Having travel anxiety can make traveling a stressful experience; But the good news is that there are ways to overcome it. For some people, the thought of planning and traveling creates a feeling of excitement or happiness. Seeing new places, meeting new people and having new experiences can be exciting.

But for other people, thinking about traveling can have a different effect. In these people, the feelings of stress and anxiety are more than happiness and excitement, and as they get closer to the date of the trip, their anxiety, worry and fear increase. Travel anxiety can turn an enjoyable vacation into a stressful event. If traveling causes you anxiety, you should know that there are ways to manage it. In this article, we will examine the issue of travel anxiety and ways to overcome it.

What is anxiety?

Anxiety is one of the ways that the body reacts to situations or conditions that cause stress, anxiety and fear. The experience of anxiety is different for each person. Although every person experiences anxiety from time to time, living with an anxiety disorder means that these feelings are intensified and affect the performance of daily tasks. There are many different types of anxiety disorders, and although they may share common symptoms, each has its own causes, triggers, and effects.

What is travel anxiety?

Travel anxiety is a feeling of worry or fear related to travel. Having travel anxiety can make planning and traveling difficult. Just the idea of ​​going to new places can create feelings of fear, uncertainty, and extreme anxiety. This anxiety can prevent you from enjoying seeing new places, seeing new things, or even seeing loved ones who live far away.

Although travel anxiety is not an official diagnosis, it is one of the most common types of anxiety that can have a serious impact on health and well-being when traveling or even when deciding to travel. Although travel anxiety can be overwhelming, there are strategies to help overcome it.

For the treatment of any type of anxiety, psychotherapy and drug therapy are two common types of treatment. In addition, you can also learn how to deal with the symptoms of anxiety.

How common is travel anxiety?

Travel anxiety is especially common for people who experience other types of anxiety. People who have a family history of anxiety are treated with special medication.

Causes and risk factors of travel anxiety

Many factors contribute to anxiety when deciding to travel. This anxiety can be the result of the factors that we have introduced below.

  1. experiences

A person’s past can affect his present. Having negative experiences about travel or related activities in the past can create feelings of anxiety in the future. For example, previous research has shown that 65 percent of people experience travel anxiety after experiencing a severe accident. Other unpleasant events can also affect a person’s feelings.

  1. fear of flying

Flight anxiety or fear of flying is one of the common concerns that can be caused and aggravated by various factors such as the fear of falling, the fear of being very high in the sky, the fear of cramped and confined spaces, or the feeling of discomfort when taking off or landing on a plane. to be Constant news and stories about negative travel experiences such as accidents, injuries, crime, or even getting sick while on vacation and traveling can also lead to travel anxiety.

  1. Leaving safe and familiar things

Some people feel uncomfortable being away from home or visiting a new or unfamiliar place. These people are also hesitant about being in crowded and public places. Planning is possible for many things; But it cannot be done for everything. Allow yourself to worry about things that might cause you anxiety during the holidays. For example, you may find yourself worrying about not having enough money for travel time, the risks that may occur during your trip with your rental car, or getting lost when visiting new places. In this field, biology also has a colorful role. A study conducted in 2017 has shown that genetics can influence the development of generalized anxiety disorder during adolescence.

Other factors that can contribute to travel anxiety include:

  • Shyness in children
  • Having a family history of anxiety or other mental health problems
  • Physical health conditions such as thyroid disorders or cardiac arrhythmia
  • Use of certain drugs
  • Excessive caffeine consumption
  • Suffering from generalized anxiety disorder or other anxiety disorders
  • The important thing is that there may be no reason for this anxiety. Sometimes there is no reason behind why someone has travel anxiety!

Symptoms of travel anxiety

The impact of anxiety, its symptoms and severity are different in different people. Travel anxiety can cause problems including:

  • Impatience
  • Confusion and irritability
  • Feeling irritable and annoyed
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • increase of heart rate
  • panic attack
  • muscle tension
  • Pain in the chest
  • Respiratory problems
  • Nausea or digestive problems
  • diarrhea
  • Shivering
  • Sweating

Diagnosis and management of travel anxiety

If the anxiety is related to travel or something else and is affecting the quality of your daily life, it’s time to seek professional help. A health professional can help identify underlying causes for anxiety symptoms, offer suggestions for management, or refer to a mental health professional if needed.

In the event that:

  • Anxiety can be difficult to manage.
  • Anxiety can cause a lot of stress that affects daily life.
  • Daily anxiety continues for more than 6 months.
  • Excessive anxiety occurs without the need for a stimulus.
  • There is no other mental health condition that can cause these symptoms.
  • And if you are diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, you can have a treatment plan with the cooperation of the doctor to eliminate anxiety and its symptoms.

Treatments for anxiety often include:

  • Psychotherapy
  • Anti-anxiety drugs
  • Antidepressants

Depending on the symptoms and their severity, the doctor may prescribe one or a combination of these drugs. If a person has not been given an official diagnosis of anxiety but wants to solve their travel anxiety problem, they may try some of these treatment methods. Your doctor may not prescribe medication, but a few sessions of psychotherapy can help you learn coping skills.

Living with travel anxiety

  • Living with travel anxiety isn’t always easy, but there are ways to manage, reduce, and sometimes prevent symptoms. Below are some solutions to deal with this anxiety.
  • Know your anxiety triggers; This may take some time and patience. Because it requires knowing the triggers of travel anxiety, but knowing the things behind your anxiety can help you know specific methods to manage the future and present.
  • plan for the future; If you’re worried about “what if…” scenarios, consider planning ahead. You may not be able to plan for everything, but you can often feel safe knowing that you have everything covered.
  • Take care of your belongings at home; Can being away from home duties and responsibilities make you feel anxious? In addition to planning for what will happen in the future, you should also plan for what will happen at home. This could include asking a neighbor to water the flowers or setting up an alarm or security camera.
  • distract yourself; If the method of transportation causes you anxiety and worry, try to take something with you that will keep you busy during the trip. Some distraction activities include reading, journaling, doing crosswords or puzzles, watching a movie or TV show, and any other easily portable activity that you can enjoy.
  • do relaxation; Practicing relaxation techniques such as meditation, mindfulness, or breathing exercises before traveling can help calm yourself and reduce anxiety.
  • Find a glimmer of hope; Instead of worrying about things that worry you, you can focus on the happy times ahead. Thinking about the happy times and new experiences you can have on vacation and travel can help replace negative thoughts with positive ones.
  • take care of yourself; Taking care of physical health can have a positive effect on mental well-being. Trying to make healthy lifestyle choices like eating a healthy diet, exercising, and getting enough sleep in your daily routine is very helpful.
  • travel with others; If traveling alone can cause you anxiety, try traveling with a friend or loved one. Not only does this provide companionship in a new place, but having a trusted person by your side can encourage new experiences.
  • Do drug treatment; If other strategies don’t help reduce anxiety, try talking to a doctor about the option of medication. This can include daily use of anti-anxiety medications or, if needed, medications suitable for panic attacks.

You may not always be able to avoid travel anxiety, and that’s okay. If you are active and take positive steps to manage your anxiety, you can reduce the severity of your symptoms and make it easier to deal with them.

In the end

Travel anxiety is a common problem that can be overcome. You can prepare yourself for the holidays by using coping skills. In the following, we have described the tips that experts have introduced to reduce travel anxiety:

  • Know your anxiety triggers.
  • Do research and planning.
  • Prepare as much as possible.
  • Use present tense techniques.
  • Distract yourself.
  • Practice self-care.
  • Talk to a loved one or a therapist.

Although dealing with travel anxiety can be challenging, traveling has many benefits. Traveling can make you feel good, feel confident, and connect with other places and people. Have you experienced travel anxiety? What techniques have you used to reduce it?

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