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How To Get That Travel High Even When You’re Not Traveling

How To Get That Travel High Even When You’re Not Traveling

The Magic Of Travel

Travelling feels good. Seeing new places and gaining new experiences makes us feel happy. Feelings of contentment and wellbeing are, according to psychologists including Cornell professor Thomas Gilovich, more likely to be elicited by new experiences and positive anticipation than material possessions. When we acquire new possessions, we quickly become accustomed to owning them and as a result they soon fail to give us the same sense of satisfaction as they did previously.

Travel, on the other hand, is an experience that not only feels good in the moment but also provides us with something to look forward to, something we can reminisce over, and a set of experiences that can bond us with others who have been to similar destinations.

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Travelling can also make us feel inspired. Have you ever taken a trip away and come back with some new ideas, or even a whole new perspective on life? Being in a ‘holiday mood’ makes us more likely to devise new concepts. Why is this? Dopamine, a neurotransmitter known to induce feelings of pleasure in the brain, triggers feelings of relaxation, which in turn encourage creativity.

Distraction is also a great way of facilitating creativity – when you are distracted, your subconscious mind can get to work, triggering conscious insights. Travelling can definitely provide you with distractions, which may be why a change of scenery can help you develop some new ideas.

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Unfortunately, not many of us can afford the time or money required to travel on a regular basis. However, once you understand the reasons behind ‘travellers’ high,’ you can take steps to recreate that feeling on a regular basis.

How To Get That Travelling Feeling Every Day

Now that you know exactly why travelling feels so good, you can make some adjustments to your daily life that will help you get that feeling even when you’re stuck in your hometown. You don’t have to live a tedious life waiting for your annual trip away or vacation. Start making every day count with a few adjustments!

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Stimulate your five senses on a regular basis

Make a point of trying out any new restaurant that opens near you, or cook at least one new recipe every week. Go out of your way to experience new sights – even if you have walked around your local area hundreds of times before, there will be a few back roads and pathways you’ve never explored before. If nothing else, at least get off at a train or bus stop. This will help you feel a similar sense of novelty that you would experience when taking a trip away.

Try and learn a new hobby or skill often

This will replicate that creative, inspired feeling that comes with travelling. Sign up for an evening course or check out events at your local community college. Along with the intellectual stimulation of the new activity, you will also get to meet new people, who in themselves can provide you with new ways of looking at the world.

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Appreciate what you usually take for granted

This is another way by which you can gain a new appreciation of what you usually take for granted and it will give you that feeling of having encountered something new and special that is usually reserved for vacations and trips to new places. Why not combine a daily gratitude or ‘giving thanks’ session with a period of meditation? Relaxing your mind and body on a regular basis, just as you do when away on vacation, increases your dopamine levels and in turn your happiness and creativity.

Remember that travelling isn’t just about your physical location – it’s a state of mind. Follow the above tips and you can get that travel buzz every day.

More by this author

Jay Hill

Jay writes about communication and happiness on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on December 10, 2019

5 Smart Reasons to Start Journal Writing Today

5 Smart Reasons to Start Journal Writing Today

Here’s the truth: your effectiveness at life is not what it could be. You’re missing out.

Each day passes by and you have nothing to prove that it even happened. Did you achieve something? Go on a date? Have an emotional breakthrough? Who knows?

But what you do know is that you don’t want to make the same mistakes that you’ve made in the past.

Our lives are full of hidden gems of knowledge and insight, and the most recent events in our lives contain the most useful gems of all. Do you know why? It’s simple, those hidden lessons are the most up to date, meaning they have the largest impact on what we’re doing right now.

But the question is, how do you get those lessons? There’s a simple way to do it, and it doesn’t involve time machines:

Journal writing.

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Improved mental clarity, the ability to see our lives in the big picture, as well as serving as a piece of evidence cataloguing every success we’ve ever had; we are provided all of the above and more by doing some journal writing.

Journal writing is a useful and flexible tool to help shed light on achieving your goals.

Here’s 5 smart reasons why you should do journal writing:

1. Journals Help You Have a Better Connection with Your Values, Emotions, and Goals

By journaling about what you believe in, why you believe it, how you feel, and what your goals are, you understand your relationships with these things better. This is because you must sort through the mental clutter and provide details on why you do what you do and feel what you feel.

Consider this:

Perhaps you’ve spent the last year or so working at a job you don’t like. It would be easy to just suck it up and keep working with your head down, going on as if it’s supposed to be normal to not like your job. Nobody else is complaining, so why should you, right?

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But a little journal writing will set things straight for you. You don’t like your job. You feel like it’s robbing you of happiness and satisfaction, and you don’t see yourself better there in the future.

The other workers? Maybe they don’t know, maybe they don’t care. But you do, you know and care enough to do something about it. And you’re capable of fixing this problem because your journal writing allows you to finally be honest with yourself about it.

2. Journals Improve Mental Clarity and Help Improve Your Focus

If there’s one thing journal writing is good for, it’s clearing the mental clutter.

How does it work? Simply, whenever you have a problem and write about it in a journal, you transfer the problem from your head to the paper. This empties the mind, allowing allocation of precious resources to problem-solving rather than problem-storing.

Let’s say you’ve been juggling several tasks at work. You’ve got data entry, testing, e-mails, problems with the boss, and so on—enough to overwhelm you—but as you start journal writing, things become clearer and easier to understand: Data entry can actually wait till Thursday; Bill kindly offered earlier to do my testing; For e-mails, I can check them now; the boss is just upset because Becky called in sick, etc.

You become better able to focus and reason your tasks out, and this is an indispensable and useful skill to have.

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3. Journals Improve Insight and Understanding

As a positive consequence of improving your mental clarity, you become more open to insights you may have missed before. As you write your notes out, you’re essentially having a dialogue with yourself. This draws out insights that you would have missed otherwise; it’s almost as if two people are working together to better understand each other. This kind of insight is only available to the person who has taken the time to connect with and understand themselves in the form of writing.

Once you’ve gotten a few entries written down, new insights can be gleaned from reading over them. What themes do you see in your life? Do you keep switching goals halfway through? Are you constantly dating the same type of people who aren’t good for you? Have you slowly but surely pushed people out of your life for fear of being hurt?

All of these questions can be answered by simply self-reflecting, but you can only discover the answers if you’ve captured them in writing. These questions are going to be tough to answer without a journal of your actions and experiences.

4. Journals Track Your Overall Development

Life happens, and it can happen fast. Sometimes we don’t take the time to stop and look around at what’s happening to us at each moment. We don’t get to see the step-by-step progress that we’re making in our own lives. So what happens? One day it’s the future, and you have no idea how you’ve gotten there.

Journal writing allows you to see how you’ve changed over time, so you can see where you did things right, and you can see where you took a misstep and fell.

The great thing about journals is that you’ll know what that misstep was, and you can make sure it doesn’t happen again—all because you made sure to log it, allowing yourself to learn from your mistakes.

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5. Journals Facilitate Personal Growth

The best thing about journal writing is that no matter what you end up writing about, it’s hard to not grow from it. You can’t just look at a past entry in which you acted shamefully and say “that was dumb, anyway!” No, we say “I will never make a dumb choice like that again!”

It’s impossible not to grow when it comes to journal writing. That’s what makes journal writing such a powerful tool, whether it’s about achieving goals, becoming a better person, or just general personal-development. No matter what you use it for, you’ll eventually see yourself growing as a person.

Kickstart Journaling

How can journaling best be of use to you? To vent your emotions? To help achieve your goals? To help clear your mind? What do you think makes journaling such a useful life skill?

Know the answer? Then it’s about time you reap the benefits of journal writing and start putting pen to paper.

Here’s what you can do to start journaling:

Featured photo credit: Jealous Weekends via unsplash.com

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