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7 Ways To Improve Your Well-Being Through Travel

7 Ways To Improve Your Well-Being Through Travel

The day to day stresses and frustrations in most everybody’s daily lives can really start to build up and take their toll on us all. Whether you’re a student terrified of upcoming exams, or a high-flying business person who just no longer has any passion for their work, a short or, if possible, extended break could really be something that allows you to get things in perspective and help you approach life with some new found vigour. 

A trip in and of itself might not necessarily do much to lift you up out of a rut, but if you approach it with some focus and as an opportunity to learn and explore not only the place you are going to visit but also yourself, your next journey could well end up completely changing your life. 

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1. Start A Photo Blog

A great way to get fuller appreciation out of a trip is for you to capture it in images that you can share with other people and then look back on yourself in the future. Taking the time out to be fully aware of your new environment by grabbing photos of the moment is a great way to hold onto that place or feeling forever and use that as an inspiration for wanting to find even more beautiful shots and experiences in the future. 

2. Escape to Nature

Life wears us all down at some point. Whether you live in the big smoke of London, or a little town in the middle of nowhere, it can become very monotonous when all you see is the same places and faces every day. Getting out into nature is an excellent way to recharge your batteries and remember that there are amazing places out there other than those you have become so wearily accustomed to.

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The beauty of nature is that it is almost always a lot closer than you think. If you have the time, brilliant, take off on a year’s trip hiking all over the mountains and rainforests of the world. If you only have the weekend, however, there is still almost certainly a wonderful spot of nature not much more than a hour or two away by train or car. Get out there and reconnect, even if only for an afternoon. You’ll be surprised just how much of a positive impact the experience will have on you.

3. Keep a Travel Diary

Many people find a travel blog or diary to be a really simple way to get at some of the deep-rooted things that have been building up inside without you even realising it. In its simple form you write to document the things you do, the people you meet, and the places you visit, but you will often also find that a travel diary becomes a way for you to get a better grasp of where you really are on your own much more personal journey. 

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4. Be Active 

Travel by its very nature will impel you to get up and about and do more than you would if you were just sitting on the sofa at home on another empty weekend. If you go somewhere, however, you should try to make it about more than just lying on the beach under the sun. This is great, of course it is, but make an effort to discover the place you’ve gone to in a little bit more detail. Not only will this open your mind to a new culture, but you will have got off your backside and added a bit of physical activity to your trip too. 

5. Make New Friends 

A lot of people can sometimes feel wary about heading off onto a trip to a new place because they don’t know anyone there. This is pretty silly as this is one of the very reasons why you should go in the first place. Whether you are travelling alone or with your partner or a friend, there are few better ways to get to know new people than heading off to somewhere new.

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Staying at home in the comfort zone with the friends and family you’ve had all of your life is fine, but studies show that having a wider circle of friends and more social interactions can have a positive impact on health and well-being, especially in late adulthood. 

6. Challenge Your Plate 

For some people travel often ends up being nothing more than the same old things in a different environment because they are too afraid to take risks. Unless you are really going off the beaten track you can almost always find the tried and trusted things that you eat at home. There is nothing wrong with this per se, but why not challenge yourself and make an effort to sample the local cuisine?

Not only will you get the chance to try something new and probably very tasty, but because you don’t know much about what it is that you’re going to eat, you’re more likely to ask questions about the choices on offer. When you start doing this, you’re beginning to learn new things about the culture you are in and broaden your own horizons without even realising it. 

7. Have a Go at the Local Lingo 

If you truly want to get the most out of a travel experience, you need to talk with the locals in their own language. This can be as simple as learning how to say “hello,” “please,” and “thank you.” Your hosts will appreciate little efforts like that a lot. But if you really want to get full value out of a new place, and improve your mental well-being while you’re at it, sign up for a language course and dive into what will literally be a whole new way of looking at the world.

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Tom Willis

Web Marketing & Content Producer

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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