Last updated on March 3rd, 2021 at 08:12 pm
Chances are you’re reading this because you struggle with anxiety and/or depression.
Or maybe you’re just curious how traveling could fix such a thing.
I’m a firm believer that you CAN cope with these issues and possibly eliminate them from your life. You just have to find health solutions that allow you to combat these negative feelings.
Easier said than done, right?
Traveling saved my life! When I began seeing the world I suffered heavily from anxiety: anxiety attacks, stomach pains, overeating, etc.
Stressed consume me so much it took a toll on me physically.
My mental state was crippling; I saw no way out.
This is until I began traveling.
In 2016 I took my first solo trip, and it drastically improved my life. Travel allowed me solitude and taught me much about mindfulness.
I hope it can be a healthy outlet for you too!
So, if you are struggling like I was – here are 6 ways that traveling can combat anxiety/depression:
Feeling like you matter.
When you’re in an episode of depression, it’s easy to question your existence. More times than not, the negative thoughts ruminate in your mind. Not only does this produce illogical conclusions, but invalidates the essence of you.
My mental state changed when going out the country because I saw how fascinated people were with me. If you’re in a homogenous country most strangers will embrace you in a way, you never felt before. They want to get to know you and they see your difference, yet still accept you.
The love is genuine.
Care and Worry Free.
Anxiety comes in many forms: worrying, overthinking, self sabotage, and living in the future. Although travel can bring worries, it helps eradicate stress more. In life ish happens but the fact that you are somewhere else can be less worrisome.
Shift in perspective.
Depression has a way of belittling you, while magnifying your problems. However, traveling can shift that perspective. The world’s bigness is symbolic of all the opportunities you have.
But I get it, negative situations can make you ruminate.
In this journey of life, you are not as alone as you think. Being able to connect with people of various cultures will show you how connected we all are.
Take time out to embrace these moments and journey for what it is, and it will shift your mind to a state of gratitude.
Mindfulness and Gratitude.
It’s hard to embrace these moments initially. You must train your mind to stop and use your senses to receive all that’s around you. That means acknowledging what you can hear, smell, see, and touch. If you suffer from anxiety, it is often hard to live in the moment, but being in a new place will help you be intentional. Many times, you have no other choice BUT to be in the present.
All those things you were worrying about will be forgotten like, when you’re riding on a scooter with a new friend. I live for stuff like this.
Shown so much love.
Feel unloved? Travel connects individuals from all walks of life, whether that’s meeting locals or travelers from other countries. What’s dope about travel is the plethora of communities out there.
If you enjoy solo travel or want to meet others, it’s good to connect. That has made me feel like I’m not alone on this journey called life. You can find a tribe that’ll make you feel loved.
I’m a part of various communities on Facebook such as Go For The Culture, Blackpackers In Southeast Asia, and Nomad•ness. When you travel solo and stay in Hostels, there is the chance to meet people.
Also, most people adore meeting foreigners .
Take Ownership of Anxiety.
Anxiety makes me want to plan things out, so I use it in my favor. Traveling gives me the freedom to plan my trips out by doing research on what activities to do there.
But once I get to a place, I practice mindfulness by letting go and learning to go with the flow. There will be times where things don’t go as planned—embrace it! My best memories were from spontaneity.
Overall, this journey has been filled with liberation; I’ve gotten the chance to discover who I am.
Travel has a way of showing you the world is magnificent and so are you!
Your feelings are valid, but there is an opportunity to feel better and take charge of your life. With your connectedness to this world, you can see that you deserve to be carefree.
It’s time to travel and combating your depression + anxiety!
Has travel improved your mental health? Comment below.