The holidays are already upon us and for many people that means trains, planes and automobiles, as a means of traveling to see friends, family or just getting out of dodge. One of the companions that often travels with us that we'd rather not be there is stress and anxiety. The holidays are stressful enough for many of us, but tack on travel and it amps it up that much more.
One of the things that can help us shift out of our stress and anxiety is to become present, get outside of our heads and widen our perspective. I'm fortunate enough to have worked with a number of people who struggle with stress and anxiety around travelling and in the work some true wisdom comes from them that I now get to share with you.
Here's a one-minute tip that comes from a new release called Mindfulness Meditations for the Anxious Traveler: Quick Exercises to Calm Your Mind. You can use this anywhere and anytime while traveling to begin neutralizing the stress and stepping into what really matters.
Be an Ambassador of Compassion
"When sitting on a plane (or substitute your mode of transportation), see the 'choice point' by considering all the other people on the plane who are also struggling with being an anxious traveler. Remember, up to 40 percent of people struggle with some form of anxiety about traveling. Be an ambassador of compassion, connecting with your heart and saying;
May you feel safe and protected.
May you be at ease.
May you be free from fear.
May you be happy."
The fact is stress around travelling is more prevalent than we usually imagine. Just practice this as an experiment over and again without expectation and see what you notice. Even holding that phrase in your mind can be helpful in getting out of your own head and back into your life.
What would life be like in the days, weeks and months ahead if more people practiced being The Ambassador of Compassion during this high travel season?
We might not only reduce stress, but bring the joy back to traveling.
As always, please share your thoughts, stories and questions below. Your interaction creates a living wisdom for us all to benefit from
Adapted from Mindfulness and Psychotherapy