Ah! My old friend, Travel Angst!
A few days before any trip I get a familiar frisson in my gut, and my mind starts working overtime.
‘Something could go wrong,’ it tells me. ‘You might miss the flight/lose your luggage/get blown up by terrorists/die of food poisoning’… on and on it goes. Sometimes my mind shouts so loud, I can’t hear myself thinking!
Why this fear? It’s not based on reason, or fact. And therein lies the key to wrestling myself out of its tentacles.
Help is at hand when I start to notice what’s going on. I’m simply caught up in thoughts, fears and feelings, totally enmeshed as if they were reality, when in fact they’re simply the product of my mind, and I can watch them wander in, and and float away again, as long as I’m aware of what’s going on.
One way to tame the travel terrors, is to welcome them in. Yes – open your arms as if to an old friend. ‘Hello Travel Angst. Fancy seeing you again! Come on in, settle down and let’s have a good old chat about all the dastardly things that might happen when I leave home.’
As soon as I take that approach, the fears shrink. They don’t like being under the spotlight, because they’re quickly shown up for what they are – just thoughts, nothing more.
Taming Your Mind
Try this approach with anything that scares you. Keep a watch on your thoughts, and when they start to shriek their way to a climax, call them out. Say to yourself: ‘Just thoughts’. Name them: ‘I’m having thoughts about fear.’ Open up to them by stopping what you’re doing and taking a few deep breaths. Make space for them, and see if they don’t start to evaporate.
Give this fear-taming technique a try, and let me know how you get on. You can leave a comment below.