Travelling is meant to be an exciting and memorable experience. However, it can sometimes also feel like an anxiety-inducing experience. To some, it’s the unpredictability of their destination or the thought of being away from their family and friends that trigger their anxiety. For others, it’s the idea of the plane dropping off the sky or fear of the unknown. Either way, it isn’t easy to enjoy the marvels of a trip if the mind is not at ease.
Although it is not an official type of mental disorder, travel anxiety describes an extreme feeling of disturbance surrounding the many variables involved in taking a trip. Whether you are experiencing it for the first time or have been experiencing it in the past, understanding how to manage your travel anxiety can help you get the best on your trip.
So, here are five tips that will help calm your mind while travelling.
- Use distractions
Focusing on your anxiety symptoms when travelling is common, and distracting yourself is a perfect way to muddle through the lingering anxiety. It simply means shifting your focus away from your body’s sensation to other more mind-relaxing activities. For instance, flying into unexpected turbulence can induce safety-focus anxiety for first-time and experienced travellers.
So, how about doing this? Instead of focusing on the safety concerns that cause you stress and anxiety, wrap your negative thoughts and turn them around by diverting your attention to things that can make you happy. Take off your mind by trying to bring attention to other activities like reading your favourite book, listening to music, playing enjoyable games, or watching an exciting movie.
Doing these things can help counter your fears. It’s linked to the difference between the intelligent part of the brain and the emotional part of your brain. In this case, you will be using the intellectual part of your brain to challenge the emotional part of your brain. This way, you will be focusing on the activities, leaving no mental room for anxiety.
- Consider carrying CBD products
Medical intervention has been our traditional way of managing anxiety. However, research and studies have unearthed a natural and effective way of treating anxiety using CBD.
CBD, also known as cannabidiol, is derived from the hemp plant of the cannabis family. Its ability to bind with the cannabinoid receptors of our body’s endocannabinoid system makes it effective in treating essential body functions like reducing inflammation, anxiety, and pain.
So, if you are looking to manage your anxiety while travelling, then ask an expert about the benefits.
They are available in different forms, from drinks, oil, tinctures, and CBD vape pen. Whichever you decide to pick, they will help keep your anxiety at bay during your trip.
However, before you pack these supplements into your luggage, do your due diligence on the laws and regulations regarding CBD use at your destination to avoid rubbing shoulders with the authorities.
- Unplug from work
Although it’s impossible to completely switch off from your work-related responsibilities, taking some time off from your duties is essential. It’ll be hard for you to feel relaxed when travelling if you have to constantly check your work-related emails and try to fix a problem here and there. It’s a nerve-wracking experience that you shouldn’t endure when travelling.
So, what options do you have?
Before you travel, plan to hand over your duties to colleagues or junior staff so that they don’t wreck your travelling reasons, whether a vacation or business trip. Set an away message for your personal and work email, and leave a contact for people to reach you in case something requires your urgent attention.
If this doesn’t sound like a realistic option for you, then you can set a limit to the amount of time you’ll spend on work per day. If that time is exhausted, you continue the next day. Alternatively, you could spare time each day specifically for work –say an hour every evening to check your emails and respond to every critical issue that requires your attention, then put work aside for the rest of your day.
- Be prepared to deal with your fears
Most people never prepare to deal with their anxiety when travelling. If you are planning to travel, make some effort to plan and prepare how you will deal with your anxiety throughout the journey.
The anticipation of a tense trip will often spike anxiety and stress; therefore, preparing to counter your panic attacks is a sure way of dealing with your anxiety. For instance, practising deep breathing techniques, self-meditation, and visualization techniques are excellent coping skills you can have beforehand.
Practice these relaxation strategies and self-help techniques weeks or days before you travel. They are vital to learning to cope with uncomfortable thoughts throughout your journey. Stay positive, and your anxiety symptoms will be under control the next time you travel.
- Practice visualization or guide imagery techniques
In most cases, we are willing to counter our travel anxiety because we hope to enjoy our stay at our destination. Imagining that place in your mind is an excellent way of dealing with anxiety when travelling. Studies show that practising a mindfulness technique known as guided imagery can significantly reduce anxiety symptoms in our bodies.
However, the secret to reaping the benefits of guided imagery is not just closing your eyes and thinking of your destination like a postcard but also arousing all the senses. If you are travelling to France, for instance, think about the beautiful street you’ll walk through, how you’ll be spending your night in that beautiful hotel, the scenic landscape, and how the water fountains sound as they splash water along the pavements.
As you keep being specific with your mental imagery, the mind cannot discern whether the images are real or just imaginations. As a result, the mind responds positively to the imagination, and the body swiftly begins to feel calm and peaceful. The more you imagine yourself in a relaxing and pleasing environment, the more relaxed and peaceful state of mind you’ll achieve.
Dealing with travel anxiety can be overwhelming, especially if you are a novice. However, having the right mindset may help your travel anxiety feel like a manageable part of the journey. In case anxious moments arise during your trip, try practicing these tips; it will feel like a minor bump on the road.