nicole bensen

How travel positively impacts mental health

Hi from drizzly New York!

Picture of myself in New York.

Did you know just walking around an unfamiliar city can be an exercise in practicing mindfulness? When you’re in an unfamiliar place, you have to be paying close attention to the street signs and directions to make sure you get where you want to go. And mindfulness is exactly that, paying attention to the present moment without judgment.

Being in a new place takes us out of our comfort zone and into our learning zone, and having new experiences boosts our creativity and problem-solving skills.

“Neuroscientist, clinical social worker, and writer, Renetta Weaver, LCSW-C, said, ‘The research suggests that traveling to new environments offers a social and emotional experience that boosts happiness hormones and leads to new learning in ways that differ from the habitual structure of our everyday environment.’”

And this study looked specifically at links between tourism and our wellbeing and resilience.

More good news: You don’t even have to hop on a plane to experience moments like this. You could take a walk in an unfamiliar, neighboring city today.

Even planning a future vacation can increase your happiness. This research out of Cornell found that people derive positive value from the anticipation of an experience more than the actual experience, AND having experiences produced more joy than having possessions.

Doing > Having.

If you were to imagine a dream trip,
where would you picture yourself going?

I’m in New York to lead two workshops for a team: 1) Building Connections, and 2) Increasing Happiness, Resilience, and Success.

If your team could benefit from a wellbeing workshop too, grab time to chat with me here (or learn more about corporate workshops here).

Follow me on Instagram and watch my stories to come along on my trip!


P.S. Did you miss last week’s note about saying goodbye to my childhood home? Catch up here.

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