Traveling with Anxiety – Prepare for a Carefree Trip

Posted on October 13, 2017

When one struggles with anxiety, one does not only suffer from the moments when an anxiety attack appears, but also from overthinking scenarios that scare one. Here are three common fears related to traveling, and advise on how to handle them:

1. Fear of Flying
A fear of flying stems mainly from the unknown factors that people might have to deal with, such as turbulences and air pressure. Especially since flying is the most common mode of transportation when it comes to vacationing, a fear of flying might just be the number one fear that most people with travel anxiety have to deal with.

2. Worst Case Scenarios
Horror stories of travels gone wrong are displayed on the news or often heard from friends and family, which can greatly influence one’s anxiety. Having these worst case scenarios in the back of one’s mind tend to elicit more anxious thoughts about one’s own travels, and this connection, of course, is not exclusive to traveling.

3. Straying from Home
Most people view their home as a safe haven that can be a refuge of relief when stress of the outside world becomes too much to handle: It is quite common for those who suffer from anxiety to associate being home with being safe. Therefore, many have a fear of simply being too far from home, and the idea of leaving for an extended period of time can be very stressful.

The best thing to do is to NOT avoid traveling. Try not to push back the date of your planned travels, but leave yourself little way out by going ahead and buying the ticket. Avoiding a certain fear can leave it open to future fears and feelings of anxiety, which is especially true if one is not quite sure where the fear stems from in the first place. Avoidance will encourage a cycle of negative reinforcement, and make any future travels even harder to get through.

Even if you might not be able to pinpoint what caused your fear, it is often fairly easy to figure out what exactly the fear is. Writing down what your fears are so you can better handle them is a very straight-forward practice.

Beginning your trip with feelings of anxiety will most likely lead to your trip keeping you in a state of anxiety throughout, so some ways of avoiding your travel anxiety to kick in are:
• Be prepared in advance.
• Have anchors to home (i.e. people to call such as friends and family).
• Plan an empty vacation (i.e. plan a vacation to get used to the idea of vacationing).


Source material from Open Forest

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