Why I used to be an Anxious Traveller (and how I overcame it)Apr 30, 2022
By Dr Shuna Marr
I used to be an anxious traveller. Despite the fact that I worked in the travel business for years and latterly had to travel regularly to Hong Kong as a 'Tourism and Airline' lecturer, I always hated having to fly.
I'd find myself getting anxious from the moment I stepped into the airport. My stomach would churn and I'd feel this panic inside that I would miss my flight.
Consequently, I'd always like to be at the airport about 4 hours before the departure time and, yes - I'd be one of those who would stand under the destination board waiting for the gate to be announced.
From the first flicker of the gate number appearing, I'd be off, practically at a sprint, to make sure I'd be first to arrive at the gate.
It wasn't until I was on the aircraft that I could settle down into the little cocoon of my seat, plug in earplugs and let go the anxiety.
However, it wasn't until a couple of years ago that I twigged that there were two key reasons WHY I was such an anxious traveller.
The first reason was because I was being triggered.
I came to understand that every time I travelled to an airport I was being triggered by an event that happened when I was 16.
I'd been travelling to Belgium to visit friends and I was travelling abroad for the first time on my own.
Now, I'd been used to travelling alone since I was eight. Each summer, I'd go and spend a few weeks with my granny and grandad.
My mum and dad would put me on the bus at Glasgow's Buchanan Street Bus Station and, 85 miles and 3 hours later, my grandparents would meet me at the Ardrishaig Pier bus stop (I know! Changed days since the 1960s, huh?).
So, I'd had no trouble getting to Dover, by train, by myself (all the way from Glasgow, changing stations in London) but then I'd to check in for the hovercraft flight across the Channel.
This was not something I'd done before, but I had a 'good Scots tongue in my head', so I presented my passport and ticket to the check-in lady and asked what I was supposed to do now.
She indicated I should sit and wait for my flight to be called. I duly went over to the nearest row of seats and waited...and waited...and waited.
Eventually it was getting closer and closer to the time it was due to depart, and so I went over and asked the check-in lady when the flight was likely to be called?
It turned out that I was supposed to have gone THROUGH the doors into the departure lounge before I sat down to wait!
You know that tannoy call you hear: "This is the final call for passenger X. Please make your way to gate number 12, where your flight is waiting to depart."
Yes, that was me... they'd been paging for me for ages on the departure side.
So I was rushed through to the hovercraft gate and I had to do the 'walk of shame' to my seat, with all the passengers staring at me, with annoyance, because I'd held up the departure.
I can understand now just how traumatic this experience had been to my rather sensitive teenage self, and it explained why I'd always needed to be at the airport, and the gate, hours in advance ever since.
Reason number two...
However, I have since learned that there was something else at play under the surface that was contributing to the anxiety I always felt in airports - and it was because I had never realised that I was picking up on other peoples' energies.
Airports can be quite stressful places - people in a hurry and worrying about missing their flight (like me) - and all this emotional energy is being pumped out by the thousands of people who pass through the airport every day - each person adding to the collective field of energy that builds up in the airport.
As someone who is 'energetically sensitive', I would unknowingly wander into the airport, into this 'energetic soup' of low vibrational energy, and because I didn't know about how to manage that kind of energy, or recognise it wasn't mine, I'd just be absorbing it all.
Hence why my anxiety tended to start the moment I entered the airport itself.
This field of low vibrational energy hangs around there, and as soon as I entered it, I found my own concerns suddenly amplified, because I was hooking into this energy and allowing it to permeate my own aura.
So, as I said, there were two reasons why I was an anxious traveller: but one was due to 'my stuff' and one was 'not my stuff.'
As we progress through our awakening, we have to learn how to discern what's 'our stuff' and what's not, and learn how to deal with them, as they each need to be 'processed and let go' using different approaches and tools.
Handling 'my stuff'
What was at play here was the triggering of a long-standing emotional wound.
Because I had this trauma, each time I had to fly, I was being triggered by that 16 year old part of me that felt shame and judgment, and I felt anxiety and a need to protect myself from experiencing that again.
My 'coping' mechanism had been to turn up hours early and be first to the gate.
However, I now have tools and techniques for healing and releasing emotional wounds like this - and my favourite 'go to' is to take a trip into the Heart Space Room and give my younger self a spot of self compassion and forgiveness.
Or use one of our '10 self-care practices', like 'Letter to Burn' or the 'Balance' journalling prompts, to process it.
But... the energy management side of things needs a whole different tool set.
Handling 'not my stuff'
What I hadn't ever realised, until I began learning about energy management, is that I was unwittingly taking on energies that weren't mine.
I was particularly sensitive to airports because I had an unhealed wound around checking in for a flight, that was in my own personal field.
Because of this, I was vulnerable to all the other anxiety and emotional energy floating around, which was vibrating at that same frequency.
I would unwittingly be absorbing it into my personal field, bringing me to energetic overwhelm and making me feel super anxious.
Over the past few years, I've come to:
- understand why we need to be able to manage our energy
- know how to discern what's mine and what's not
- and accumulate tools and techniques to process it and let it go.
It's not something that many of us have ever been shown how to do - but as our mission is to help others progress through their awakening more smoothly than we did, my daughter Roslyn and I are keen to share this with you so that you can empower yourself around your own energetic challenges.
That's what we address in 'Support Your Energy'.
Support and Protect Your Energy is an on-demand workshop series course, with teaching videos and workshops, helping you learn to manage your personal aura, empath sensitivities, connections to energy fields, 3rd eye, chakras and energetic boundaries. Find out more about this empowering course HERE.