Traveling can be the most exhilarating and freeing experience. You see the limitless world, learn about new cultures, and enjoy breathtaking scenery that leaves you wanting more. But sometimes, even when you really want to pursue a dream or step out into the unknown, something creeps into your mind and holds you back.
If you’re hesitant to take the leap and go on a solo trip or even get on a plane, you might be dealing with minor or even severe anxiety when traveling.
The most important thing to recognize is that you’re definitely not alone in this.
Many people suffer from anxiety when it comes to traveling. I am often tense, anxious, or uneasy before travel, which usually starts when packing.
If you’re searching for natural ways to help with anxiety, you’ve come to the right place! In today’s blog, you’ll learn how to calm down your anxiety and leave your comfort zone with a sense of calm and clarity.
Ways of Calming Anxiety Before Your Trip
Is it normal to have anxiety before a trip? Absolutely, it’s called anticipatory anxiety, and it’s very common. Once you book your trip, you might start feeling anxious in the weeks or days leading up to your departure. So, how do you get rid of anxiety naturally?
Since my uneasiness sets in while packing, I usually start packing seven days before leaving. I pack a little bit each day, rather than doing it all at once.
On the day of departure, I am tense about scheduling, so I like to leave myself 2-3 hours in the morning before leaving the house. (My luggage is always at the upper limit of the weight allowance, so this is also a stress factor!)
Comfort always calms me, so I book business class, extra legroom, or even simply priority boarding, whenever possible. Anything that makes the flight more comfortable. Once I arrive, those uncomfortable feelings usually fall off me.
Here are a few ways to handle anticipatory anxiety or even severe anxiety when traveling.
Reframe Negative Thinking
If you think something negative about your upcoming trip, replace it with the positive equivalent. “What if everything goes wrong?” Cross that out and ask yourself instead, “what if everything goes right?” Your brain loves to play tricks on you. Negative thinking is simply a bad habit that needs to be corrected. Challenge your negative thoughts and feel the weight of worry lift from your mind when you know how to calm down your anxiety.
Move Your Body
Being in nature and moving around in nature is one of my favorite natural ways to get rid of anxiety. If you exercise and do things like hiking or yoga, your body sends off those feel-good chemicals that help relieve anxiety and stress. When you’re anxious, your body holds a lot of tension that physically manifests and gets trapped. Exercising helps to release all of that nervous energy. Whenever possible, get outside, though a hotel gym can bring some relief if it’s your only option.
How to Center Yourself When Traveling with Anxiety
Now that you’ve moved past the anxiety before traveling, you’ll need to master how to deal with anxiety while traveling. One fear that many people struggle with is flight anxiety. This is completely normal, and many people get at least a bit nervous before taking a flight (especially a long-haul flight.)
Beyond this, anxiety can pop up throughout your trip. It can manifest when you’re going on an adventurous expedition or simply walking into a busy restaurant where you don’t speak the language. These feelings of anxiety can pop up at any time, but the good news is that the ways of calming anxiety when traveling are within yourself.
Create an Anchor Thought
If you’re traveling with anxiety, anchor thoughts can bring you a much-needed sense of inner peace. For example, let’s say you’re about to board a flight to a gorgeous tropical destination. You’re beginning to feel that overwhelming anxiety right before you get on the plane. Now think about what you’re most looking forward to doing when you get to your destination. Is it sitting on a beach and sunbathing? Use this as your anchor thought. Anytime you start to feel anxious, remind yourself that you’re so excited to arrive at your destination to do that specific activity. Envision yourself sitting on that beach. I also like writing down what is on my mind. When you write out your thoughts, they feel less overwhelming.
Practice Breathing Exercises
Out of all the ways of calming anxiety, this one is absolutely essential. You can download a meditation app or simply head outside into nature and take deep breaths, allowing the anxious thoughts to pass and the calming thoughts to sink in. Uneasiness or anxiousness needs a counter pole, and you’ll find it in calmness and mindfulness. Learn about three of my favorite mediation breathing exercises here.
Get Your Beauty Rest
Sleep is very important. In my eyes, sleep is never wasted time. In fact, sleep has the greatest healing power. If I’m feeling tense and restless or out of flow, a power nap works wonders. If I am too tense and restless inside and still tired from the effort because something is not in flow, then a power nap and/or good night’s sleep is very valuable. I perhaps surprisingly to many, find the greatest pleasure in spending an evening in a beautiful hotel room, enjoying the view, relaxing in a freshly made bed, and starting the next day early with renewed strength and vigor.
Keep Calm and Travel On
The key to overcoming your travel anxiety is by feeling that fear but doing it anyway. With these natural ways to help with anxiety, you’ll set off on your new adventure armed with the tools needed to deal with whatever inner obstacles your travels put on your path.
Whether you experience mild or severe anxiety when traveling the bigger you let your fears become, the harder it is to move past them. These natural ways of calming anxiety are simple to implement yet have powerful results.
For more travel tips and mindfulness inspiration, follow my Instagram and join my community of like-minded travelers and balance-seekers! Which of these ways of calming anxiety will you try first?