Our modern world can be an incredibly stressful place, and the responsibilities that come with traveling can compound your stress and anxiety even more. Luckily, there are some techniques and practices you can implement in your life that can help. Read on to learn how to cope with and overcome anxiety about traveling.
How To Recognize When You’re Feeling Anxious
Anxiety can come in many different forms that we might not even be immediately aware of. You are the person who best understands your body and can tell the difference between how you usually feel and any signs that might show you're in an altered state of mind. There are, however, some typical signs you should be aware of that indicate you're feeling anxious about traveling. According to the Mayo Clinic, some of these signs include the following:
- Feeling jittery, agitated, or tense
- Feelings of imminent danger, terror, or impending disaster
- An elevated heart rate
- Rapid breathing
- Feeling tired or weak
- Having difficulty concentrating or thinking about anything other than your current concern
- Having difficulty sleeping
- Having issues with your gastrointestinal tract (GI tract)
- Having trouble managing your nervousness
- Having a powerful desire to avoid situations that cause distress
Always consult your doctor first before trying any coping strategies. They’ll diagnose any potential anxiety disorders and help provide you with personalized strategies to help if these feelings persist.
Why Do People Feel Anxious When Traveling?
There are many reasons why someone may have worry or anxiety before embarking on a trip, and it is typical for different people to have distinct sets of triggers. Most people are concerned about leaving familiar surroundings and dealing with unknown factors. You may keep thinking about what could go wrong or worry about forgetting anything.
The first thing you should remember is that feeling anxious before traveling is entirely natural. While some people are more biologically predisposed to these sensations, virtually everyone has experienced anxiety in some form or another. Once you've recognized the source of your worry, you can take action to relieve it.
Best Ways To Handle Travel Anxiety
Because travel anxiety is such a frequent problem, people have found many helpful coping techniques, and some of them may work for you. Before diving into the various coping methods, if your anxiety is overpowering or you can't seem to calm yourself down, you should make an appointment with a doctor who can help you. Here are ways on how to cope with and overcome anxiety about traveling:
Practice Deep Breathing
Deep breathing is a technique that allows more oxygen into your body while also soothing your nerves and lowering tension and anxiety. Deep breathing means taking slower, longer breaths from your stomach to offset the quick, fast breaths you do when worried or nervous. Breathing enables more carbon dioxide to enter your bloodstream, which calms down areas of the brain that manage your fear response. More carbon dioxide also helps to keep your heartbeat and breathing in sync.
Give Yourself a Nice Distraction
Sometimes we need to give our brain something else to focus on. Before you leave for your trip, bring a few different items along, like a favorite book, video game, or magazine you can pay attention to when you feel anxiousness creeping into your mind. When you find yourself fully absorbed in something, all over thoughts and distractions can begin to float away.
Use Positive Affirmations
Using the power of positive words—or affirmations, as they’re also called—can help you fight and overcome negative ideas. Acknowledge when you have doubts and fears creep into your mind and then actively think happy and positive thoughts for yourself. By visualizing things for yourself, such as being content and safe on your trip, your mind will slowly drift towards these thoughts more often. Here are some positive mantras you can repeat to yourself:
- I am thankful for this adventure and the extraordinary beauty it has brought into my life.
- Travel has taught me to be brave and to accept my vulnerabilities.
- I try to surround myself with good people and let my journey uplift me.
Plan Out Things in Detail
Anxiety often develops from feeling like you’re not in control. Before you leave for your trip, create a checklist of everything you need and lay it out the day before so you know you're not missing anything. Make a detailed plan for the first few days of your vacation, so you know exactly where you'll be going and how you'll get there. Once you're on the trip and you've followed your strict plans for a bit, you'll find yourself feeling more okay with loosening your itinerary.
Find People To Talk To
When we keep our emotions bottled up, they become overwhelming. Just know that many others have had the same negative ideas about traveling that you do. Look for local or online support groups where you can talk about your feelings. It can be beneficial to hear from people going through the same anxious feelings you are and people who’ve overcome their travel anxiety.
Get Your Body Moving
Sometimes the best thing to do when you're feeling worried is to get moving. Exercise produces endorphins, which are soothing and aid in the dissipation of anxious energy. Take a walk outside, ride a bike, lift some weights—do anything that helps get you up and active.
Hopefully, by using some of these strategies in your own life, you can create a more relaxed mindset and keep negative thoughts at bay. No matter what reason you're traveling, making yourself more comfortable and less stressed will go a long way in having positive experiences while you're on the move.
What we wear can also have a significant impact on how we are feeling. Tight, restrictive clothing can add to our discomfort when we’re on planes, trains, or other modes of transportation.
As part of keeping your stress low, remember that comfort is key. NxTSTOP's Travleisure® tops make travelers "feel like I am in a blissful cocoon.” They will keep you warm and cozy even when dealing with fluctuating temperatures that can occur when traveling on planes and other systems of transportation. We have bamboo shirts for sale that offer provide the softest feel paired with antimicrobial protection. Let us help you feel comfortable and relaxed for your next trip.