How you experience the SHEER JOY of traveling without going anywhere – Times of India

Posted: July 2, 2020 at 7:51 pm


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If you've been a traveller, you must know how travel can transform you. One day you are sitting at home with your family eating the food you are accustomed to and then the next day you find yourself in an entirely different culture and landscape when you take a trip. Travelling to a new place leaves you feeling happier, inspired and refreshed. Although, it even has the potential to give you a deeper mental shift which leads to long-term fulfillment and self-awareness. And that exactly is what you all might be missing this year ever since the lockdown has been imposed. This pandemic has led us all to stay indoors and with bare minimum possibilities of stepping out. Hence, we thought of coming up with ways how to get the mental health benefits of traveling while being in the comfort of your home.

Yes, go ahead and plan a trip. Planning your next travel destination is half the fun! Of course, you can't book your flight tickets yet, but you can very much put your finger on where you want to go once you feel safe and legally accepted to travel. Painting a mental picture of your dream destination and looking out for those particular pictures will automatically make you feel nicer. There are actual studies that say, people's travel-related happiness actually comes in anticipation of a trip and not during it. This is because of reward processing where your brain processes pleasurable or rewarding stimuli in your surrounding. So basically, rewards are defined as stimuli because they evoke an optimistic emotion in you. Hence, planning a trip can be an exciting experience.

Look through your old travel pictures and all the places you went to since nostalgia can help boost your mood. Just like the happiness of anticipating your travel plans, walking down the memory lane and past adventures can increase happiness. It decreases stress and increases positivity in the moment. You can even go ahead and get some of your old travel pictures printed and framed so that you can always look at them in your house. Revisit old travel albums or recollect the fun you had at a particular place while you meditate. You can even try journaling about your past travel memories and cherish them. Reminiscing about past social memories can lead to the reduction of stress hormones, specifically when you might feel socially isolated in this pandemic. Recalling memories with close friends can also give you joy.

Whether you are using your imaginations to plan your future travel or going back in your past travel memories, you can deepen this process by bringing in some real-time culture experience that is inspired by a particular destination. If a specific place is on your mind for your trip in 2021, try to master the cuisines of that place or grow some plants that are popular in that region. You can even learn a new language as it has a positive impact on mental health and even improves the brain's functions including your memory. Likewise, you can keep thinking of more travel plans one at a time and keep learning how to make their cuisines while you have all this time at home.

You must have noticed that when you take a trip, you are less stressed and more present. Both of these can put you in a better mood and positive personal changes can occur. Many of you are lucky to have local places around where you can take a short trip for less than four days and come back home feeling refreshed. It's about getting the same satisfaction from a local adventure as you otherwise would have from a long journey. It really depends on how you approach the trip than where you actually end up going. You must approach your mini-adventure with a sense of intention. Wear your travel clothes, play your favourite playlist, splurge on food and explore the local destination. Creating a threshold will make your mini-adventure feel important.

Of course, it feels amazing to be somewhere exotic. But learn how to acknowledge the beauty that your everyday environment has to offer. It can very much cultivate mindfulness. When you're on a local adventure, you can perk up your senses and notice what you see, hear or smell. You can also choose to speak little and hear more for a bit of your local adventure. This kind of awareness is referred to as active concentration which ultimately takes you into meditation. By cultivating mindful awareness around nature, you are removing the stressors of city life. You are giving your nervous system some time to regulate. These small curious moments around your everyday environment can lead to bigger wellness changes physically, emotionally and mentally.

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How you experience the SHEER JOY of traveling without going anywhere - Times of India

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July 2nd, 2020 at 7:51 pm

Posted in Self-Awareness