The idea that going on gulf coast expeditions can help you with mental health issues is not a new one. It’s been around for millennia. Ancient Greek and Roman philosophers believed that travel could help treat depression, and many modern therapists agree.
Some evidence suggests that simply being in nature can improve your mental health. A study published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology suggests that “nature" can be defined broadly enough to include urban parks and even cityscapes filled with greenery, such as New York City’s Central Park. The researchers found that their subjects felt less depressed after spending time in these environments than they did before spending time there.
Another study found similar results for people who lived in rural areas or had gulf coast outdoor expeditions—they experienced less depression after spending time in natural environments than before visiting those same places.
These findings show that we don’t need to go on gulf coast vacations in Alaska or even leave our city limits to improve our mental health; we just need to spend time outside in nature!
While traveling can be difficult, it can also be a great way to improve your mental health. If you’re struggling with depression or anxiety, here are some ways that travel can help:
1. Travel helps you keep perspective on life
When we’re traveling, we tend to encounter many different people who have very different views from us—which can cause us to reflect on our own lives and values. We might ask questions like, “Why am I so stressed out about this?" or “Why does this person think it’s okay for me to do this?" These questions can help us realize how our opinions may be limiting us from accomplishing our goals in life.
2. Travel encourages confidence
Traveling helps to build confidence in yourself and your abilities. Having the freedom to explore new places can give you a sense of accomplishment that can make you feel more empowered in other areas of your life.
3. Travel helps you meet new people
Traveling helps you meet new people and form new relationships with others. This can be especially helpful if you’ve been feeling lonely recently or if you don’t have many close friends where you live.
4. Travel helps you break from your daily routine
Traveling allows you to do something different from your daily routine at home. For example, if you always eat dinner at restaurants every night, traveling allows you to try cooking for yourself instead!
5. Travel drives you away from negativity
Traveling away from your everyday environment and routine is great for overcoming negative thoughts. It gives you a chance to see things in a new light, which helps break the cycle of negativity and encourages new perspectives on life.
6. Travel helps your mind get unstuck
When we’re stuck in one place (or one mindset), we tend to get stuck in our own heads. Traveling allows us to experience new places and meet new people, which forces us out of our own heads and into the world around us, where there’s more going on than just our own thoughts.
7. Travel gets you out of your comfort zone
It helps you get out of your comfort zone. Traveling opens you up to new experiences and opportunities that you’d never had before. You might get to meet new people, eat different foods, or explore an entirely new place. This can help you feel more open-minded and let go of some of the things that hold you back in life.
8. It helps you learn to adapt
When traveling, you must adapt to different cultures and situations. This teaches you how to be flexible in the face of change and uncertainty, which is an important skill for managing depression and anxiety.
9. It increases your self-efficacy
One of the hardest parts about having depression or anxiety is feeling like your life isn’t under your control—but when you’re traveling, everything is different! You have more agency over what happens next because no one else has as much control over it as you do.
10. It reminds you of who you are
When going through tough times, we easily lose sight of who we really are and what we value most in life. Travel helps bring those things back into focus. You may feel more connected with others or more connected to nature than ever before—and feeling those connections can help lift your spirits.
It is important to Prioritize For One’s Own Mental Health
Travelling is important in so many ways. Few things can beat the feeling of seeing new places and having new experiences, and travel can indeed bring out the best side of people. But when you’re traveling, it’s easy to forget to take care of yourself along the way.
This isn’t just about ensuring you’re eating well (although important) or getting enough sleep (also crucial). When traveling, it can be hard to remember to do something for yourself—something just for fun, relaxation, or even sanity. This is why it’s so important to prioritize your own mental health by traveling!
This doesn’t mean that every trip must be full of white-sand beaches, gulf coast hunting in Alaska, and champagne brunches at five-star hotels. Your “self-care" trip could include anything from going home for the holidays or taking a road trip across your state or country with friends or family members who make you feel good inside out. Many people believe that taking care of yourself while traveling means going somewhere you feel comfortable and relaxed—or even somewhere you don’t feel like yourself at all!
Traveling can be an excellent way to escape all the responsibilities and distractions of your everyday life, giving yourself space to relax and focus on what matters most: YOU.