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That Time a Crowded Train Felt Like Too Much


Lots of crowds. Lots of people. Lots of Stories. Lots of Panic….

It is currently 9am and I am waiting at the station for the next train to Coventry. Having plenty of time to spare, I start to take in my surroundings whilst taking a few breathes. Panic begins to set in as I think of the crowded train, the bustle of people and the loud commanding voice (for once not my own, but the conductors).

It has been a while since I have travelled on a train… As I step on board I think about my destination. In this case Coventry, where I had been studying at university. It's only been a few months that I have been away from Coventry, so why am I so anxious? I am getting ready to meet some of my close friends to celebrate one of their birthdays. I should be excited (I am) but getting there feels long… extremely long.

The journey should take around an hour and 15 by train. That is without delays, it is summer, the sun is scorching hot and the passengers are equally impatient to get to their destination smoothly.

I start to think to myself, “you should have brought a book”. But then I realise reading makes me nauseous… bingo… I can start to listen to an audio book, Girl on the Train perhaps (a fitting choice). Wait a second… the audio book is…. what if I miss my stop because my headphones are in?… Worse, what If I fall a sleep?

As I frantically scrabbled my brain for answers, I thought to myself CALM. Consciousness, Appreciation, Listening and Meditation. With these four words I began to start my familiar routine of gaining comfort in the most stressful of situations. Whilst also thinking of my happiest memory where I was the most comfortable, immediately putting me at ease.

Upon reaching my destination, my breath started to come back to me, as I began to breathe in and out more deeply. Further enabling to get back into my safe space and start the short walk to where my friends were meeting me.

What I learned from this particular experience:

  • Meditate on a positive memory where you found yourself to be in a calm and safe space. Then transfer this energy into your present situation (whatever it may be).

  • Confide in your friends more often, as talking therapy is very beneficial.

  • Work on your own anxiety one step at a time by exposing yourself to similar situations where you are equipped with essential calming tools (i.e music therapy).​

If you would like to submit a story, anonymously or under your name, please get in touch! You can fill out the contact form on the website or email youmeandanxiety@outlook.com!​

#travelanxiety #travelling #panicattacks #crowds