It seems I am seldom home these days and I must admit, it can be stressful to travel so much. When traveling for work on a regular basis the way I do, it really helps to find ways to stay calm and happy no matter what is going on, what delay might be happening, or what part of the country I find myself in.

That’s why whenever I pack up for a trip, short or long, I always bring along “gratitude”. It’s the first thing I pack! It’s both an attitude and a daily habit that I find makes everything in my life smoother.

Here are just a few ways being thankful works when traveling and why I believe it works so well:

Adjust Your Attitude

Travel brings with it an unpredictability and that is what most people find so stressful. So many things can go wrong, but when I bring along my “attitude of gratitude” I find that I can stay in a positive flow and a positive frame of mind virtually all the time.

Think of the common things that can ruin a trip. Maybe you’ll face an unexpected delay or disappointment on the way to your destination. Maybe you’ll find that you’ve lost or forgotten something important for your trip. Those kinds of thing can happen on any day, any time of day, and usually when you least expect it. But when you take a deep breath and focus on gratitude, you can keep yourself from sinking into despair and anger.

So whenever I come up against something really unpleasant on my trip, I automatically think to myself: “There are good people everywhere. I know there is someone here who can help me. I am thankful already to be safe in this moment, so let me reach out and see how I can make this better.”

By not panicking or blaming anyone, I find that my “attitude of gratitude” shifts not only my mindset, but it calms down the people around me. It takes the edge off what could escalate to something even worse, and every time, I feel better. Why not try it the next time something unfortunate happens?

Assume The Best

Lost in a new city? Instead of panicking again, assume someone will help you. Open your eyes, look around, and smile. Sure enough, someone will appear because you know it always happens. Thank them sincerely and you’ll have created a good day for yourself and for them.

Missing an important item? It’s unpleasant but try to stay calm. Assume there will be a way to replace it or work around it. The important thing is that you’ve arrived, so be grateful for that. The rest are just “things” and “details” which you can work around. When you keep an open mind, most often a solution comes to your mind or shows up at your door. When it does, say thank you and move on!

Stuck in traffic or at the airport? Again, becoming angry doesn’t really help that much. Instead, think about the fact that you have a bit of free time until the situation clears. How can you use that time in the best way? Maybe you can make some notes about what you want to do when you do arrive, or some fun things you want to see or do in the new locale.

Hold Your Vision

So for example, you can visualize yourself arriving there, enjoying your visit, having all your meetings or your tour turn out even more wonderful than you could have imagined! Be grateful in advance for it all going smoothly, really feel it in your bones how happy you’ll be. Then take a deep breath and see if your delay has resolved itself. Or if it’s still going on, repeat your good thoughts and think about how you can contribute in a positive way to resolving it.

Really, in all my travels, I know with certainty that there are good people everywhere. I think that I find them so often because I have trained myself to look for the good in everyone all the time, and therefore good people appear! I send out thankful energy to everyone and everything around me, and it returns to me ten-fold.

So next time you travel, try this simple approach and see how it works for you. I’d love to hear about your experiences so please share what happened when you packed your “attitude of gratitude”. Keep spreading thanks and spreading smiles and watch your trip improve!