We all dream of traveling to new places and having new experiences. However, travel anxiety can prevent you from actualizing these dreams. And while some people might know that they have travel anxiety, others are not so lucky. They start having panic attacks en route to their destination.
Others cannot stand being in unfamiliar places. They tend to avoid them at all cost. For example, an employee suffering from travel anxiety will reject job offers in distant areas. It comes so naturally that they may not realize it’s the travel anxiety convincing them not to move. In this article, we will discuss travel anxiety, the causes, and ways you can overcome it.
What Is Travel Anxiety
Do you get easily irritated when traveling? Travel anxiety is far more serious than most people think. And most of the time, it comes from underlying life and health issues. It is more pronounced in people who have general anxiety problems because unfortunately, when anxiety becomes the norm in life, it is difficult to set it aside when traveling.
People with travel anxiety do not make travel arrangements because even the thought of buying tickets freaks them out. It weakens your emotional and psychological state. People with panic attacks also fear traveling because it is something new and that they are not used to. Panic attacks trigger anxiety, and it can be terrible for someone on a journey.
There is no specific cause for travel anxiety, and some people have had it all their lives. Others acquire travel anxiety because of bad experiences, which they remember every time they want to travel. For example, someone who was robbed while traveling may develop a negative attitude towards traveling and vow never to travel again. Others may choose not to travel due to fear of heights or flying.
The one thing in common is that people fear traveling because they don’t have control over events that can occur along the way. Others are just too afraid to risk it. They won’t travel because of the tragic accidents and horror stories that they hear from the media. What is your reason?
Tips for Overcoming Travel Anxiety
The good news is that travel anxiety is manageable. Once you know the cause of your anxiety, it is easy to overcome it. The first step is to accept that you have a problem and do not try to avoid it. When the fear comes, don’t pretend and don’t give in to it either. If you continue avoiding it, it only becomes worse, and you might have panic attacks. Moreover, when you avoid something you fear, you are reinforcing the behavior and allowing it to control you.
Secondly, make travel arrangements earlier. The sooner the reality sinks in, the better for you. Buy tickets and show up on time. Let the fear know that you are in charge and your emotions will not control you.
Another tip to overcome travel anxiety is to know your pressure points. What is the first thing that happens when the anxiety kicks in? Does your heart start beating faster? Or do you struggle to breathe? Or does your bladder threaten to get loose?
Again, try to understand what triggers the fear. What prevents you from traveling? While it may be difficult to know the exact cause, it is possible to determine the fear triggers. Are you afraid of heights? Do you fear being away from home for a long time? Write down your worries and evaluate them. Writing them down will help you to own them and consequently come up with remedies.
Another great way to overcome travel anxiety is to prepare beforehand. If you start your trip with anxiety (like worrying that you might be late or miss your flight), that journey will be full of anxiety. Pack in advance and look for someone to take care of your home before leaving for the trip. This way, nothing will bother you while traveling.
Some people become anxious because of incomplete tasks. Send all your pending emails before you leave and ensure that everything else is in order. If possible, plan the entire trip in advance to put your mind at ease. So each time your mind triggers a panic, you’ll have ready answers. “Where will I spend the night tomorrow? At the Smiths of course!” You get the point, don’t you?
If you are prone to travel anxiety that won’t go away, take vacation breaks once in a while. Don’t fight it when it becomes too much because it can harm you. Fighting anxiety will only lead to stress which leads to severe anxiety. Small breaks will ease your mind a little as you catch up with family and friends.
Aside from dealing with travel anxiety, work on your overall anxiety. When experiencing anxiety in one aspect of your life, it leads to more anxiety in other areas. Reducing your overall anxiety will ease your traveling anxiety as well.
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