My brain has strong neural pathways for looking for all the things that might go wrong or might be problematic… especially when it comes to flying. This week I want to share with you how I manage my flight stress and anxiety.
Flying has always been a great excuse for me to worry my way into a state of stress and anxiety.
We are flying next week; international, during COVID, with a toddler. My brain is giving me lots of potential problems and maybe things that might go wrong, horribly wrong.
In addition to my normal flight stressors like getting to the airport without getting in a car crash or hitting traffic, having all our stuff packed correctly, remembering everything, and missing the flight; I also have COVID on my mind.
Because our primal brain has evolved to be aware of problems and negatives to help us survive. It is part of our default brain programming.
Fear, overwhelm, stress, anxiety… these emotions cripple our higher brain functioning; making it difficult to see the big picture and make solid decisions.
Knowing this helps.
Cue… Mental Management.
The factor of managing our mind or not determines if we overthink our way into anxiety and flight stress.
I am managing my mind constantly.
When I feel the anxiety and flight stress start to rise in my body, I pause, take a deep breath, and then take a look at the thoughts running in my mind to see what exactly is the cause.
And I talk back.
My Inner dialogue with my Primal Brain
“I hear You brain. Your concerns are noted. We are doing everything we can to be preventative. There is no sense in overthinking any further.”
This is me, actively managing my primal brain. Yes, I have to do it repetitively, often, and consciously.
And it works.
Overthinking leads to Flight Stress and Anxiety
When we let our brain spin on the future we are wasting time and energy. We cannot control the future with worry.
Separating out what we can control and what we cannot control, then managing our mind on what we cannot control, is the solution for managing these debilitative emotions.
The bits that I cannot control, like if we do get COVID, then I put trust in my future self…
“I will figure it out. We will figure it out, Everything is figure-out-able.”
And what we cannot figure out will need to be accepted as part of life.
All negative cannot be prevented because negative is part of our human experience.
Nothing has gone wrong if something bad happens- it is such a stress reliever to truly understand this.
Stressing, worrying, getting anxious, or overwhelmed- is the sure way to create negative ahead of time. At least managing my mind can help me from creating unnecessary suffering.
-Take a flight with a long layover so we can sleep a full night’s sleep in between flights. (Sleep is massively important for the immune system).
-Take VitD 3 5000IU for a couple of days before, during, and after.
-Drink plenty of water.
-Bring our own home-cooked healthy food.
-Bring lots of entertainment for our toddler; so we minimize her exploring and exposure.
–Wear masks religiously. Research is showing that amount of exposure matters.
–Manage our mind; to minimize stress and the negative effects stress has on our body. (Stress lowers immune function)
-Exercise, eat healthily, and sleep plenty the week before and upon landing.
Post Flight Stress and Anxiety
By the time this post is published, we will have landed, been tested, and survived.
My flight stress and anxiety will be behind me. Surely my brain will have more thoughts to worry about, meaning more thoughts for me to manage. 🙂