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Frequent Business Travel Can Be Harmful, Here’s Why

Frequent Business Travel Can Be Harmful, Here’s Why

Frequent flying might seem like both a gift and a curse. Some frequent fliers are living a dream that many of us can only fantasize about. Seeing the world and eating gourmet exotic foods (all on the dime of their company), could make any office-dwelling worker fume a bit.

It’s not all sunshine and rainbows, however. In fact, the frequent fliers of the world are being exposed to more pitfalls than are worth living the proverbial dream.

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For starters, frequent business trips make you age faster – and, no, it isn’t just crossing time zones so often. Jet lag, by itself, can cause all sorts of negative effects such as: confusion, memory impairment, and blocking important faculties that are in control of aging. Science has shown us that certain genes play a large role in the aging process. Going on business trips more often than is recommended – two every couple of months, if you are wondering – can really hinder those genes’ abilities to make sure you age at a normal rate.

If that wasn’t bad enough, jet lag can do even more damage to your mind, mood, mental health, and even your physical being. For one, constant sleep deprivation and a state of confusion can put you more at risk of mental health issues. Stress is the not-so-subtle killer and driver when it comes to a lot of health breakdowns. Being constantly tired, disoriented, and bustling through crowded airports with cancellations or gate changes? Not exactly the same as meditating quietly, is it?

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The point is, your brain and body need a break or healthy balance between business trips and a normal routine to unwind a bit. As much as your mind is bound to suffer from frequent business trips, your body is not excluded either. Traveling doesn’t usually allow for the healthiest of foods, nor the time to make them. If you’re on a business trip, the chances are that you are going to grab something quick and easy from the local areas or at the airports and choke it down. As such, frequent trips pose a huge risk of obesity and all of the unpleasant side effects that come with it. Managing jet lag is already a challenge, but poor food habits and a messed up circadian rhythm (which is the official term for your internal clock), are all a recipe for those business trips to wreak havoc on your overall health.

That havoc is serious enough not only to mess with your health, but it can also make it a lot harder to battle infections, viruses, and illness in general. Business trips weaken immune systems which can make carrying on strong on those trips, or in general, a nightmare. It’s much easier to get sick at high altitudes and the effects can follow you for quite some time. In general, air sickness is a common infliction for many, even frequent fliers. Those sickness bags are there for a reason. It’s unfortunate they don’t provide them for everyday travel because those frequent trips can mean you’ll need one with you as much as you might need some cold medicine, tissues, and a general arsenal of anti-cold tools.

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Of course, a weakened immune system also opens the door to many more serious issues, especially if the aging issues are anything to go by. Poor food habits, poor mental health, and a weakened immune system don’t mix well, especially if your frequent business trips take you to remote areas of the world where the risk of disease is more abundant. Travel is great. Seeing the world is a common dream amongst those stuck in the office or just stuck in a rut, but forgetting to take care of yourself (especially with business trips slowing and keeping your body from working at maximum capacity), isn’t worth it

If that wasn’t enough of a reason to be turned off of those frequent flier miles, here’s one more big reason to be wary of frequent travel – radiation. Radiation exposure is much more frequent at higher altitudes. If you hadn’t guessed, it’s not going to awaken any mutant superpowers, it’s going to do you harm. Of course, certain amounts of radiation are considered normal, as it is an every day reality that humanity has to live with. However, tests on frequent fliers have shown that the radiation detected on them is much higher than the allotted public exposure ratio. Some have even referred to frequent business travelers as “radiation workers”. Ouch, right? The fact still stands: radiation is a big problem for frequent travelers. Look at any of the studies on radiation found in seasoned travelers and it is definitely enough to put plenty of people off.

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In short, living any dream comes with its upsides and downsides. The important thing to remember is that it is hard to live a dream if you aren’t living. While that may seem a bit morbid, the truth is that you are unlikely to reason with your company that frequent trips are slowly killing you. The upside is that there is plenty of good tips out there to make frequent business travel a bit easier on you, as well as giving you access to tools needed to protect your health, both mental and physical.

If you are a frequent traveler, either for business or pleasure, the goal of this article is to essentially make sure that you know the risks of the lifestyle and have a starting point on ways to better take care of yourself. Every lifestyle comes with some negatives to it, that is just a fact of life. It comes down to the responsibility of the traveler to make sure that they find the balance between living with the pleasures of travel as well as the consequences. Knowing the downsides is just the first step to improving your situation and making the most of it.

Live the dream as you please, and enjoy it! Just remember – take care of yourself!

Featured photo credit: rodeime via flickr.com

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

1. Breathe

The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

  • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
  • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
  • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

2. Loosen up

After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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3. Chew slowly

Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

4. Let go

Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

It’s not. Promise.

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Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

5. Enjoy the journey

Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

6. Look at the big picture

The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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Will this matter to me…

  • Next week?
  • Next month?
  • Next year?
  • In 10 years?

Hint: No, it won’t.

I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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8. Practice patience every day

Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

  • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
  • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
  • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

Final thoughts

Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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