Depression is not black or white nor is it simply a feeling of being sad and unhappy. It’s not something that you will snap out of, nor will it completely disappear when you wake up one morning. Living with depression requires consistent management and effects each person differently. However, there are ways to overcome depression naturally.
Understanding your own depression is vital to knowing how to manage it by finding the needed support through your journey. And the method one person uses might not be effective for another. This is why it’s important to seek out alternative ways to not only change the way we look at our depression, but also to encourage us to be open for different experiences that will help towards controlling depression in an effective way. This will gradually increase our energy and clarity to move forward in a positive way strengthening our drive to remain healthy.
Hormones are released when you travel
Although no scientific research has been made into the connection of travel curing depression, many people suffering from depression have come forward about how through their travels and encountering different people, situations and experiences has helped them in overcoming it naturally.
Endorphins and oxytocin play a major role in the chemistry of our brain and the way our mood affects the way we perceive ideas, thoughts and beliefs. Through traveling, endorphins and oxytocin are released in countless ways through different experiences we encounter. And with travel, our brain is forced to use these hormones to improve our mood and outlook on life itself.
A survey from Priceline.com found that traveling is the number one mood booster saying that “More than half of Americans say travel improves their mood even more than exercising or shopping.” That is monumental, considering how much shopping boosts our mood, right ladies?! Vacations and longer trips prove to fill that travel "sweet spot", whether it’s to spend time with family and friends or to just get away and rest up. It's really of no surprise, everyone needs a break and time to recover or heal.
Traveling Presents Unique Situations
Depression can take form in many ways but when you suffer from depression, you can have a tendency to isolate and alienate yourself from others. And this usually causes you to indulge in negative thinking and beliefs that can cut you off from external environments that might potentially help you get through these challenging bouts.
Traveling puts you in the middle of situations forcing you to see what is happening around you and causes your brain to problem solve in different ways that you wouldn’t necessarily face in everyday life and especially NOT from your isolated bedroom. You also become exposed to new people and different stimuli that steers you away from focusing too much on your emotions.
Distraction isn’t an instant cure for depression. But, it will cause you to concentrate less on your inner thoughts allowing you to perceive things differently. Creating new positive memories will absolutely drive out the negative thinking!
Traveling Increases Self-worth
Depression leads to thoughts of low self-worth creating a negative belief convincing us that we are incapable of A LOT of things. It will prevent us from seeing our true-self and our full potential. However, traveling educates us in ways that no other experiences can, showing us that we are in actuality very capable of many things. This creates a kind of inspiration that alters our perception of our self and others around us.
Meeting people who have made life choices based on what they want, rather than what society expects, encourages us to also choose to think this way. Traveling affords you the freedom to eat what you want, see what you want and do anything that you want to do, which depression prevents you from in everyday life.
Meeting People Helps Overcome Depression
Depression brings with it social anxiety or anti-social tendencies. When at home, in your everyday environment meeting new people can be hard. But when traveling, you are more likely to meet open, friendlier people that are more prone to conversation. Traveling creates a common bond between fellow travelers because the majority are sharing similar experiences.
Meeting people from different cultures and all walks of life opens up your mind to ideas and gives you an understanding that you would not have had if you stay at home. In the long-run, friendships gathered from your travels serves as a constant reminder of the positive memories helping to drive out the depression once you’re back home.
Traveling Shows Us the Bigger Picture
When depression hits, the big picture of our lives is shrunk down to sometimes almost nothing. When we’re bogged down in everyday life and problems, it prevents us from accessing problems properly. Depression causes us to have a skewed view of the world creating a grim outlook on life.
Traveling allows us to see the bigger picture. It helps us put thoughts and views into perspective, allowing us to make clearer assessments. When we take ourselves out of our usual environment, our eyes are forced to see the world through a different lens. The accumulation of experiences gained through traveling can create a whole new thought process aiding us in overcoming depression.
Creation is a Natural Anti-Depressant
Never underestimate the vast beauty and wonder that this Earth provides and its effect on us as human beings! Traveling creates a sense of awe that we don’t necessarily get the chance to experience when we’re seeing the same places and same people everyday at home.
The awe has a massive affect on our well-being and happiness when traveling to different cities and countries. Whether it’s diving in the waters of Ko Phi Phi, Thailand or trekking through the forests of Bavaria, nature has a very strong and calming effect on us. A study in the UK reported by BBC says, “Intuitively we knew that nature was good for us as humans, but the results were beyond brilliant .” Traveling creates immense opportunities that help expose us to more of what God's creation has to offer us mentally and spiritually.
You might be thinking that traveling is not for me. Or that it costs too much to go somewhere new or exotic. You might be a workaholic that instead of taking advantage of your vacation time at work, you opt to have your company pay out. But if you are depressed or have anxiety, travel can be a part of the solution. It was for me!
I have suffered under depression for my entire life. And there has been several times that it actually knocked me out. However, the more I fight against it and find new ways to change my life and my thinking, the less often it comes at me. Travel has absolutely been a huge catalyst in this process! I wouldn't stop seeing new places and meeting new people for anything! It has become such an important part of our lives, that the financial outlook of life in general has been altered, prompting us to trade in material things for the experiences. It has not only changed my life but David's too. And it can change yours!
"Keep moving forward."- Pawn
If you battle with depression, why don't you give it a try? There are many places you can vacation in that won't cost you a lot but the reward is great, such as Thailand...you can read my blog about it here.
...And if you need tips as to how to save up for that much needed getaway, I have put together a guide of 50 EASY ways to get your dream vacation while saving a ton of money!
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With Love and Blessings,
Robin and David
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