Who does not like to travel? In 2016, residents in Spain made 182 million trips, 8.6% abroad, according to data from the National Institute of Statistics. Buying tickets, packing your bags, planning tours and then embarking on an adventure are activities that almost everyone likes. And, unlike so many other things that provide pleasure, traveling not only lacks contraindications, but has many and varied benefits for our health.
Science has confirmed that traveling is an enriching life experience that, in addition to taking us out of the routine, has incredible benefits for our body and brain.
Here are three fabulous benefits of traveling:
1. Less stress and greater emotional well-being
Reducing stress seems the most obvious of the benefits of traveling. Although it is a brief outing and to a destination not too far away, leaving behind the routine and the frenetic pace of life in the city allows you to disconnect, leave your anguish behind and enjoy the present. But be careful: attitude is important, because there is also the so-called “holiday stress”, a state of tension caused by travel preparations, insecurities and difficulties that it may bring, etc.
2. The brain, grateful
Until a long time ago it was believed that the brain, from adulthood, was no longer modified. However, science has shown that this is not the case: neurons can create new connections, and new neurons can even form, throughout life. “For this, it is key to train and stimulate our brain,” explained José Manuel Moltó, member of the board of directors of the Spanish Society of Neurology (SEN), “and there are three key elements to do so: confronting our brain with novelty, variety and challenge. Traveling meets all three. “
3. A stronger and healthier heart
A study conducted in the United States found that traveling reduces the risk of heart attack, especially for older people. Statistics indicate that men who travel frequently have a 21% lower chance of having a heart attack. “Holidays can be good for your health.”
4. Strong self-esteem
Every trip represents a sum of challenges: moving around, getting used to an unknown place, relating to its people. And the more distant the destination, the greater the challenge, since it implies coming into contact with exotic customs, unknown languages and, inevitably, problems of various kinds. Finding the resources to solve them and be able to get ahead boosts self-esteem like few other things can.
The trip, in addition, is a source of future memories and anecdotes to tell, not to mention the possibilities that social networks offer in this regard. As George Eliot, pseudonym of the 19th century British writer Mary Anne Evans, wrote, “Our wanderings travel with us and us from afar, and what we have been makes us what we are.” All of this also contributes to building self-confidence.
5. Greater scope to deal with problems
In his book Go Away Just for the Health of It (something like “Go Away Just for How Healthy It Is”), published in 2000, the prestigious Canadian physician Mel Borins wrote: stressful life. It can help improve your perspectives, provide new points of view and allow you to develop new coping strategies. “
6. Traveling makes you happy
The psychologist Thomas Gilovich, a professor at Cornell University, United States, has had an object of study for years: happiness. From his studies, he has come to a conclusion that, anyway, many people know or intuit: traveling brings greater happiness than buying things. The reason is that stored memories, the sum of experiences, provide long-term pleasure and well-being, much longer than the satisfaction you feel when buying something lasts.