What’s the first thing that comes into your mind when you say road trip? Some would say bonding with friends and family while others might immediately associate amazing sceneries and sunsets with it. But what most people don’t know is that road trips are also suitable for improving mental health. Here are several reasons why this is so.
It Alleviates Stress
Many individuals go on a road trip to escape the busy life in the city. It’s a way to run away from all the responsibilities you have, even for just a short while. Traveling allows your mind to drift from all the stressful situations and your daily routine. Through which, it helps lower your cortisol levels. Once this happens, you will feel more content and calm.
Keep in mind that you have to veer away from your stressors entirely for a road trip to be fully effective. Turn off your email notifications or do not accept any call related to work. As much as you can, do not mix work with this relaxing activity.
It Widens Your Perspective
Travelling, particularly going on a road trip, pushes you out of your comfort zone. It doesn’t matter if you’re just traveling within the borders of your city. With no distractions, you get to observe the place around you peacefully. At the same time, you get to learn about new cultures, new sites, and new situations while just looking at the world.
As a result, you get to come back with your old life with a broader perspective of how the world works. It gives you peace of mind, and eventually, healthier mental health.
It Enhances Your Creativity
Do you know that going on a road trip enhances your creativity? Given that our brains are sensitive to changes, getting exposed to a different experience or environment will improve your mental health. Your imagination gets boosted since your mental muscles get a bit of a stretch and push. They might have been sleeping or dormant during days that you’re just doing the same.
Also, studies revealed that traveling modifies the connection of your neural pathways, which refers to the new experiences that prompt new feelings, emotions, and thoughts. It also gives you the ability to generate new ideas. Once your creativity sparks, it will lead to a positive impact as it is proven to combat anxiety and depression.
It Strengthens Your Relationship
Another way to give your mental health a boost is to improve your relationship with the people around you. Going on road trips allows you to spend time with your family or friends without worrying about distractions. It can strengthen your connection with your support system.
However, keep in mind that these long drives not only improve relationships but may break them as well. Therefore, it is essential to manage this as much as possible. Do not be too conscious of what’s happening but do not be too carefree about it also. Find the perfect balance in your adventure, and you’re good to go.
It Improves Your Mental Durability
Going to places you’re not familiar with will most likely excite you. The unknown is a source of adventure, after all. However, with this setup, you’ll most likely feel scared and intimated. You don’t know what lies ahead, and it’s away from your usual. But after you’ve experienced all of these, you’ll most likely get out of it stronger. It’s a scenario that will toughen your mental health.
This is the time you’ll deep dive more into what life is. It’s also an opportunity for you to keep up with what’s happening around you and train yourself to be adaptive.
It Makes You Happier
Are you aware that the effects of a road trip do not only happen during and after the journey? In fact, the anticipation of your upcoming ride also boosts the endorphins in your body. Your mood brightens up every time you remember that you have an upcoming trip.
It was supported by research by Cornell University last July 2019. The study found out that the happiness felt from the anticipation of a travel experience is higher than shopping or buying something you want. They say money can buy your happiness. However, it’s always the memories and experience that comes first on the happiness scale.
It Gives You Time To Reflect
The length of road trips allows you to think things through. Through the journey, it is inevitable to sit in silence once in a while. During this time, you can get to enjoy the scenery and experience it with your eyes.
Let this be a platform for you to reflect. Think about who you are as a person, the things that make you happy or sad, and what your goals are. It is the perfect time to reminisce and plan your future. It is good for your mental health as it decreases the burden you feel from your previous life and increases the peace of mind you feel about your future.
So, if ever you’re feeling down and sad, don’t hesitate to treat yourself with a short break. You don’t have to pay that much for a grandiose vacation. Just turn the keys and start that engine, and you’re on your way to a much-needed getaway.