By S. Rupsha Mitra: South Asia Correspondent
They say travelling is indeed good for physical wellbeing, but many scientific studies prove that exploring a new place can be more beneficial for mental and emotional health instead.
So whenever one feels stressed at work, it’s time to start planning, pack the bag for that weekend away, and plan for a longer journey to get our stress reduction moving along. Perhaps we’ll come back with less baggage after all.
Relax, flick through the inflight movie list, crack open that bag of nibbles and see how travelling reduces stress, alleviates and uplifts the mood:- When travelling to a different natural landscape, we get air and sunshine, an elixir that’s refreshing for health. Fresh air increases oxygen in our blood and gives us more energy.
Sunshine is known to elevate the mood by directly boosting serotonin, whilst different activities during like mountain-climbing, river rafting, or just sitting on the beach, doing the things one enjoys most melts away stress. A simple change from the daily schedule, keeping away from gadgets and laptops can enhance the mood and start the rejuvenation process.
A FRESH OUTLOOK
Visiting new destinations can also give a fresh start if recovering from a significant transition in life. By travelling and interacting with a new place, rediscovery of a new passion for life can be found. Travelling gives a boost to the self esteem, gives a purpose in life and helps in revitalizing the self. A new place gives satisfaction to the soul, providing immense pleasure and euphoria of visiting a new site, boosting self-confidence.
Is the Bucket-list half full or empty?
Scientific studies prove that the idea of travelling can trigger feelings of euphoria, often to a larger degree than receiving something tangible, whilst accessing different destinations builds resilience by helping us adapt to newer situations, as we step out of that coveted (and often irrespective) comfort zone.
This increases emotional strength, flexibility and patience. Memory and accomplishing abilities can be affected with stress too. But, travelling helps to decrease these outcomes and helps concentrate on goals, giving a sense of freedom. It enhances rest of the brain and produces a calming effect so that once back from travel one feels more happy, productive and mentally healthy.
The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.
According to a 2022 study from the Journal of Frontiers in Sports and Active Living, vacations help people reduce stress for a variety of reasons, and some of them surprising but equally enlightening. The study included over 500 participants and measured what aspects of vacation actually make people happy.
Participants either stayed home for their vacation or traveled somewhere, and answered survey questions to measure their well-being one month before, immediately after, and one month post their vacation. They found that the right kind of stress is actually beneficial to health.
“…experiencing new and challenging events during a vacation was the most significant predictor of vacationers’ subsequent wellbeing”Atsushi Kawakubo & Takashi Oguchi – Journal of Frontiers
The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that those who travel are more likely to be open and emotionally stable, while other studies have shown that travel can increase creativity, cultural and personal awareness, and introduce new ways of thinking.
Spending just 20 minutes in contact with nature is proven to lower stress hormone levels, while the Framingham Heart Study found that people who travelled every year were less likely to suffer a heart attack or develop heart disease.
There are various places in India that are beautiful destinations for travelling, in-fact they are outstanding.
Jaipur, also popularly known as "the pink city" is known for its picturesque views of palaces, huge and grand buildings, etchings of tales of valorous battles in its streets. It is the heart – the capital city of Rajasthan in India known for the grand history of the Rajputs.
The city of Jaipur is a quintessential mixture of the modern and the ancient, as high rise shopping malls can be seen operating beside glittering palaces and forts. Its also a World Heritage site and serves as a modern hive of activity offering a plethora of opportunities to explore grand palaces like Sheesh Mahal, Amber Palace and Hawa Mahal of Jaipur.
We traverse to our next destination that is the hub of youth life in India called Goa. It is a popular place to visit in India especially considered a heaven midst youth, it is decorated with some of the best beaches, cuisines, and night life.
It offers a magical vacation experience nestled midst small villages and a cozy ambience of the sea. Goa has a long coastline and authentic Portuguese heritage still envelops the place. Some of the important sites of Goa include Basilica of Bom Jesus, Palolem Beach and Dudhsagar Falls.
The beauteous islands of India popular for deep sea diving and trekking, Andaman and Nicobar summons the tourist to the scenic beauty of crystalline waters and sandy beaches. The place includes the remote, unexplored beaches of Havelock as well as the daily hustle bustle of Port Blair. Bharatpur beach and Indira Point are some of gems of tourist spots in the Andaman and Nicobar.
A favorite place for tourists with an immense love for history is Agra, home to the Taj Mahal, one of the seven wonders of the world also known as ‘’Monument of Love’’ or “Prastaribhut Premasru” in Bengali Literature. It also offers a plunge into the beautiful architectural history of the Agra Fort and the dargah of Fatehpur Sikri, making it a must-see for history lovers.
Histories of colonial old world charm, beauty of sunrises, and snow clad hills are the prime attractions of Darjeeling (yes, this is where the tea is from) also referred to as the Queen of the Hills.
The lush green tea plantations, the Darjeeling Mall, the toy train ride are beauties of the place. There are amazing restaurants like Glenarys and Keventers where tourists can enjoy a sip of hot chocolate and the ethereal glimpse of the mountains from the restaurant windows.
Photo Credits: Top Cover: Arturo Riviera, Skyshot: Tom Barrett Beachshot Cover: Vidar Nordli, Pool Scene: Wang Xi, Jogger: Filip Mroz