Travel Anxiety: 5 Tips to Help Overcome
Published: April 24, 2018
Fear triggered due to the anticipation of the unknown coming your way is one of the most basic and essential survival mechanisms. But at times when it comes in waves larger than normal, they can overwhelm us even when the real "threat" is not generally anxiety inducing.
In the context of travelling, the anticipation of experiencing a foreign culture, navigating through unfamiliar streets and locations, meeting strangers and generally stepping out of your comfort zone can trigger a bought of anxiety even before you leave for the airport.
One thing to keep in mind is that it is normal to be overwhelmed and anxious, but also remember that you can deal with it. With a few tips and tricks you can easily calm your nerves and not let the anxiety hold you back from a potentially life changing trip.
If you are one of the people who find themselves constantly worrying and finicky over their travels to the point of cancelling them, then the following tips might be beneficial for you.
1. Do your Research
Before you even go making reservations, and booking your flight and tours, the first thing you need to do is research.
Most of our anxiety comes from the fact that you will be going someplace new that is out of your comfort zone. In order to reduce the anxiousness related to going to a new place and facing unknown situations, do your research. Read up on the location, famous places, reviews and advice so you can be prepared.
2. Indulge in Self Care
The other tip that could ease you into the journey is engaging yourself in self care pre-flight. Your hormones, metabolism and physical activity can have a strong impact on your anxiety. So try to eat healthy before and during the trip. Lower the amount of sugars you take and avoid meals that make you feel sluggish. Combine this with physical exercise to let your body regulate the circulation so your brain gets plenty of oxygen. Practice breathing and de-stressing exercises that will help loosen you up.
3. Audio and Visual Distraction
Anxiety can take up your mind if you have nothing else to think about. It's like a child that needs distraction or else will be persistent. Right from when you leave for the airport to during the flight, music and movies can be a big help to take your mind off of the anxiety. Make sure to load your phone or tablet with plenty of your favorite music, movies and TV shows so you have something to do and not let your mind wander off to worry.
4. Avoid Alcohol
Alcohol might seem like the best way to take the edge off, but in reality it can dehydrate your body and potentially worsen your anxiety. Also avoid drinking too much coffee and other caffeinated drinks as they cause your energy levels to change rapidly. Instead, drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated.
5. Practice Breathing Exercises
Lack of oxygen supply to the brain is one of the reasons it starts to go haywire and make you feel suffocated and nervous. Learn a few deep breathing exercises to regulate your respiration and get more oxygen flowing to your brain.
You can also combine the breathing exercises with fidgeting toys to help you relieve some of the restlessness that might be causes by anxiety.
An additional tip for the ones who suffer with more extreme forms of anxiety is to talk to a therapist. It is a wise choice to book a session with a doctor and discuss the possibility of medication that can help you.
It's understandable that anxiety during travel is natural, but it can be overcome and dealt with. The tips mentioned above are some of the few tricks you can use before and during your flight to help you calm your nerves. Remember that it will take time to reduce the anxiety, but with every trip you take, you will get more comfortable.