5 Effective Strategies to Overcome Anxiety on Public Transport

Are you experiencing anxiety when you step onto public transport? This might be on the London underground, trains or buses. Often this might be when the train stops in a tunnel or when it is particularly crowded. A sudden feeling of claustrophobia can be quite uncomfortable. Do you ever suffer from a panic attack? The good news is that hypnotherapy can help you overcome anxiety on public transport. I have helped many people and I hope I can help you also.

You’re not alone. For many people, crowded spaces, an unfamiliar environment and lack of control can all trigger feelings of uneasiness and panic. But here’s the good news, There are effective strategies you can use to overcome anxiety and make your public transport journeys more comfortable. In this article, we will explore five strategies to help you decrease your anxiety on public transport. You might also wish to explore how my hypnotherapy sessions can help, so feel free to get in touch.


Overcome Anxiety on Public Transport


Overcome anxiety on public transport


Whether you’re commuting to work, traveling to a new city, or simply going about your day-to-day activities, I hope the techniques provided in this article will make a difference. Say goodbye to your anxiety and say hello to stress-free and enjoyable public transport experiences. Finally, you can regain a feeling of control and again have the freedom of getting around, no matter the mode of transportation.


The impact of anxiety on using the Tube


Anxiety can have a significant impact on using public transport, particularly when it comes to the Tube in London. The London underground system is known for its crowded carriages and busy stations. It can get pretty hot too and all that can exacerbate feelings of anxiety. The fear of being trapped in a confined space or being surrounded by strangers can for some be overwhelming. There is good news and hope. Consider some of the strategies mentioned here.


Strategy 1: Deep breathing exercises

One of the most effective strategies to manage anxiety on public transport is practicing deep breathing exercises. When you start to feel anxious, pause and take a moment to focus on your breath. Inhale deeply through your nose, counting to four, and then exhale slowly through your mouth, counting to six or seven. Repeat this process several times, allowing your breath to slow and your body to relax. Deep breathing activates the body’s relaxation response, helping to reduce anxiety symptoms. There a wonderful app that can help with this, click here for details.

Another technique is to practice diaphragmatic breathing. Simply place one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach. As you gently inhale, allow your stomach to rise while keeping your chest relatively still. Exhale slowly, feeling your stomach fall. This soothing type of breathing engages the diaphragm, promoting relaxation and reducing anxiety.

Remember, deep breathing exercises can be done discreetly, allowing you to manage your anxiety without drawing attention to yourself. Incorporate these exercises into your daily routine and I hope you’ll indeed notice a significant improvement in your ability to cope with anxiety on public transport.


Strategy 2: Cognitive behavioural therapy techniques

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a widely recognised and effective approach for managing anxiety. Why not give it a go! CBT focuses on challenging and changing negative thought patterns and behaviours. By using CBT techniques, you can develop new ways of thinking and responding to anxiety-provoking situations, such as public transport, including the London underground.

One popular CBT technique is called cognitive restructuring. For us, this would involve identifying and challenging irrational thoughts related to fears about public transport anxiety. For example, if you have a fear of being trapped on a train. You can challenge this thought by reminding yourself that trains have multiple exits and you can always simply get off at the next station if needed.


Overcome Anxiety on Public Transport hypnotherapy


Strategy 3: Gradual exposure therapy

Gradual exposure therapy is a powerful technique for overcoming anxiety on public transport. It involves exposing yourself to increasingly challenging situations, helping you become more comfortable and confident over time. Start by identifying the specific aspects of public transport that trigger your anxiety. Is it around crowded spaces, the noise, or the fear of getting lost?

Once you have identified your triggers, create a hierarchy of exposure. Perhaps starting with less challenging scenarios and progressively working your way up. For example, you could begin by taking a short bus ride and gradually increase the duration or distance over time. Exposure therapy helps desensitise you to the triggers of anxiety, allowing you to build confidence and resilience. With clients I do sometimes suggest exposure therapy as a treatment method alongside hypnotherapy.

Remember, the key to successful exposure therapy is to take it slow and listen to your body’s cues. If you start to feel at all overwhelmed, take a step back and try again when you’re ready. With time, patience and practice, you’ll be more able to conquer your anxiety and confidently navigate public transport again.


Strategy 4: Distraction techniques

Distraction techniques can be incredibly helpful for managing anxiety on public transport. Engaging your mind in something other than your anxious thoughts can help redirect your focus and reduce anxiety symptoms. Here are a few effective distraction techniques to try:

  1. Listen to music or podcasts: Create a playlist of your favourite songs or podcasts (preferably a light-hearted or funny one) that you can listen to during your journey. Music has a calming effect and can help shift your attention away from anxious thoughts.
  2. Read a book or e-book: Bringing a book or e-book with you can be a great way to distract yourself on public transport. Choose something engaging or uplifting to keep your mind occupied.
  3. Play mobile games or pussles: There are many mobile games and pussle apps available that can help keep your mind busy during your journey. Solve crossword pussles, play word games, or challenge yourself with brain teasers.


Strategy 5: Hypnotherapy for anxiety

Hypnotherapy is another effective strategy for managing anxiety on public transport. I am regularly helping people overcome fears of the London underground, buses or trains using hypnotherapy. Hypnotherapy itself involves using guided relaxation and focused attention. I use visualisations and other tools, helping you uncover and address the root causes of your anxiety. We also consider useful coping mechanisms.

Hypnotherapy can be particularly beneficial for people with deep-seated fears or traumatic experiences associated with public transport. By accessing your subconscious mind, hypnotherapy can help reframe negative beliefs and emotions, enabling you to approach public transport with a newfound sense of calm and confidence. If you’re interested in exploring hypnotherapy as a treatment option for your public transport anxiety, get in touch to find out more about sessions in London and online.


Tips for managing anxiety in crowded or enclosed spaces


In addition to the strategies mentioned above, here are some extra tips for managing anxiety in crowded or enclosed spaces on public transport:

  1. Find a supportive travel buddy: If possible, travel with a friend or family member who understands and supports you. Having someone by your side can provide comfort and reassurance during your journey. for some this wouldn’t work as a help, but if it does for you, consider it.
  2. Use noise-cancelling headphones: Noise can be a significant trigger for anxiety. Invest in a pair of noise-cancelling headphones to block out the surrounding sounds and create a more peaceful environment.
  3. Practice mindfulness: Mindfulness involves being fully present in the moment and non-judgmentally observing your thoughts and sensations. By practicing mindfulness techniques, such as focusing on your breath or engaging your senses, you can bring yourself back to the present moment and reduce anxiety. Headspace is a great mindfulness app.
  4. Plan your journey in advance: Knowing exactly where you’re going and what to expect can help alleviate anxiety. Plan your route, check timetables, and familiarise yourself with the layout of stations or stops beforehand.


Anxiety on public transport? Book hypnotherapy today


Are you ready to overcome your anxiety? Hypnotherapy can provide you with the tools and techniques to manage your anxiety and enjoy stress-free journeys again. Get in touch today. Don’t let anxiety hold you back from exploring new places, commuting to work, or simply enjoying the freedom of getting around. Sessions in London and online.




author avatar
Jason Demant Clinical Hypnotherapist
London hypnotherapist. Seeing clients in King's Cross and online. Diploma in clinical hypnotherapy, counselling and Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) from Life Matters Training College, based on Harley Street, London. Fully insured and a validated practitioner of the General Hypnotherapy Standards Council and member of the General Hypnotherapy Register.