A few weeks back, I did a poll on my IG story to see just how many people out there, like me, suffered from flight anxiety. I was surprised to see that 57% of people said it didn’t affect them, but despite being the minority, knew I still had to write this blog post for myself and for the other 43% of people who have a slight fear of flying. Also, to show others that you can be a seasoned traveler and still get travel related anxieties, but that shouldn’t stop you!
Yes, it’s safer to fly in a plane than it is to drive in a car, yes, there’s only an XX% chance that your flight will have an accident or crash….but those facts don’t matter when you’re in your own head. I have a few techniques that have worked for me, that I believe can work for you out there as well.
1.Deep Breathing Techniques. Believe it or not, breathing, and breathing right is a great way to shift your focus away from the uncomfortable thoughts that control you during an anxiety attack. Taking long, deep breaths, opposed to quick shallow breaths, allow adequate oxygen flow to your brain to power your rational mind for everyday activities. When you start to feel overwhelmed or overcome with panic. Taking a moment to rationalize via the deep breathing slowly brings you back into control and calms you down.
To read more on Breathing Techniques, pick up best seller, Emotional Intelligence by Travis Bradberry.
2. Sleep. Fall asleep immediately when you get to your seat. If possible, the moments before your trip try to tire yourself out so that you are ready to slumber as soon as you plop down in your seat. Purchase an eye mask. Get your tunes ready and just sleep.
If you are on a long haul flight wake up and move around the cabin every 4-5 hrs to help with circulation to prevent DTV.
3. Distract yourself. Chew some gum. Grab a good read. Create a playlist with some of your favorite songs (Or just play Drake). Be so engaged in whatever you’re doing that you’re disengaged with your negative thoughts and what’s happening around you, just for the moment.
4. Last Resort, sleeping pills. These are self-explanatory and are helpful if you can’t naturally achieve Number 2.
I do not recommend drinking a lot of alcohol as flying dehydrates you, and so does alcohol. It’s not the best combination, and if you’re like me, you swell up in flights.
A lot of these activities will help, depending on what part of flying makes you uncomfortable. Personally, landing and take off are where I get the most anxiety, so sleeping and calming myself during these times allow me a chance to relax the rest of the flight. I want to end this post with reiterating how safe flying actually is, especially when comparing to others modes of transportation.