Lots of people love to travel and see new places, but there’s one part of traveling that’s not so much fun: flying. For some people, flying is easy, comfortable, and fast. But for some, flying is scary. Others worry about terrorist hijackings or panic if pilots can’t control the planes that took them.
It doesn’t matter why you are afraid to fly, there are certain steps you can take to help reduce your fear. Flying or not flying is a personal decision, and a decision no one else can make for you.
Before Your Trip
For those who fear flying, learning the basics of how airplanes work can reduce their anxiety. For example, understanding how an airplane can continue to fly even if an engine fails can help you worry less about damage to your aircraft. Best Anxiety Ever, recommends asking yourself: “What is disaster? What do I really think will happen? What am I making big trouble out of?
Recognizing what your airplane looks like can make it appear a little less scary. I once heard of a scary flyer that actually put a picture of an airplane cabin on his computer desktop; by the time the flight rolls around, the image is familiar, not scary.Most airlines and booking engines allow you to request a seat assignment when you book a flight. Request an aisle seat, especially if you are prone to claustrophobia; You will feel less confined by other people, and you will be able to get up and move around the cabin more easily. Avoid watching movies about airplane disasters, news coverage of plane crashes, or other scary media images. Remember that most flights arrive safely. Don’t let that mess with your flying impression.
In the days leading up to your trip, it’s easy to let flight anxiety build up. When this happens, counter your fears by imagining it would be nice to be on a plane, hopefully somewhere nice. Try to focus on the positive like all the things you will do once you reach your goal.
In a plane
If there is time before your flight, ask to meet the pilot of your plane. Or, spend a minute or two chatting with the flight attendants. Often times, meeting people who have your safety in their hands can make the plane seem like a welcoming environment and assure you that the crew is knowledgeable and competent.
Make sure your phone or tablet is filled with soothing music to help you get into a peaceful frame of mind. You may also want to download stress-relieving meditation or instructional breathing sessions Many anxious people are troubled by the lack of control they feel because they have no impact on aircraft safety or performance. Try to regain some control by reminding yourself that you made the decision to fly and that you can decide how you will respond to the experience. As anxiety increases your breathing may become shallow but deep, conscious breathing is an instant stress reliever. Inhale slowly and deeply for a count of five or 10, through your nose and out through your mouth. While this bit of advice may seem obvious, breathing is arguably the best way to relieve anxiety.
Turning on the air vents above your head, leaning back, and closing your eyes can help you feel less tight. Sniffing lavender sachets or sucking on peppermint is another calming meditation trick. Read magazines, good books, or puzzles to take your mind off what’s going on. Order comedy on your in-flight entertainment system, or load some of your favorite movies onto your laptop. Make sure to keep track of activities that will last for the duration of your flight and that you can continue to enjoy when it’s time to turn off your electronic devices. Many people who are afraid of flying distract themselves by drinking alcohol to calm their nerves. While this may be good enough, keep in mind that alcohol shouldn’t be combined with anti-anxiety medications. Also, alcohol can cause dehydration, especially in arid aircraft environments. If you do indulge yourself in a cocktail, be sure to follow it up with plenty of water. Avoid caffeine, because it can make you even more nervous. And know that panic is temporary, and it will pass. If you are afraid of losing control and giving in to fear during the flight, remind yourself that even a complete panic attack is only temporary suffering; You will pass it.
If your fear is very debilitating and you have tried other relaxation techniques without success, ask your doctor if you may need to take anti-anxiety medication or sleeping pills before you fly. Contact a Professional, when you are sleep deprived, feel sick due to anxiety, or avoid traveling at the expense of your own or others’ comfort, “a licensed therapist or counselor can help you figure out the root cause of your fear and how to overcome it.