Some of the obvious benefits of traveling include expandingyour world-view, learning a new language, finding renewed gratitude for what you have or for your country, and meeting new people. But there is an even greater opportunity that travel provides, which is especially applicable to folks who struggle with anxiety. Anxiety, most basically defined, is apprehension about the future. More so it is apprehension about our ability to deal with whatever happens in the future, despite so many aspects of the future remaining unclear or out of our control. Travel, and in particular international travel, is likely to bring you to situations that can be stressful, overwhelming, and uncertain. These situations are ripe with opportunity for real-life anxiety exposure treatment in which our thoughts and beliefs about our abilities to cope are put to the test. When faced with a stressful or chaotic situation, what are you likely to tell yourself to keep your anxiety to a minimum? If you are on a train in rural India heading toward the airport and it breaks down, how will you respond? Anxiety wants you to imagine the worst, and for many people with anxiety, that part comes naturally. I suggest to clients that you go ahead and imagine the worst, but always pair it with this imperative next step: imagine exactly how you would deal with it. Would you get off the train and hitch a ride the rest of the way? Would you call the airline and request a new flight? Anxiety most commonly begins in the form of a "what if" thought. The best thing you can do is to answer back to that anxiety the question of, "then what?" 

If you're interested in learning more about working together, contact Charlotte Counseling and Wellness.

CCW offers innovative and evidence-based options for busy professionals. Charlotte is a bustling and fast-paced city where it’s easy to become stressed, overwhelmed, and anxious. By using the most cutting-edge therapies available, we help people improve the way they deal with everyday stressors and more complicated issues.

John Clarke