This morning I got the train to Reading for a work meeting. I very rarely get the train these days and I found my Mindfulness techniques were really useful.
Last year when I had to go to Reading I drove. Again it was in the middle of winter, the weather was awful and the traffic a nightmare. I promised myself that if I had to go to that office again I would get the train.
The trouble is I find train journeys quite stressful too. It’s not the being on the train, it is the finding of the next train that worries me.
I arrived at Birmingham New Street and had 4 minutes to find the next train to Reading. I stood looking at the departure board and couldn’t see the right train anywhere. There was no one to ask and for a moment I felt the panic start to creep in. I felt clueless.
So I took a few deep breaths, went up the stairs and asked someone. They told me the wrong platform but at that point I accepted that I had to wait for the next train which was in 25 minutes.
Phew. Once I knew I had 25 minutes to sort myself and that there was no rush I was fine. So I got myself a coffee and found the right platform. All was ok.
As I sat on the train for the next part of the journey I set the timer on my phone for 5 minutes and then I closed my eyes and let my body settle again. I focussed on my breath. Each time my mind wandered I simply brought it back to my breath. Simple and really effective, I felt still and calm again.
Once I had allowed my calm to return I knew I could enjoy my day.
If you find travel stressful then having the tools to calm yourself down is a great way to make sure you get the most out of your trip.