Grab your map and get ready to travel the world!
If you’re one of the 40 million adults (that’s 18.1 percent of the population) with an anxiety disorder, don’t let it hold you back. With these tips, you can fight anxiety while you’re on that adventure.
That way, you can enjoy every second of your travels.
Here are seven ways you can fight anxiety.
You’ve got this! Before hitting the road or taking off, make an effort to plan and prepare.
The anticipation of your trip might kickstart your stress and anxiety before you even pack. Instead of letting it get the best to you, remember why you want to travel. What adventures await?
Then, determine what causes your stress. Knowing your triggers can help you prepare to face them.
If you’re worried about being late to the airport, make sure you have everything packed in advanced. Then, set your alarms. Give yourself a cushion of time to arrive. That way, you can pace yourself instead of experiencing travel anxiety.
If you’re headed out of the country, plan the finer details of your trip. Read and research about the language, culture, and emergency local numbers. Try learning a few common phrases of the country’s language. Don’t forget to grab your passport ahead of time, too!
Planning these details puts you in control. That way, you can fight anxiety—or better yet, use your plan to avoid it altogether.
When anxiety kicks in, many people focus on their symptoms. However, moving your focus elsewhere can help manage those symptoms.
Instead of thinking about your breathing or tremors, use a distraction. This can include a game, magazine, book, or your favorite song. That way, you’re turning negative thoughts around and visualizing a calmer moment.
You can also use affirmations to center your thoughts. Remember, your anxiety will pass.
Anxiety is a normal and sometimes helpful part of traveling. Sometimes, events happen that you have no control over. If you’ve ever lost your luggage or had a flight delayed, you know what that’s like.
Instead of feeling helpless, these events and anxieties can help you take action. Acknowledge that things might go wrong, then focus on what you can do to fix it.
3. Pair Up
You don’t have to go alone. Instead of trying to fight anxiety solo, grab a travel buddy. Choose someone you feel comfortable and safe with.
Then, make sure they’re aware of your anxiety. That way, they can help you cope and improve your sense of security. For some people, that comforting company is all they need to fight their travel anxiety.
4. Consult a Doc
Only one-third of people who have an anxiety disorder get treatment or counseling. If you’re concerned about your anxiety, speak with a doctor. They might help you realize your travel anxiety is caused by underlying conditions. For example, you might have a fear of flying (aerophobia).
Your doctor might also recommend medication. These can include:
- Klonopin, to ease panic attack intensity
These benzodiazepines are anti-anxiety medications that can relieve your symptoms. Finding the right anxiety treatment for you can go a long way in helping you manage your anxiety.
As an alternative, you can also talk to friends and family about your anxiety. Talking it out can help give your situation perspective.
Discussing your travel anxiety with other people who experience an anxiety disorder can help, too. Check online for a community and see how they managed their travel anxiety.
5. Form a Routine
Anxiety usually occurs when we feel like we’re not in control. By forming a routine during your trip, you can take back that control.
To start, try setting your alarm each day. Then, go through your morning routine. Doing the same thing every morning gives you something to expect or look forward to.
Add a treat day into your week and do something a little beyond the scope of your plans. That way, you can enjoy your trip without letting travel anxiety get the best of you.
6. Challenge It
If your anxiety is kicking in and your instincts are telling you something bad will happen, ignore it. Easier said than done, right?
When your anxiety feels over the top and irrational, use rationality to counter it. Breakdown bigger fears like a plane crash or terrorist attack. Then, consider the details.
Chip away at those bigger anxieties with facts. Ask yourself about the odds. You can even look up statistics to support your rationality.
Ask yourself if you would warn a friend not to travel because of your specific anxieties. Does saying it aloud sound reasonable, or ridiculous?
This can help put your fears into perspective. After all, if it makes you laugh, you’re probably good to ignore your anxieties. That way, you can counter your travel anxiety and fears with reality.
7. Remember Your Wins
Recall every trip in the past and your previous triumphs. Even the smallest accomplishments in the past can teach you how to navigate situations in the future. Those old roadblocks can also prove you’re capable of handling the unexpected during a trip.
Feel free to write down these past moments, so you don’t forget them. Now you have evidence that traveling isn’t dangerous or scary, and that you will make it home.
If you feel like your anxiety is kicking in, look through this list of accomplishments. That way, you have a reminder that you can handle anything the world throws at you. This is an opportunity to learn how to travel better in the future, too!
Map It Out: 7 Ways to Fight Anxiety While Traveling
With these seven ways to fight anxiety while traveling, you can make the most of every trip! Have fun, enjoy yourself, and take tons of pictures. That way, you can remember this as another travel win!
Explore the travel section of our blog for more ideas for your trip.