Overcoming travel anxiety
There is no greater pleasure than exploring an unknown land. Travelling opens our hearts, senses and minds to the world and reignite our connection with ourselves through new experiences.
With all the changes recently the stress can trigger travel anxiety and, for some, feels just too much – especially with so many restrictions and having to get to grips with different regulations and things we may need to do or take with us.
The thought of holidays and excursions can seem rather stressful. Professor Margareta a psychologist working with herbal medicine brand A.Vogel looks at some ways we can help overcome our travel anxiety as we venture out again.
1. Peace of mind is key
As we all know, all anxiety stems from uncertainty. Not knowing what to expect makes anxiety worse as we tend to imagine the worst case scenario.
When planning your travel, make sure you get the answers, in case something unexpected happens, so you can rest peacefully knowing that you will be safe and looked after.
Planning for uncertainty helps reduce anxiety significantly, so write down your worries and questions, and get them answered before you set off.
Remember, there is no right or wrong question. If it worries you, ask. It will be worth it for the peace of mind you get as a result.
2. Focus on the reason
Remind yourself of what the purpose of your trip is and focus on what you are looking forward to. See yourself enjoying your journey, discovering, reconnecting and relaxing. When you think about what motivates you to travel, you shift your focus what you are looking forward to seeing / doing and it helps reduce travel anxiety.
Think of the most compelling reasons and remind yourself every time you start to feel anxious. You can motivate yourself further by taking advantage of virtual tours of your destination, to inspire you more and refocus your mind on the advantages of travelling.
3. Flip the ‘What ifs’
Anxiety presents a string of ‘What ifs’ that all focus on the worst case scenarios. Do not fall for it. It is the brain’s evolutionary tendency to do this automatically. So you need to rise above these what ifs and flip them. How? Refocus on what will help you. Engage with the positive ‘what ifs’ – ‘What if it goes well? What if I enjoy myself?’
As the negative ‘What ifs’ pop up automatically when we face a change, the positive ones need practice. So practice these every day and they will change into a habit of looking on the bright side that will help you even on the most challenging days.
4. Watch your anxious thoughts go by
Like carriages of a train, we have strings of thoughts entering our minds. We cannot stop this, but we can chose which thoughts to engage with. Whatever you focus on will amplify. So stop spinning the wheels of anxious thoughts and questions that snowball into an avalanche. Instead, acknowledge them and let them go by.
Deal with things one step at a time. Remember, in order to have confidence in your abilities to deal with challenges, you need to take things slowly and progress one step at a time.
Step by step, you will overcome more and more of your worries, until they have no power over you and you can make decisions from a peaceful state of mind.
5. The gift of distractions – learn to reset and zone out
You can easily engage in a variety of activities that help you reduce travel anxiety – even mid-journey. Focusing on what you are grateful for, guided meditations, breathing techniques, journaling, havening and listening to calming music can help you re-focus and calm your mind, wherever you are. The key is to not just to use these techniques when you already feel anxious, that is too late.
Aim to build up resilience over time by selecting one or two of these techniques, practicing them each they, so they become second nature and part of your toolbox – like an umbrella to help you stay dry in the rain.
6. Help your body help itself with herbal remedies
As well as reducing the anxiety triggers like caffeine and stimulants long before you travel, you can also tap into the wide variety of herbs that can come to your rescue. You can find these in the forms of teas, drops and even sprays and tablets, so slip these into your travel bag for easy access and use them to help you whilst you are travelling.
Smelling some calming essential oil or taking a few sprays of Passiflora can really make a difference.
Taking these small steps and help yourself get outside of your comfort zone, so you can enhance your life through travelling and gaining wonderful experiences. A.Vogel Passiflora Complex Tablets for supporting the nervous system, A.Vogel RRP of £10.99.
If you found 6 expert tips to beat travel anxiety helpful, you’ll find more advice and opinion on how to deal with anxiety on our health channel.Last modified: July 15, 2021