Can Traveling really help you end depression

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

Depression, Anchors and bad moods

In my previous article Why is traveling good for you i explained how traveling can elevate your mood and help you feel good but the important question is: Can traveling help you end depression?

In order to know the answer of this question you first need to know few things about the way the human mind works. When something bad happens or when you experience a bad mood you tend to see the world from a new pessimistic angle.

In addition to pessimism the process of anchor formation will also keep creating new negative anchors that remind you of your problem every now and then. Let me explain that using an example, if you kept walking in the same street everyday while feeling depressed then there is a big possibility that an anchor will be formed between the street and your mental state in such a way that walking into that street will remind you of your depression.

Now because the depressive mood lasts for long periods of time hundreds of these anchors are formed and as a result so many things start reminding you of your problems.

Can Traveling really help you end depression?

So what happens when you travel?
When you arrive to a new place that doesn't have these bad anchors you feel a little better because few things remind you of your initial problems but within few days some more anchors start getting formed at the new place you are in because your perception is still working in the negative mood. (see also How your mood affects your perception)

And even if those new anchors weren't formed and you spent a great vacation As soon as you go back to your old place you will come across all of the old anchors and you will remember all of your problems once again.

In short, traveling can provide you with a good temporary relief in some cases but sooner or later you will come back to the things that will remind you of the already existing pain.

So how can someone end the pain for good?

In my depression book i said that the negative anchors that were formed can actually be transformed to positive anchors provided that the right actions are taken.

Lets suppose you got fired from a job and so whenever you passed by the building of your old company you felt really bad. Now lets assume you started your own company, worked hard to make it big then acquired the company that fired you before.

How are you going to feel when you pass by the building?
Victorious? Proud? Happy? Actually all of them.

When you change a loss to a victory the old negative anchors change into positive one that lift your mood and make you feel proud.

Moral of the story: If you want to end pain, depression or sadness then you need to make significant changes to your real world instead of traveling and leaving all of your problems unsolved.

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