How To Deal With Travel Anxiety?
Do you have anxiety when you travel? Are there thoughts like ‘I will miss the flight’ or ‘I feel scared’? Such thoughts can result in a faster heart beat, butterflies in your stomach and tensed muscles. This way you will be triggering more anxious thoughts and will experience more physical discomfort.
Now to manage your travel anxiety, here are a few tips:
1) Simply note your thoughts and feelings
The intensity of anxious thoughts and feelings can get reduced by about 50 percent if you learn to note them. You can practice noting your thoughts and feelings by focusing on your breath. When you feel that the mind is heading to ‘worry land’, just bring back your attention to breathing in and breathing out. This way you make an attempt in stopping your anxious thoughts. It is more like watching the water of the river flow by instead of diving in and reversing the flow.
2) Take help of visualization
You should try to take a mental vacation to a location that makes you feel protected and calm. When you imagine the details of the place with your senses, you can actually ward off fear and worry and uplift your mood. For instance, you can visualize a forest and hear the birds chirping, see the sun shining, feel the warmth of the air and the inhale the fragrance of the flowers around.
3) Listen to calming music
When you are about to travel make a playlist of songs that help calm you down. Start a few days before the travel to bring down your travel anxiety. Listening to soothing music can help lower your blood pressure, keep your heart rate and stress hormones in check.
4) Release the body’s tension
While focusing on travel fears and worries, you might easily lose track of the tension that your body is holding. With PMR or Progressive Muscle Relaxation you can find out and release body tension. You can practice PMR, you need to tense and relax different muscles in the body in a sequence. Start with your arm. Raise it a bit. Tense up the muscles of your arm for a few seconds and then release them to let them relax completely. Continue the same with the other parts of the body: the arms, legs, stomach, shoulders, neck and finally the face.
5) Breathe deeply into the belly
Most often we tend to do shallow chest breathing. However, we are born to breathe deeply in the belly. This kind of breathing helps in decreasing the stress response of the body. When you travel, just pay attention to how you are breathing. If the breathing is into the chest and shallow, your body may not be able to calm itself down and get restored.
On the other hand, deep breathing is quite simple. Just inhale through the nose and push the belly out. Pause and then breathe out through the mouth while pulling your belly in. Maintain a relaxed and slow pace that appears natural to you. Do this for 5-10 mins in the beginning and see if it can be increased.
Hope you liked reading this post on travel anxiety!
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