How Yoga Has Wiped the Stress of Traveling For Me
Short little post here as I am supposed to be "revising" for exams next week. Oh well! I'm all about balance -- some studying here and there, yoga here and there, some blogging here and there, some endless Instagram scrolling here and there... You get the idea.
But I've been doing a lot of thinking. I've become a lot more in tune with myself and how I want my life to be. These days, people don't seem to have enough time to think, let alone about themselves. But that so doesn't sit well with me, and I'll always find time to just chill, take a mental break and let my mind wander to whatever it wants.
And usually that's related to my life, my presence in the world and how I can impact the world while playing to my strengths and growing myself mentally. Meditation is key here. It allows me to push out any of the external distractions and just focus inward. This is super important in the stimulating world we live in.
Through traveling across the ocean many times the past few months, I've had my fair share of travel/airport experiences. Let me tell you, I love to travel, so this post may be a bit biased. BUT, I truly believe that you don't have to LOVE traveling (the physical aspect) to find ways to decrease the stress it causes you. For me, after about 20+ flights in the past 3 months, I've had some good opportunities to stress about about early wake up calls, delayed flights, long long long flights, larger than desired people next to me on flights, loud children, etc... But I found (through some reflection afterward) that I didn't stress out as much as I usually would of.
I used some tried and true aspects of yoga that I have cultivated over the years to approach all potentially stressful situations with a sense of calm and positivity that will truly keep me, and those I with, at peace.
I've chosen (actively) to stay calm during travel that doesn't go as planned (that's part of the adventure, right?), I've chosen to see positivity in long flights (time to just relax or watch a few movies!), I've chosen to breathe when others would be turning purple with anger or shaking with stress, and I've chosen to see travel as an opportunity to be grateful. Not everyone has been able to take the amazing trips that I have in just the past couple months, and not everyone is able to fly across the ocean for school breaks and such. I'm not bragging here, not at all, I'm showing gratitude that I am able to do all these things. I recognize how fortunate I am and I am grateful for that. I even write down what I am grateful for in my gratitude journal. Why? Because it makes it real.
Being able to acknowledge all that I have in life, all that I'm able to experience, all that I am able to see with gratitude takes travel (and life) to a whole other level. I'm able to experience things wth happiness, that feeling of joy deep in your heart, and a sense of fire that accompanies true happiness. The kind of happiness that isn't superficial, the kind that is cultivated within you through recognition of your life and yourself, through gratitude practices, through breath, through meditation and through simple acts of mindfulness.
These practices haven't come to me overnight. It's come through years of yoga practice where I first learned to breathe. And I mean actually breathe, not the shallow breathing we do unconsciously. I've learned to accept myself and my mind as it is, where it is. There's always room for improvement, always room to grow. And knowing that, while accepting all that I have and all that I have grown so far is the best way to manifest those desires and to grow further into the person and individual you want to be.
So the point I'm trying to get across is that practices like yoga, breath work, mediation, expressing gratitude have helped me to calm down, find a sense of peace, recognize my luck and stay present in situations. All while remaining calm and stress free in typically stressful situations such as travel.
If you're a traveller, but also a stressed (a lot of people?!) I recommend trying a few of these practices to help with that! And I don't mean just in the moment, I mean a consistent, purposeful, deliberate practice. The more you train your mind and body to just relax, the better able it will be to do so on its own, especially when you need when stressful situations present themselves.
So breathe a little deeper. Set aside 5 minutes to jot down 10 things that you're grateful for, every morning. Practice mediation ( you have no "I'm bad at it" excuse. there's no good and bad in meditation!) with a mantra. Think positive thoughts and positive things will come to you, more and more often. Trust me, that's the power of the universe. You get back what you put out there.
Sending peace and calmness to you all!!
XO -- Amylou