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How to manage your business travel stress

We all know the pressure that comes when you’re put on the spot and expected to say something brilliant or insightful… but your mind goes blank. Well, we can blame it on evolutionary psychology – humans have evolved to be instantly ready for ‘fight or flight’ in stressful situations, and part of that process shuts down the function of the prefrontal cortex, which is essentially the ‘thinking’ part of the brain.

For instance, if you were living in the Stone Age and being chased by a hungry wild animal, getting an urge to finish drawing that picture on the walls of caves is not going to be useful for the survival of the human race! That’s why your body shuts down your ability to think lofty thoughts, so you can concentrate on dealing with the immediate danger.

When you’ve travelled hundreds of miles to an important client meeting, the last thing you want is for the business travel stress to affect you so much that, at the vital moment, you forget what you’re going to say, or flounder to answer a question.

Why business travel is so stressful?

We all know how stressful travel can be, whether you’re in a major traffic jam, sitting on a train that’s stopped for no reason, or are squashed into a tiny seat on an aeroplane which is being kicked by the child sitting behind you.

Even if you travel the night before and stay in a hotel, there’s plenty that could wind you up and stop you relaxing, from eating too much rich food in the restaurant, drinking more than you’d planned to or being woken up at stupid o’clock because of the noise from the kitchen just below your tiny single room.  

All of these stresses will have a profound physiological effect on your prefrontal cortex. Your body will ready itself for a fight by diverting your ability to focus on the very task you’ve travelled all this way to do.

Our top tip on how to relax on your business trip

One way of helping to relax your body and keep your mind on tip-top form is to take care of it. Instead of booking a tiny single hotel bedroom and lying on the bed watching TV whilst eating expensive snacks from the minibar, rent a serviced apartment and cook your own healthy meal, use the extra space to do some exercises, and luxuriate in having the place to yourself.

Click here to check out our spacious and fully equipped North London serviced apartments, all with allocated parking to lessen the stress even more.


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