If you’re like me you love exploring new destinations, but find the actual experience of travel to be really destabilizing for your nervous system. Traveling with anxiety isn’t always pleasant, but it’s definitely possible with a little bit of planning. Below are my favorite items to travel with to help minimize pre-travel anxiety, while helping to stabilize your nervous system for your whole trip. They are simple, easy to use, and all fit inside of your carry-on!
Adaptogens are herbs that help your body adapt to different kind of stressors, i.e. traveling with anxiety. To be honest, I was never really a believer in them until my doctor prescribed me a blend for anxiety. Damn, they really worked! You don’t have to bring an herbal pharmacy with you on the plane since there are literally hundreds of convenient adaptogen supplements on the market. You can take them in pill form, powder, or tea. I like to bring a few packets of Four Sigmatic’s Chill Chai Latte and drink it on the plane instead of the terrible, artificially flavored tea they serve. I also like to take a dose of the the Life Seasons Adrenal-T blend or the Anxie-T blend (both of which are sold at Whole Foods in a travel size bottle) before I get to the airport to help with pre-trip anxiety.
Alexis Smart First Aid Kit
If you know me or follow me on Instagram, then you know I’m a huge fan of Alexis Smart Flower Remedies (read my review here!). Alexis Smart crafts flower remedies in the lineage of Dr. Bach. The small bottles are TSA friendly & you take them just by dropping a few drops under your tongue. The First Aid Kit blend is a fast acting remedy that can treat acute anxiety. You can take it as often as every 10 minutes until you calm down. Start taking the drops as soon as you feel that first tinge of pre-travel anxiety.
Whole Foods sells Bach Flower Remedies, but personally I have only had true success with the Alexis Smart line. I personally always use First Aid Kit for traveling with anxiety and try to keep a bottle in my purse at all times.
Snacks with Fat & Protein
Airplane snacks and things you could find around the airport are typically ultra processed, high in refined carbs, high in salt & contain sugar & artificial sweeteners. Excess salt, sugar, artificial sweeteners, and artificial food additives like MSG have all been shown to trigger anxiety. Sugar, refined carbs, and not eating consistently can cause blood sugar spikes and crashes, which will make traveling with anxiety sooo much worse.
Instead of risking your mood & mental health, pack healthy, filling snacks in your carry-on. Make sure your snacks include both healthy fats and protein to help stabilize your blood sugar and keep you feeling full longer. I typically pack: nuts, single serving almond butter packets, avocado & lime (yes, I make my own guacamole on the plane), gluten free crackers, a few squares of dark chocolate, and fresh fruit. I love these reusable bento boxes that make it super easy to pack a filling, healthy meal for yourself. Is this more effort than just grabbing McDonalds? Yes, but it’s less work than dealing with an anxiety attack. Like traveling with any chronic condition, a little bit of preplanning goes a long way.
An Engrossing Novel
Sometimes all you need to calm your anxiety is to be so engrossed in a different world that you forget you’re even on a plane! But reading isn’t just great for anxiety due to the element of distraction. Studies have found that reading can reduce stress levels by up to 68% and that 30 minutes of reading has benefits roughly equivalent to 30 minutes of meditation. The Harry Potter series and the Kingsbridge series by Ken Follett are my absolute favorites for being transported to another world.
It’s been my experience that certain essential oils have an amazing impact on anxiety. For me, I have found that anxiety is really triggered by asthma. Unfortunately, asthma medication is a well known anxiety trigger, as well, so I do my utmost to avoid taking it. I always travel with a bottle of Breathe blend by Doterra which is an incredible replacement for an inhaler. If you are having an anxiety or panic attack, it can also help you normalize your breathing. For anxiety symptoms I also love Doterra’s Serenity blend, which can be used as an oil or taken in capsule form.
Noise Cancelling Headphones
The constant noise and screaming babies while traveling can lead to some serious sensory overload, leading to an anxiety attack. I use Beats Noise Canceling headphones to drown out the noise. I’ll listen to binaural beats, classical music, or soothing sounds because listening to hours of modern music or podcasts on end can also contribute to sensory overload.
We all know that the best answer to anxiety is meditation. Of course, sitting still and breathing is last thing you want to do when you actually have anxiety! That being said, being trapped on an airplane is a good way to force yourself to meditate. You may or may not have wifi when you’e up in the air so plan ahead and download the meditations beforehand. For me, I really love the Soothe DI, the Triggers DI and the Emotional Clearing DI from To Be Magnetic. If you are a Pathway member you can download them with the Teachable app. I download a few Joe Dispenza meditations as well, although I don’t do the breathwork on the plane for fear of people thinking I’m insane.
When I was introduced to Alexis Smart Flower Remedies (through the Expanded Podcast with Lacy Philips), I have to admit, I was intrigued, but skeptical. The idea that consuming a flower essence could unravel years of trauma was definitely appealing to me. At the time I thought that healing required difficult labor, thousands of hours at the therapists office, and hard won breakthroughs. Although I was hesitant to order some of her remedies, I was eager to believe that plants could help us heal our emotional upheaval and trauma more quickly. But when I went in search of an Alexis Smart Flower Remedies review written from personal experience, I couldn’t really find any. So I decided to start experimenting with her remedies and write a series of totally honest reviews for people like me–intrigued by their potential, but skeptical.
This article is a review specifically of Whole Hearted, however, I have worked with seven of Alexis Smart’s other remedies and will include some of my insights from these other experiences. Reviews for other remedies in the same product line will be coming soon! I also want to highlight that I am not sponsored by or affiliated with Alexis Smart in any way, nor am I an expert in Bach Flower Remedies.
This Alexis Smart Flower Remedies review is based almost entirely on my personal experience but also includes insights reported back to my from some of my clients or friends who have taken these remedies. Your experience may be entirely different! What happened while I was on this remedy is more a reflection of my internal state at the time and what the remedy was bringing up to heal, rather than a reflection of the remedy itself. I tried to be as detailed as possible in this review, so it is a bit long, but it definitely contains a lot of useful information if you are thinking about experimenting with Bach Flower Remedies.
What is Whole Hearted?
Whole Hearted is a flower remedy designed by Alexis Smart in the tradition of Dr. Edward Bach. Dr Bach discovered the healing power of flowers in the 1930s after witnessing the trauma, and what we now know to be PTSD, of soldiers returning home to Britain from the trenches of World War I. He felt intuitively that if their emotional stress could be treated, the body would be able to heal itself. Dr. Bach eventually created a system of vibrational medicine using the flowers growing around him, after he left his London practice and moved to the English countryside.
Each of the flowers used in the remedies has a unique energetic imprint the resonates with a certain symptom or experience in the energetic or emotional body of the patient. This resonance is what delivers the healing.
After you order a remedy from Alexis Smart, it will arrive within 10 days in a blue bottle with a dropper. They are made of spring water and flower essences, with brandy used as the preservative. If you have issues with alcohol you can order them alcohol free as well. To ingest the remedy, drop four drops under your tongue, four times a day. Consistency is key!
Whole Heart is one of what Alexis Smart calls the Foundational Formulas. She explains on her website, “My Foundational Formulas heal you at the deepest level. Foundational Formulas are designed to heal old wounds, which may be the cause of current suffering. Trauma, grief and fear can leave lasting impressions on the body, mind and emotions. Often, we may not even realize we have been effected by an event, because the symptoms we are presenting may be seemingly unrelated.” From what I understand, if you are new to flower remedies, it is best to start with one of the Foundational Formulas.
In Love vs. Whole Hearted
Before using Whole Hearted I had used In Love, Soul Purpose, and First Aid Kit. I found In Love to be very intense. While using In Love, I had an emotional “breakdown to breakthrough” on day 10 of using the remedy. Leading up to that, I had felt the remedy working on me on both a physical and energetic level. I had a similar experience while on Soul Purpose, also on day 10, but it was slightly less emotionally intense. On both remedies, I felt it ramp up until day 10 where I had the “breakdown,” and purged a lot of emotions through some pretty hardcore crying accompanied by a revelation. After day 10, I felt burned out, but my energy levels gradually picked up and I felt a gentle come down from the remedy over the next 20 days.
Alexis Smart recommends taking Whole Hearted, then In Love. But for whatever reason I felt pulled to In Love first.
After I took In Love I got a lot of feedback that I should have started with Whole Hearted. I have to say, I’m really glad I didn’t. Whole Hearted was such an intense experience for me and so physically embodied, if I hadn’t already experienced a Bach Flower Remedy, I would have been deeply freaked out.
So far, Whole Hearted has been the most physically embodied remedy I have taken. Yes, the purging can be intense, but it’s by no means negative. These plant allies are deeply loving and give us the experience we need at the time. They only give us as much as we can handle, so if you are experiencing it, it means you can handle it.
My Experience with Whole Hearted
I decided to take Whole Hearted because of a dream. I dreamt that a doctor was holding up X-rays of my chest and said, “You have cancer of the heart. It’s from your job.” At the time, I was going through a breakup and dealing with a really toxic work situation. I took the dream as a warning and decided it was time to cleanse my heart.
As I mentioned, I had a very intense experience with Whole Hearted. Coincidentally, taking this remedy also fell in between a solar and lunar eclipse AND Mercury retrograde. I was feeling highly activated at the time and some of the physical symptoms I experienced might have been related to the eclipses as well as the remedy.
The remedy started really working on me around day 7. I had body pains and aches, mostly in my back, and started to feel deeply, deeply tired. At night it felt like energy was rolling off of my body and had intense dreams. I also experienced a horrible stomach ache, plus pain in my chest. One night while falling asleep I intuited that the pain I was experiencing was guilt trapped in my body. Hello, Catholic Guilt!
On night 8 of the remedy, the pain in my heart was so intense, if I hadn’t known what was happening, I might have taken myself to the hospital. It felt like my heart was literally on fire. If you’ve seen The Ecstasy of St. Teresa by Bernini (pic below), that is a perfect representation of what the pain in my chest felt like.
My body was completely exhausted, but I still had a kind of restlessness in my limbs, sort of like Restless Leg Syndrome. I was up most of the night with chest pain and nausea. But I did find that putting a piece of selenite against my chest really helped with the pain.
It was a tough night, but I woke up in the morning feeling surprisingly refreshed despite getting only a few hours of sleep. Around 5pm I got sleepy again and took a three hour nap. After 11pm I started to feel the physical restlessness mixed with deep exhaustion again, but that night was less intense.
Around day 11 or 12, the remedy did seem to settle down and the restless nights, as well as the physical symptoms eventually disappeared.
I took this remedy because I knew that I needed a cleansing of my heart space. Well, that is definitely what I got!
For me, Whole Hearted felt like a remedy to get to business clearing blocks. However, the clearing felt multidimensional. I definitely had a lot that needed to be cleared from my life, but the healing also felt deeper, like I was clearing from past lives as well. While experiencing the emotional purging with other remedies, I was able to pinpoint what was being cleared. But with Whole Hearted, it was just waves and waves of pain I couldn’t necessarily pinpoint.
I definitely feel like a lot of pain was released from my heart space as well as my stomach. This remedy has been the most effective tool I have ever used for clearing the heart chakra and releasing trapped pain. I can’t imagine how many thousands of dollars I would have had to spend in therapy to get this kind of emotional release. I definitely feel confident saying in my Alexis Smart Flower Remedies review, these remedies are well worth their cost of $42.
Everyone’s experience with these remedies will be slightly different. In my experience, it took several days before I started feeling Whole Hearted, but my friend and colleague Dorothy Stover, felt it almost immediately. She told me, “Within 24 hours of taking Wholehearted I felt a massive pain in my chest. I knew it was grief from my mother dying the year before. I used meditation and continued with Whole Hearted accordingly to release the grief. Within a day, the pain in my chest was gone. By the end of the bottle I felt lighter and ready for my next step in life. It wasn’t a big shift. It was subtle and a gentle nudge.”
Like me Dorothy is a big believer in flower remedies. You can read her Alexis Smart Flower Remedies review here.
Tips When Taking the Remedies
Avoid Intense Exercise.
Personally, I found it’s best to avoid intense physical activity. While on In Love I made the mistake of hitting the gym for a super intense work out then going for a sweat in the steam room. I was already purging pretty hard from the remedy, but the added purge of my workout plus sweating it out in 115 degree temperature was way too much for me. I started to feel really emotionally overwhelmed and decided light yoga and stretching might be a better choice while on these remedies in the future.
While taking Whole Hearted, I definitely had the urge to workout because my body was shedding so much anxiety and excess energy. However, I also found that I was having body aches all over and was exhausted to my core. It was a similar feeling to having the flu. Despite the random surges of energy, I felt hitting the gym was out of the question.
Choose the Right Remedy.
Not every remedy will work for you 100% of the time. The remedies respond to your vibration and current emotional state. If you choose a remedy that isn’t a match for you, you likely will not feel anything. Use your intuition and read the descriptions in detail to pick the right one.
If you take one of these remedies and don’t feel anything it’s either that you chose the wrong remedy or you were inconsistent with your dosage. You have to take these remedies four times a day, every day for 30 days to feel the full effects. If you keep forgetting to take the remedy you likely won’t feel anything, so set a timer on your phone to remind you.
Alexis Smart Flower Remedies Review Final Thoughts
I am no expert on vibrational medicine, but I have found the flower remedies are able to gently enter my energetic field and begin peeling back layers of pain, shame, and programming, revealing my authentic self below. They bring to the surface that which I have been hiding from myself. Things I would not have been able to reach with therapy alone. For me, it has always felt like these remedies are deeply intelligent essences that remove blockages and allow my being to find its own healing within. When I am on these remedies, I also feel like I can see my life from a totally novel perspective. Who knows, maybe I’m seeing things from the point of view of our plant allies.
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