Traveling can be fun and exhilarating but can also be stressful and cause some anxious moments along the way. I have previously given you some ideas on Stress Free Travel in an earlier blog so now I will elaborate on some tricks and techniques to deal with situations in the moment, and hopefully this will give you some skills around how to deal with anxiety and panic when traveling.
As you probably would have been told many times before, if you cannot change the situation then you need to change how you deal with it, or view it.
What are Panic Attacks and Anxiety?
Maybe you are suffering from a form of panic attacks or anxiety and you do not know it. This condition is actually a mental health issue and if you are experiencing it for the first time or it is causing more than a minor disruption to your lifestyle then you should talk to your doctor. If this is caused by an imbalance in your brain then this is a physical symptom and may need treating with medication.
A panic attack can be caused by your perceived fear of an event or situation, rather than an actual danger. Of course this is as real to the person suffering this attack as if it was a happening or an imminent event is about to happen. There are several types of Panic attacks or anxiety and some of them are:
- Generalized Aniety Disorder ( GAD) – This is when you can feel anxious most days about most things.
- Social Anxiety – You can feel anxious in amongst people or crowds and can suffer from separation anxiety.
- Specific Phobias – Such as, spiders, clowns, water, small spaces, open spaces, or anything that causes anxiety in a person. .
- Panic Disorder – This is when a person gets a random panic attack which can cause, sweating, irregular heartbeat or palpitations, or a choking feeling
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) – This is when the person has unwanted recurring thoughts with behaviors to manage or override the thoughts.
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) – This is a condition caused by a traumatic event and results in anxiety and flashbacks. It usually requires medical assistance.
Natural Treatment for Panic Attacks
There are things that you can do to minimize the effects of anxiety and panic attacks, and this can involve looking at your lifestyle and making a few small changes. Here are a few things that are recommended to look at to help this condition, and probably will help a few other lifestyle and health issues.
- Avoid or reduce your caffeine intake.
- Reduce or remove nicotine from your daily intakes.
- Avoid alcohol – This is one that is suggested quite often for many situations.
- Get regular sleep.
- Get regular exercise.
- Take multi vitamins to generally feel better
- Practice relaxation techniques. Meditation or Yoga are good examples of what you can do here.
- Go and spend time in nature, walk on the beach, talk to the trees.
- Discuss your issues with your doctor for further specific advice.
Now you may be reading this list and think that your lifestyle is going to be totally ruined if you give up all these vices at once. Maybe you need to make a schedule and plan how to change one thing at a time and slowly change your habits that are causing you a flow on effect of other symptoms.
It may not just be anxiety and stress that you are experiencing but by tweaking a few things slowly over time your overall health and lifestyle will improve immensely.
You will find that this is a good start for your treatment of panic attacks and anxiety. This is also one of the best ways to reduce your anxiety, by just changing things slowly but surely.
Here is a link for some mindfulness meditation that might help you
How to Deal with Anxiety About Flying
When you are planning your trip and you are starting to feel anxious about the thought of flying, or you have previously felt anxious when flying, then this is a good time to start addressing it.
If you can calm your fears before the fact and get your head around it then you will be more likely to look forward to your trip rather than dreading it.Maybe your anxiety about being anxious is actually worse than what you may feel in the moment.
There are a few things you can do that will help with this:
- Look forward to your destination. – Carry a nice photo of the highlight of your trip and what you are looking forward to.
- Cut back on caffeine, alcohol and nicotine. – Try to put yourself into a naturally calm state, without drink or drugs.
- .Make yourself familiar with the airplane and the safety instructions – Tune into the safety briefing
- Let the stewardess know your anxiety – If the airline staff are aware then they may be more empathetic to your fears.
- Distract yourself – Bring something to do on the plane or be prepared to use the in flight entertainment. Movies, games, reading, and sleeping can all distract your thoughts from your nervousness.
- Try to think logically – Remember that there are more people killed by donkeys that by airline crashes. ( I am actually not sure if that statistic is totally correct but I did hear it somewhere). Don’t let your fears override your situation
Think about how you can organize your valuables and items that you might need to take care of your mindset. Have a travel bag suitable to carry on you at all times, so if something happens, you know that you have your basic emergency kit right there with you.
Make sure you have a place for your passport and some cash in separate pockets. Have your electronic device and your phone secured in the bag and download some calming music and meditation to listen to on the plane.
Prepare to Enjoy Your Trip
Hopefully you now understand a bit more about what panic attacks are and what can trigger a panic attack or even anxiety. When you are preparing for your travel, think about how you will cope with some of the eventualities of travel, such as delays and holdups in your itinerary and how this may affect further connections that you have booked.
You will need to think about how you will cope with this so when the unforeseen event happens to you, then you are more prepared to deal with it. By running, it through your head then you can overcome your fear of the unknown, because when it happens your mind has already dealt with it to a certain extent and you won’t go into such a panic.
I really hope that this has helped you to overcome some of your fears around travel so you can go and enjoy your trip and hit the ground running to enjoy your destination.