Depression is more than feeling unhappy or sad. It doesn’t disappear overnight, and contrary to popular belief, you can’t just, “snap out of it. Living with depression means managing it day-to-day and learning how it affects your life. Through understanding your depression, you learn how to treat it, what kind of support you need, and what is effective for you. Depression looks different for everyone, and so does treatment.
Treatment can come in many forms, including medicine, therapy, or even outpatient programs like the ones at clearrecoverycenter.com. Many people look for alternative methods to challenge the way they view depression and open up opportunities for different experiences. Alternative methods of treatment can lead to regaining energy, positivity, and a way to control depression.
While scientific research hasn’t connected the effect of travel on well-being, many people with depression have attested to the positive effects of new situations, which travel is prime for providing.
What Does Travel Do for the Mind?
Travel leads to new experiences and opportunities. It typically leads to an improved mood as well. The mind benefits from the production of oxytocin and endorphins. By traveling, the oxytocin and endorphins are released through the experiences encountered through on the journey.
Travel is shown to be a mood booster, providing the opportunity for recuperation and an escape from the humdrum of everyday life. How exactly does travel help with addressing depression?
One of the hallmarks of depression is the tendency to make people feel alienated and isolated from others. These tendencies make one dive into negative beliefs and thoughts. It can cause one to be cut off from the environments and opportunities to help battle those feelings of isolation.
Travel opens you to new situations that require attention and focus. The new stimuli and interactions keep you focused on solving new problems rather than focusing on negative feelings. Distraction isn’t a cure for depression, but it does allow you to change your perspective and alter what your mind focuses.
Shows You What Is Possible
Depression affects perceptions of self-worth and leads people to believe they are not capable of certain things. It shrouds people in negativity. Travel educates in a way other experiences can’t, showing us what is possible. It creates inspiration and changes perceptions. Travel involves a lot of freedom – choosing what to eat, where to go, and what to do. This autonomy battles the perception of what is possible when depression attempts to shroud it.
Depression tends to make people feel anxious in social settings or anti-social altogether. Travel involves meeting new people as people tend to be more open when traveling. Fellow travelers bond easily over the creation of new experiences. You can even engage in volunteer opportunities while traveling. Interacting with new people brings out new ideas, beliefs, and advice you may not have encountered before.
See the Big Picture
Depression narrows a person’s worldview by bogging them down in day-to-day worries. It is difficult to step back and really see the full scope of our issues. This creates a skewed view of the world. Travel opens up our minds by taking us out of our comfort zones and making us view the world through different eyes. The new thought process inspired by traveling creates new ways to overcome depression.
The World as an Anti-Depressant
Travel can inspire a sense of awe that is hard to notice when constantly seeing the same people and places in everyday life. Awe is a sense of wonder that increases well-being and happiness. Whether you are exploring the streets of London or trekking through the Swiss Alps, traveling has a strong effect on people. Addressing depression through travel is one way to help create new memories, thoughts, and feelings as you work to treat depression.