Have you always dreamed of taking this wonderful trip to the other side of the world, or to the country on the other side of the border, but you remain grounded, the idea of taking a trip makes you anxious? What a pity. Stress and anxiety deprive you of discovering new horizons and the joy of seeing other landscapes and meeting other cultures.
But there is nothing insurmountable about it. The fear of traveling, the stress of flying or the anxiety of leaving your house, your children, your pets for a few days can be overcome.
First, consider the possible causes of travel anxiety. Various experiences can be the source of negative associations with travel. For example, 65% of people who had a major car accident developed travel-related anxiety. Just hearing about negative travel experiences, such as a plane crash or an exotic illness, can cause anxiety in some people.
Tips to Help Overcome Travel Anxiety
If travel anxiety has a negative impact on your life, here are some tips that can help you deal with it.
-Working with a therapist can help you learn to cope with anxiety and find out what works best for you.
– Identify your triggers
Anxiety triggers are things that cause your anxiety symptoms to increase. These triggers can be specific to travel, such as planning a trip or boarding an airplane. They can also be caused by external influences such as hypoglycemia, caffeine or stress. Psychotherapy, an anxiety treatment option, can help you identify and overcome your triggers before you travel.
Predict certain scenarios
Pre-trip anxiety most often comes from the « what if » aspect of the trip. While no one can predict all of the possible scenarios, it is possible to have a battle plan for some of the more common ones, such as:
What if I run out of money? I can always contact a relative or friend. I can bring a credit card in case of an emergency.
What if I get lost? I can keep a paper map or guide and my phone with me.
What if I get sick during the trip? I can purchase travel health insurance before I leave or make sure my insurance will cover me. Most insurance policies provide access to a list of health care providers in different regions of the country or the world.
By preparing for such scenarios in advance, you’ll find that most problems have solutions, even when traveling.
Plan responsibilities at home during your absence
For some people, the thought of leaving the house causes anxiety. Leaving the house, children, or pets alone can cause extreme anxiety. However, like planning a trip, planning to be away from home can allay this concern.
Hire a house sitter or ask a friend you trust to drop by to help with your business while you are away. A good babysitter will provide you with regular communications while you are away from your home, your children or your pets.
Bring lots of distractions
What is your favorite activity that helps you reduce your anxiety? For some people, video games and movies provide visual distraction to pass the time. Others find comfort in quiet activities, such as books and puzzles.
Whatever your distraction, consider taking it with you. Pleasant distractions can help you avoid negative thoughts and give you something positive to focus on.
Learn relaxation techniques before you go and use them during your trip. Conscious meditation can help reduce symptoms of anxiety considerably.
Breathing deeply, relaxing your muscles, and anchoring can help you relax and manage anxiety. The practice of cardiac coherence can be a precious help to reduce the sensation and the effects of stress.
Traveling with friends
If you are afraid of traveling alone, bring a traveling companion. If you choose to travel with someone else, there are many group or couple activities.
You may find yourself more open and adventurous in the company of a comfortable person. By the end of the trip, you may even have made some new friends to travel with again.
List the positives you expect from the trip
Before your trip, it may be helpful to write down any positive experiences you hope to gain from your trip. Keep this list with you during your trip and refer to it during times of anxiety.