How not to let anxiety stop you from traveling


Having anxiety about traveling can make planning or taking a trip a stressful experience, but there are ways lớn overcome it.

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For some, the thought of planning or taking a trip brings feelings of excitement or exhilaration. Seeing new places, meeting new people, & having new experiences can be thrilling.

For others, thinking about travel can have the opposite effect.

Rather than excitement & exhilaration, you might be overcome with feelings of anxiety & stress. & the closer you get lớn the travel date, the more nervous, worried, và afraid you become.

Travel anxiety can turn a fun vacation into a stressful event. If traveling causes anxiety for you, there are ways you can manage it.

The Anxiety & Depression Association of America (ADAA) estimates that nearly 40 million U.S. Adults are affected by an anxiety disorder every year.

Anxiety is one of the ways your body toàn thân reacts khổng lồ situations or circumstances that cause stress, worry, or fear. Everyone experiences anxiety differently.

While it’s natural lớn have anxiety from time to time, living with an anxiety disorder means these feelings are amplified & impact your day-to-day functioning.

There are several types of anxiety disorders, và while each may tóm tắt some symptoms, they each have their own unique causes, triggers, và effects.

Travel anxiety — aka vacation anxiety — is a feeling of worry or fear that occurs in relation to traveling.

Having travel anxiety can make planning và going on trips difficult. Just the idea of going lớn a new place may bring on feelings of fear, uncertainty, và extreme nervousness.

This anxiety can prevent you from enjoying new places, seeing new things, or even visiting loved ones who live far away.

While travel anxiety isn’t an official diagnosis, it is a common cause of anxiety. Anytime you have to or want khổng lồ travel, it can seriously impact your well-being.

Even though travel anxiety can feel overwhelming, there are strategies that can help you overcome it.

With any type of anxiety, therapy & medication are two common treatment options. You can also learn ways to lớn cope with symptoms.

Travel anxiety is common, especially for those who already experience other forms of anxiety. Those who have a family history of anxiety, take certain medications, or who have certain physical health conditions may also have a higher chance of having travel anxiety.

Many things can play a role in how you feel when it comes khổng lồ travel. Your vacation anxiety may be the result of:

What we hear or read. Consuming news or anecdotes about negative travel experiences — such as accidents, injuries, crimes, or even falling ill while on vacation — can create anxiety around travel.Concerns about the “what ifs.” We can plan for many things, but we can’t plan for everything. Letting yourself become worried over what could or might happen during a vacation can cause anxiety. For instance, you may find yourself concerned about not having enough money during your trip, potential issues with your rental car, or whether you’ll get lost while sightseeing.

Biology might also play a role. A 2017 study suggests that genetics could influence the development of generalized anxiety disorder during young adulthood.

Other factors that may make you more likely khổng lồ develop travel anxiety include:

being shy or reserved as a childa family history of anxiety or other mental health conditions physical health conditions, such as thyroid disorders or heart arrhythmiastaking certain medicationshigh intake of caffeine or other substanceshaving generalized anxiety disorder or another anxiety disorder

There also may not be any reason. Sometimes, there isn’t a cause behind why someone has travel anxiety — they just do. & that’s OK!

Anxiety affects everyone differently, including your symptoms or how severe they are.

Travel anxiety can cause:

restlessnessagitation or irritability feeling “on edge” or “on high alert”difficulty focusingtrouble falling or staying asleepincreased heart ratemuscle tensionbreathing issuesnausea or stomach issuesdiarrhea shakingsweating

If anxiety — related lớn travel or otherwise — begins to lớn affect your day-to-day chất lượng of life, it may be time to lớn consider seeking professional support.

A healthcare professional can help you figure out if there are underlying causes for your symptoms, offer suggestions lớn manage, or refer you khổng lồ a mental health professional if needed.

To diagnose an anxiety disorder, a doctor typically compares your symptoms và medical history with the criteria listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition (DSM-5). This is a handbook published by the American Psychiatric Association.

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According to lớn the DSM-5, you may have an anxiety disorder if:

managing your anxiety is difficultyour anxiety causes you extreme stress, which affects your daily lifeyou have anxiety nearly every day for more than 6 monthsyour anxiety is excessive và out of proportion to the triggerthere’s not another mental health condition that could be causing your symptoms

If you receive a diagnosis for an anxiety disorder, you và the doctor can work together lớn develop a treatment plan that works for you & your symptoms.

Treatments for anxiety often include:

Depending on your symptoms và their severity, your doctor may recommend one or a combination of these treatments.

If you don’t receive a formal diagnosis but still want to lớn resolve your issues with travel anxieties, you might still benefit from some of these treatment options. A doctor might not prescribe medications, but a few therapy sessions could help you learn coping skills.

Living with travel anxiety isn’t always easy, but there are ways lớn manage, minimize, và sometimes prevent your symptoms.

Here are some strategies for you to lớn consider using:

Identify your triggers. It can take time and patience as you learn what triggers your travel anxiety, but understanding what’s behind your anxiousness can help you figure out specific ways lớn manage beforehand and in the moment.Plan ahead. If you’re concerned about the “what if” scenarios, consider planning ahead. You may not be able lớn plan for everything, but it can often give you a sense of security knowing that you’ve covered all your bases.Take care of things at home. Does being away from your responsibilities at trang chủ leave you feeling anxious? While you plan ahead for what could happen during your trip, plan for what will happen at home, too. This can look like enlisting a neighbor to lớn water your plants, setting up an alarm or security camera, or placing a temporary hold on your mail.Take care of yourself. Taking care of your physical health can have a positive effect on your mental well-being. Try to incorporate healthy lifestyle choices — such as a well-balanced diet, exercise, và getting enough sleep — into your daily routine.Travel with others. If traveling alone makes you anxious, consider asking a friend or loved one lớn join you. This not only offers you companionship in a new location, but having someone you trust around can also help encourage new adventures and experiences.Consider medication. If other strategies aren’t easing your anxiety as much as you’d hoped, consider talking with your doctor about medication options. This could include daily anti-anxiety meds or as-needed options for panic attacks.

You may not always be able to avoid travel anxiety, và that’s OK. If you’re proactive và take positive steps lớn manage your anxiety, you can help reduce the severity of your symptoms & make them easier to giảm giá with.

Anxiety surrounding travel can really impact your ability khổng lồ enjoy taking vacations. It can cause you to have symptoms lượt thích increased heart rate, difficulty sleeping, and even panic attacks.

But vacation anxiety does not have lớn prevent you from enjoying travel và all the experiences associated with it. You can take steps lớn cope with your anxiety & make living with it easier. Strategies, therapy, & sometimes medication can all be used khổng lồ help you manage.

If you’re finding it difficult to lớn overcome feeling anxious about traveling, a healthcare or mental health professional can help. They can evaluate if an underlying condition is behind it & help you figure out a treatment plan so you can start enjoying your travels, rather than be overwhelmed by them.

Looking for support but not sure where to lớn start? You can kiểm tra out Psych Central’s hub for finding mental health support.

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American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic & statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Association.

Medically reviewed by Lori Lawrenz, PsyD — By Saundra Montijo on February 24, 2022

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