Letting Go of Holiday Travel Stress

holiday travel stressOver the holiday season many people travel via trains, planes and automobiles to see friends and family. The holidays are already challenging for many of us, stress and anxiety are two traveling companions we’d rather leave at home.

One of the things that can help with stress and anxiety is to slow down to become present, to get outside of our heads, and widen our perspective.

Here’s a one-minute tip that comes from my book Mindfulness Meditations for the Anxious Traveler: Quick Exercises to Calm Your Mind that can help you let go of holiday travel stress. You can try 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.”

It may be that you or a loved one are an anxious traveler, or you encounter a stressed-out stranger in your travels. This practice will help you and those around you. The fact is stress around travelling is more prevalent than we usually imagine.

Just practice this as an experiment without expectation and see what you notice. Even holding the above compassionate 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.

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About the Author

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D. Dr. Goldstein is the co-founder of The Center for Mindful Living in Los Angeles and has published extensively and is author of numerous articles, chapters, and blogs. These include Uncovering Happiness: Overcoming Depression with Mindfulness and Self-Compassion, the bestselling book The Now Effect: How This Moment Can Change the Rest of Your Life, Mindfulness Meditations for the Anxious Traveler and co-author of A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook and MBSR Everyday: Daily Practices from the Heart of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction. He has also created several mindfulness-based programs including the Mindfulness at Work program for eMindful.com recognized by the National Business Group on Health for its success in stress management, Basics in Mindfulness Meditation: A 28 Day Program and co-developed CALM – Connecting Adolescents to Learning Mindfulness with his wife Stefanie Goldstein, PhD. Dr. Goldstein’s unique ability to make complex concepts simple has led him to be invited to speak nationally and internationally with mental health professionals, educators, business leaders and lay audiences. Learn more about Dr. Goldstein here: www.elishagoldstein.com

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