Today I got on an aircraft for the first time in 3 years... and I had flying anxiety!
I’ve flown a lot over my life and have always mostly enjoyed travelling. However, for me, travelling always comes with a good dose of flying anxiety.
This time was no different, in fact, given how long it had been my anxiety was much higher than normal.
When I travel, I’m a planner, and as such I like to work out what’s going to happen where and when. When my travel anxiety gets really bad, I play scenarios and conversations through in my head. Sound familiar?
Anxiety tends to be all about future events.
Events that we don’t have absolute control over. Not having the control leads us to run through and then ruminate on the problematic scenarios. That then feeds our anxiety, and we find ourselves trapped in an anxiety spiral.
For me this normally happens as I’m trying to get to sleep whilst expecting a very early alarm to go of…or not to go off… there’s another thing to worry about!
How can we stop this from happening?
When you go to bed, you may be trying to work out if you’ve packed everything and got your passport and money all sorted. Did you put that extra pair of pants in, just in case?
This is when you’ll start to ruminate. So take a deep breath and, if you need to go and check everything that you need to. And… When you check something,
say it out loud to yourself!
“I HAVE MY SPARE PAIR OF PANTS”. MY PASSPORT IS IN THE ZIPPER POCKET OF THE CASE”. Etc.
Hearing yourself saying this help you to accept it and check it off your mental list.
Once you’re done, you can go back to bed and (hopefully) have a good rest until the alarm goes off… “I HAVE SET THE ALARM FOR 4AM!”.