Practicing mindfulness at a busy airport can be a challenge. However, it’s not impossible. Many unexpected things can happen at airports that stress us out—but there’s no need to worry. After all, we can’t control what’s happening, but we can control how we react.
For example, I find that my mind can start to wander and think of all the bad things that may occur. Has my gate been changed? Will immigration hold me up? Are my bags going to get lost? Consequently, that kind of thought can instigate fear and build up anxiety!
All of this worrying amid the noise challenges my mindfulness at a busy airport. It’s so important to keep your thoughts clear and positive to make the most out of your journey!
Here’s what I’ve learned about practicing mindfulness at a busy airport.
1. Accept the now. That means, the reality of what is here and now. It’s not really about “positive thinking” but accepting the unpredictability of an airport environment.
2. Breathe. Taking deep breaths helps stop anxiety and brings you back to the present. Stop thinking and start breathing—even just for a few seconds.
“If you know the art of breathing you have the strength, wisdom, and courage of 10 tigers.” ―Zen proverb
3. Don’t try to control everything. The airport environment, as we know, can throw all kinds of curveballs at us. I have always wondered who is in charge of gates changes anyways?
4. Go with the flow. Life doesn’t always give us what we want. Neither do airports. It just happens that there are many factors out of our control that could lead us to miss a flight. The airport can be as unpredictable as life.
5. Trust the universe. A good mindfulness tactic is to release control and trust the world—or in this case, the airport. As Gabby Bernstein says, “The Universe Has Your Back” and to believe in “safety in the face of uncertainty.”
There are still moments where I feel I may spiral into panic mode. But usually, I will stop and try to focus on my breathing. Taking deep breaths helps clear my mental noise and brings me back into the now.
You can stay in the now by believing your own ability to get back to calm. Trust the universe where it may take you next. Happy travels!
UPDATED February 27, 2020