“Something isn’t right, and I can feel it. You know that sensation that you may get occasionally, where you feel “off”? Like the world turned you upside down and you can’t get right side up?”
Well, that is exactly how I’ve been feeling lately, and I cannot pinpoint where this self-pitying, down in the dumps attitude is coming from. Now don’t get me wrong, life is great with my family, friends, and daily obligations, but somewhere in the mist of living, I’ve been flipped upside down and I just want to be “right” again.
For the past few years, I periodically get into depressive moods when something in my life changes. Whether it be moving into a new apartment, taking on a new job title or simply receiving altering news, I always seem to feel uneasy about the changes that are taking place around me. I’m sure this is nothing new for those of us who experience spouts of depression on a much wider scale, but for someone like me who does not wear their heart on their sleeve, it is difficult to come to terms with the small doses of depression that seep into my existence.
A few ways that I deal with my feelings is doing exactly what I am doing at this very moment, writing. I like to think of myself as an expert communicator, but words tend to find me more when it is written down. Traveling also allows me to confront my innermost thoughts and hone into what is bothering me. Yes, it sounds expensive after paying for airfare and hotel but for me, the combination of writing and traveling is what helps me battle my depression.
Do Not Believe Everything that You See
The purpose of this post is to shed light on my experiences with depression and how traveling has helped me work through the kinks of my inner turmoil in a natural and productive way. Although there is no direct correlation between the effects of traveling and depression, I find it helpful to document my successes and failures throughout life in hopes of serving others.
Before we pull out the tissues and tears, I want to make it perfectly clear that depression can take on many forms. It is not always suicidal thoughts, or Unabomber antics, instead depression can be going out with friends and hanging out, talking to your parents on the phone as if everything is okay or going to the gym after another “rough” day. Depression is not one singular emotion, act, or expression, depression is forever changing and so are the people that experience it.
In simple terms, do not believe everything that you see …
Getting Out and Meeting New People
I touched on the importance of getting to know yourself in a previous blog post and the same advice holds true here. Depression often brings forth feelings of uncertainty and anti-social behavior, knowing who you are and what you enjoy doing is what will attract people to you. By traveling, you also get a chance to meet new people from different backgrounds who all enjoy the thrill of getting out there and doing something different.
Seeing the Bigger Picture
When depression comes knocking on my door, like many of us, I tend to forget how blessed I am. When I’m becoming smothered with the day-to-day routine, I rarely remember to stop and smell the roses and to be thankful for all that I have.
Traveling allows me to see the bigger picture of what my life is shaping to be. It helps me put certain thoughts and beliefs in perspective and assess the way I think more candidly about myself. When I am taken out of my usual environment, I am forced to see the world with different eyes. An accumulation of all the experiences I’ve had so far while traveling created a whole new thought process that helps me move towards overcoming my depression.
More times than not, depression can lead to thoughts of low self-worth and can create negative beliefs that cause us to think that we are incapable of a lot of things. It can cloud us from seeing our true potential. In many cases, depression, as well as my fear of failing, has deterred me from pursuing higher opportunities. Traveling has since educated me in ways that no other experiences have, thus showing me that what I thought was impossible can be obtained through positive thinking and perseverance.
Traveling creates inspiration which can help alter our perceptions of ourselves and those around us. When traveling, I have the freedom to eat what I want, see what I want and do anything that I want to do, which sometimes depression doesn’t allow me to think about or attempt in everyday life. Traveling is a great way to get out of your comfort zone and to inspire you to live your life as you see fit!
Throughout the last couple of years, traveling has been a stress reliever for me in many ways. Not only does it allow me to come out of my daily routine and experience a new way of living, but traveling also allows me to face my feelings head on, and get down to what is causing me to feel upside down.