12 Mindful Tips to Reduce Negative Effects of Modern Air Travel

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Heading off on a plane for holidays? Psychiatrist Prof Brendan Kelly offers some practical tips in the Irish Times for your mental wellbeing.

How to stay calm and mindful while flying and navigating airports, including listening to some Britney Spears!

Full article is available on the Irish Times website here.

Travel is exciting but the experience of travelling can be stressful. Modern air travel is particularly frustrating. Common negative effects include irritation, emotionality, anxiety and jet-lag. Fifteen per cent of men are more likely to cry at a movie on an airplane than at home. The altered oxygen levels in airplane cabins also affect memory and concentration, making air travel significantly more stressful than any of us would wish.

I have often wondered if lessons from mindfulness, meditation and Buddhism could help with some of these problems? Help us cope better in the air? What follows is a guide to addressing some of these travel challenges, drawn from a year of daily meditation outlined in my book, The Doctor Who Sat For A Year, combining traditional medical advice with additional psychological techniques to help you get through airports and flights without too much psychological damage.

In order to minimise the negative effects of travel, there is much psychological sense in the usual travel advice: plan trips with care, especially when travelling with children; spend extra money and time if they ease transitions in the journey (leaving plenty of time for meals, rest and connections); bring twice as much money as you think you need, and half as much luggage.

If you are flying, you must also prepare yourself for the inevitable psychological turbulence of modern air travel. Mindfulness and acceptance can help greatly. Here are 12 mindful tips for a more relaxing flight. …

Full article is available on the Irish Times website here.

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