5 Ways Travel Impacts Your Brain

Transcript of Neuro Nugget Video:

There’s a feeling that you get when you arrive in a new place. The adrenaline buzzes through your body and everyday things that usually pass you by suddenly seem to be full of potential. We know that travel opens your eyes to the nuances of life, and studies suggest that it opens up your brain as well. When we find ourselves in a new situation, our brain sends out messages as it works to understand our new surroundings.

These messages create new neural pathways which connect different parts of the brain. This is important for good cognitive health as it keeps the connections flexible and receptive to change. So what exactly is it about travel that gets the cogs in your head turning? Well, number one, your perspective will be challenged.

Living and working in a new country means living and working. When we enjoy an interaction with someone for the first time, our brain releases dopamine, which makes you feel good and encourages you to pay more attention to the information that you’re hearing. When traveling, you’ll also meet people with different beliefs and opinions to yours, and you’ll be surrounded by cultures unlike your own. Listening to alternative viewpoints allows us to develop our own notions and understandings of certain topics, altering our existing thought patterns.

Number two, you’ll expand your vocabulary. When you travel to a country where you don’t speak the language, your challenge begins the moment you step off the plane. Very quickly, you have to learn sentences and phrases that will allow you to get around. Studies have shown that learning a second language can improve general intelligence and reading abilities as well as improving memory.

With every word you pick up, you unlock the potential to talk to a wider group of people and understand subtler nuances of their culture. Yes, there may be moments of miscommunication, but surely it’s better to have tried and laughed about it than to not have tried at all. Number three, your daily routine will be different. When you’re traveling, you’ll learn a lot of different skills and have to constantly switch up your routines and habits for approaching everyday activities.

This diversity keeps the brain activated. Nothing dulls the mind like monotony, and we need to shake things up in order to feel motivated and inspired. Number four, you’ll learn to adapt to a new environment. Mundane activities like going grocery shopping, catching the bus, or going for a morning jog become much more difficult when you aren’t familiar with your surroundings.

As you learn to live like the locals do, you’re improving your brain’s ability to deal with problems and putting your memory skills to the test. Every problem you solve builds your confidence and flexes that gray matter, much like solving math problems or filling in the crossword on a Sunday morning. Number five, you’ll get more comfortable with being uncomfortable. Do you remember the first time that you traveled to an unknown city or country?

Putting yourself out of your comfort zone is nerve-wracking and it takes a lot of guts. The more often we move past our fears, the less scary they become. The brain practices tackling hard problems and gets more agile at tackling them, which gives you more confidence to chase after your dreams until they become a reality. Regular travels to new places helps us to feel happier and keeps the brain active as we connect with new people and ideas.

Exploring feeds your creativity and awareness of the world around you. It’s quite simply good for the mind and the soul, as if you needed another excuse to book that flight. Wanna learn more about your brain and how it functions? Call and schedule your brain map today.

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Posted on

August 30, 2023