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Study Suggests That Exploring Close To Home Could Boost Mood

FILE - In this Jan. 10, 2019, file photo, a car drives along the road at Joshua Tree National Park in Southern California's Mojave Desert. National parks across the United States are scrambling to clean up and repair damage that visitors and storms caused during the recent government shutdown while bracing for the possibility of another closure ahead of the busy Presidents Day weekend later this month. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

A new study suggests that exploring your neighborhood can be just as rewarding as traveling abroad. Since international travel is on hold due to the pandemic more people have been taking to bikes and walking around their neighborhoods to explore.

“What appeared to be most critical to a positive mood was simply going to a diverse set of locations, not the distance one traveled on a given day,” Catherine Hartley, a professor of psychology at New York University and a co-author of the study, told Lonely Planet.

Hartley says that with unique daily experiences that add variety to our lives, it makes up happier and our mood better.  Whether you take a different route on your walk or adding variety to what you read or watch, the benefits of exposing yourself to new sights, sounds, and experiences can be very rewarding.


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