For those who are not aware, a lot of people actually suffer from travel anxiety, where a person may experience fear of visiting new and unfamiliar places. The stress-induced due to this feeling of uncertainty is what is known as travel anxiety.
In fact, many of us experience travel anxiety without even noticing, however for some; it can be overwhelming and downright incapacitate them to think or act properly. In some severe cases, it can even stop individuals from traveling altogether.
According to a recent study by Stratos Jets, around 33% to 40% of all people experience some form of anxiety when it comes to flying. Moreover, 60% of sufferers experience generalized anxiety during the flight, which they can easily manage, while 2.5% and 5% experience crippling anxiety.
Crippling anxiety is a genuine fear that is classified as a clinical phobia that can leave people unable to think or act appropriately. In fact, people report their first fear of flying “attack” at the age of 27 on average.
In light of this information, let’s take a quick look at some of the essential tips that can help you deal with travel anxiety.
1. A Companion is Best
You know what they say, there is strength in numbers and believe it or not, for those who experience travel anxiety, just one person and their companionship can make a world of difference. Hence, those who suffer from travel anxiety can find it incredibly comforting to travel with a companion who can cater to their needs, offer them support throughout the journey, and make sure that they feel less agitated.
However, a travel companion has to be more mature and can handle their own nerves with complete control. Therefore if you find yourself sweating, breathing unevenly, or going through a possible panic attack, then they can pull you through and help you reach a safe spot to calm you down.
2. Brush Up on Your Coping Skills
There are various things that you can do to deal with and manage your travel anxiety. Moreover, it is better that before you travel, you must brush up on your coping skills. This would help you stay in control of the situation and improve your preparedness level to a great extent. Here is what you can do:
- Understand and identify symptoms early on, such as chest pain, difficulty breathing, and rapid heart rate.
- Knowing your anxiety triggers specific to traveling and psychotherapy can be a good option for treatment.
- Plan for problematic scenarios such as running out of money, getting lost on the trip, or becoming sick while traveling.
- Bring plenty of distractions that can offer you a visual distancing from potential triggers that can induce a panic attack, such as video games, movies, books, or puzzles.
3. Exercises that Can Help
The mind and the human body are integrated into one another. This is why a lot of times, our physical activities can influence our mental state as well as soothe us. There are tons of exercises out there that you can practice to lower your anxiety levels. Some of the best ones include:
- Relaxing breathing techniques where you place one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach. Breathe in slowly and regularly through your nose while breathing out through your mouth.
- Jogging, hiking, riding a bicycle, or even going for a brisk walk can help you reduce your mental stress levels. Practicing this three to five times a week only for 30 minutes each can induce a remarkable calming effect on your nerves.
- Practice yoga and meditation. Join a club or a group that is led by a professional. Both yoga and meditation offer you tremendous benefits for your whole being, including your mind and body.
4. Familiarize Before Travel
Often, people often experience anxiety because they are not familiar with the place and the fear of the unknown gets the best of them. This is where one should consider making themselves familiar with their surroundings and those which they will encounter during their travel. Here is what you can do:
- You can look at pictures or take snaps of your traveling routes so that you can visualize them and become more acquainted with them.
- Explore the departure and arrival stations or the airports that you plan to use. Read reviews, watch videos of people interacting on terminals, and so on to familiarize yourself.
- Learn more about your destination, the people and the culture you would experience, as well as the various landmarks or sites you plan on visiting.
- Plan your journey well, know the arrival and departure times, and visualize the various interactions with other people you might have along the way to make you feel better.
5. Join a Support Group or Community
Anxiety attacks are more common than you think, and that is why you can find a lot of focus groups online and those in your current locality that can help you deal with this troubling aspect.
Joining a focus group that deals with travel anxiety can help you learn a lot about your own problems and acquire valuable lessons from others who share their stories and experiences.
Plus, you might end up with a lot of reading material on your hand that can be quite helpful in managing your own troubles.
To sum it all up, you would acquire a lot of knowledge about your own particular condition and learn to manage or help out others who are going through distress. At Crowd Writer, young learners are encouraged to speak up about their problems and find support from friends, family, and support groups.
6. Relaxation Techniques
Relaxation techniques come in all shapes and sizes. In fact, there is pretty much a heap load of them that you can try out to calm your senses and gain control over failing nerves. Here are some of them that can help lower down your stress and anxiety levels:
- Relaxing through visualizing where you sit in a quiet and comfortable place while thinking about your ideal place in the world. It can be either real or imaginary and should help you stay calm.
- Muscle relaxation relieves stress buildup in your muscles. Breathe slowly into your nose and out of your mouth, squeeze your hand tightly to make a fist for a few seconds and release to notice all the tension leaving your hand. You can practice this with other muscle groups in your body as well.
- You can also simply relax by simply counting to an unspecified number. Usually, counting till 10 or 100 should do the trick. For some, relief is quick, while for others, it can take time.
- Practice mindfulness by not letting your fears take over your thinking. Mindfulness is a method to stay present and attentive in your current state as well as being aware of your surroundings.
7. Smartphone Apps
I know that using smartphones on an airplane is wrong, but this is why most of them come with airplane mode. So if you are traveling with your gadget switched on, place it in airplane mode, and then you can use the following apps to make you feel good and forget about your traveling anxiety:
- Amazon Prime Music
- White Noise
- Worry Watch
Travel anxiety should not be treated lightly and once must spread the word to make people aware of its various implications on people who suffer from it. I hope this post was able to offer you some meaningful insights as to how you can overcome and deal with your travel anxiety. Cheers and Bon Voyage!