Travel Can Help You Cope with Mental Illness

“A person is but the product of their thoughts. What they think, they become.” – Mahatma Gandhi.

For years I have heard stories of people and friends travelling to see the world and to see a different perspective on life. Many people I know suffer from depression and anxiety from work, family life or the environment in general. Their mind seemed to shift when they travelled and explored other countries. I have seen people transform and become more open-minded after travelling to places.

Each of us has different experiences when travelling. Most good adventures often bring a good perspective. If you have experienced the worse parts of travelling, it could also bring fear. That is why adequate planning and prospecting are highly-advisable before travelling.

But how can travel benefit people from mental illness? 

  1. Travelling exposes you to new experiences. Travelling to new places and experiencing new cultures, cuisines, and activities can stimulate happy hormones like endorphins, serotonin, dopamine and oxytocin. These hormones help you balance your mood and promote feelings of well-being and reward. Hormones also help you overcome stress or discomfort and give you “feel good” emotions. Find the right experience to make you happy. Try something new or go somewhere you dreamed of.
  1. As mentioned above, hormones reduce stress. Stress reduction leads to a positive impact on mental health. A friend of mine broke up with his boyfriend of 8 years. A good exploration and fresh air helped her cope with the heartbreak and the pain.
  2. Travelling also helps you increase your self-awareness. It provides an opportunity for introspection and self-reflection, which can help you better understand your thoughts and feelings.
  3. Travelling can also help you improve your social connections. Travelling is an opportunity to meet people, make new friends and build social relationships outside your own. It will significantly benefit your mental health. Building these connections brings joy to travelling for as long as you meet people safely. Learn more about safely travelling in one of my features.
  4. Overcoming challenges during travel can help you increase your confidence and navigate unfamiliar environments. Building your self-confidence can also help you build your self-esteem.

Every day is a chance to learn, an opportunity to grow and a chance to find yourself. As a traveller, I have found peace in diverse situations and mostly when exploring the world. I don’t have to spend too much while travelling. I like to save money when I do. I want to feel comfortable without breaking the bank. You can learn more about saving money when travelling solo from my list. It is also imperative to understand the itinerary and have a fitting schedule.

If you want to learn how to save money and find the best travel destination for your goal, you may contact me to get guides and tips

Important note: It’s essential to note, however, that travelling is not a substitute for professional mental health care. If you have a mental illness, you must continue with any treatment plans prescribed by your healthcare provider and seek additional support while travelling.

David Mitchell once said, “Travel far enough, and you meet yourself.” So, don’t be afraid and go where your heart leads you. Love yourself more. You have one life to live. Make the most out of it.