact change the brain. Taking on local experiences & immersing yourself in long-term travel can push you outside comfort zones, increase cognitive flexibility and help form deeper connections. “Multicultural engagement, immersion and adaptation are keys in giving your brain the creative boost it needs”, as described by Business school professor, Adam Galinsky.
If you’ve lived abroad, your mind has the ability to jump between different ideas faster, a key component of creativity. Not only that, creativity is gained by engaging with the local environment you’ve planted yourself in. Travelling to Asia only to party probably won’t make you anymore creative, but travelling to Asia to teach local kids English, may.
Your personality shifts – but for the better
In 2013, a large group of German college students took part in research exploring how travel influenced personality. One group sampled, studied abroad in another country, while the others remained in college. All participants were measured by the “Big Five” personality dimensions, from extraversion, agreeableness, openness to experience, conscientiousness, and emotional stability.
The results? Those who chose to study abroad scaled higher in extraversion (reflects a need to engage in social interactions) than those who did not, whilst others who did a one-semester trip generally were more conscientious (meaning preferred to follow rules and complete tasks). The rest who went on a full-year trip had a greater openness to experiences than those who did not travel.
You live beyond comfort zones
Living beyond our comfort zone is a good thing for our mental state. Adapting to new people and cultures allows travellers to gain a fresh perspective on life. The more we engage with new surroundings in different countries, the more open-minded we become. Emotional stability then improves and we become less reactive to the constant pressures of life. Piece of cake, right?
You’re generally a much happier human being
Psychologists & scientists have proven that you are at peak happiness when you’re travelling. Limiting materialistic possessions and experiencing new adventures is the key to unravelling true happiness it seems. Have you ever bought that shiny new tech toy, only to be bored of it in a month?
Start using that hard-earned cash on experiences instead. You’ll gain a stronger sense of self and identity in the process. Why would you spend your money on anything else?