Travelling with Anxiety
I would like to preface this post by saying that anxiety does not have to be a negative thing. In fact, whilst travelling although at times it's scary, can be a way to stay present and mindful. We can use it as a tool to enhance our experience, rather than frame it in a negative and daunting way. Easier said than done, though right?!
Anxiety sucks. It is a pain the ass. It has been so debilitating for me that I used to be terrified of any new experience, especially where I didn't feel 'safe'. When I travel, I feel uprooted and I don’t feel grounded. The daily habits that make me feel comfortable and safe are left behind as I enter a whole new environment. The senses are on over load and the body is challenged; diet, jet lag and lack of sleep are all key triggers of anxiety for me. Long flights scare the shit out of me and this recent trip involved an initial 29 hour journey.
29 f*&king hours! Like, is this for real?
I had never flown that long before. The mind always predicts and questions what's going to happen...
“What happens if I have a panic attack on the plane?”
“What happens if I can’t sleep?”
“what if I can’t connect and meditate?”
What if? What if? What if?
Just thoughts, right?
Right. And I have a choice. I can become attached to the thought, believe in it and buy into it. Or, I can acknowledge the thought, say thank you to the mind for wanting to keep me safe and just doing it’s job and label the thinking as thinking and connect to my heart.
My heart, my soul, my true self. My inner knowing that I am eternal, I am infinite and I can create my reality.
Already the energy of connecting to the heart is calm, grounded and peaceful. This is the real stuff. The thoughts and associated emotions of panic and anxiety are just temporary. The true self is permanent. Safe. Real.
Once the mind and body connect and FEEL the energy of the soul, it balances out the anxiousness. IMPORTANT: I am never trying to stop or get rid of anxiety. I never resist it. As bloody uncomfortable as it is, I sit with it. I watch. I acknowledge, approach with gentleness and curiousity and connect with my true self. The Atman.
How do I connect with my true self?
I focus my attention on my heart space. For those of us with a regular spiritual practice, you KNOW what this feels like. And the more you practice, the easier it is to connect. Practice makes permanent.
To support the body, mind and spirit before and during travel I:
- take supplements; B12, Fish Oils, Magnesium and Probiotics and a Multi Vitamin. I take these daily, however I upped my dosage and took them with me
- was pretty disciplined with meditation and yoga practice leading up to the travel, with a focus on lower back, hips and hamstrings which are the areas in my body that would be the first to tense up during travel. My meditation practice was centred around surrendering and trust, mainly trust in myself and the Universe and surrendering the elements that are out of my control
- asked my guardian angels to help and support me on my journey. They ALWAYS, and I mean always, show up for me.
- every day, several times a day, took long mindful breaths and connected with my True Self. I truly believe it was this regular “quick check ins” that kept me grounded and present
- got on the mat when I could, but to be honest, it was only once (you don’t need a mat to do yoga )
- sent myself unconditional love when I could and was supremely kind to myself
- had so much fun!!! I danced, I drank, I let go. I met new people with beautiful hearts and experienced a breathtaking part of the world.
- lastly, I was bloody grateful. Every day, every moment. Grateful for this experience, grateful for my miraculous body, grateful for my husband being with me and grateful for this opportunity.
I am proud to say, that anxiety was not a problem for me on this trip. If anything, it presented me with an opportunity to deepen my experience and for that, I am grateful.
- K x