Dr Jack Bennett believes travelling can do wonders for mental health. By interrupting our habits and daily patterns, we can step outside of our lives and even outside of ourselves. We encounter new situations, new people and new ways of thinking that allow us to look at our own lives with new eyes.
The worries of everyday life (whether that be your boss, your weight, your family, your relationship problems or anything else that keeps you up at night) can seem less daunting outside of your usual routine. In life we tend to build walls around ourselves which restrict us or make us feel trapped. Travelling to new places can allow us to regain a sense of freedom and realise it is perfectly within our capabilities to change our lives if necessary.
Of course, it would be narrow-minded to assume mental health problems can be cured with a two week jaunt to the Med; things like depression and anxiety often follow us around and manifest even in brand new places and situations. However, escaping the roots of your problems even just for a little while, can give you time to collect yourself and take a breather from the pressure. A change in routine can help reframe belief patterns, distract from problems at home and help you break out of any destructive cycles.
Often, mental health treatment is all about managing the problem and learning to live as happily as possible with it. Travelling to new places offers a great way to take a break from any pressing responsibilities, allowing you to recharge and see things from a different perspective. There’s no doubt that our outside environment affects our internal environment, so ask yourself if you are happy where you live. If not, perhaps taking some time out to find a place you love will help you to improve your mental well-being.
If you think you might be suffering from a mental health problem, you can check our Types of Distress page for symptoms. You are always advised to visit a GP if you are concerned about your mental health.
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