An Impressive Study
For decades, scientists have wanted to study the impact that travel has on our moods, and that’s exactly what a study published in Nature Neuroscience wanted to analyze. What’s so interesting about this study, though, is that they didn’t want to study those who traveled to far-off countries for epic worldwide adventures. Instead, they wanted to study how people reacted emotionally to new and diverse trips around their local area.
The Positive Vibes
The study tracked around 100 people from Miami and New York City over a period of a few months, and the aim was to analyze their positive emotions and their happiness. They saw noticeable changes in these feelings over the course of the study, but this wasn’t due to life-changing experiences or ones that were extremely exciting. Instead, these changes occurred when people explored new surroundings not too far away from their homes.
To be more specific, the researchers found that “What appeared to be most critical to positive mood was simply going to a diverse set of locations, not the distance traveled in one given day.” They found that people with more variety in their daily life were happier and more positive than those who stuck to the same old routine.
Of course, we’re not saying that you should never travel the world ever again, but it’s important to note that traveling is not the be-all and end-all of your happiness. Maybe it’s time to start exploring locally.