Flight anxiety is something that most people who fly also experience. It's completely normal, and flying isn't dangerous – in fact it's one of the safest ways to travel. Along with flying being safe, there are many ways you can train yourself to fly and deal with fear of flight. Here are 10 tips on how you can cope with your anxiety and make your next flight the most pleasant one yet.
Relaxation is a natural way to deal with flight anxiety. When you feel anxious, your body goes into a fight-or-flight response. Your brain releases stress hormones that give you energy, increase heart rate and breathing, and make your muscles tense. This reaction can save your life in the wild, but it's not so helpful when you're on a plane.
Relaxation helps to counter the stress response by slowing down your heart rate and lowering blood pressure. The relaxation response is the opposite of the fight-or-flight response: it slows down your breath and relaxes your muscles, which can help ease anxiety during travel.
- Take deep breaths
Flight anxiety is very common, and it's something that so many people have to deal with. No matter how much you try to distract yourself on the flight, there's no denying that you're going to be nervous. If you're going through the motions of preparing for your flight, you may be wondering if there are any ways to calm down your anxious mind.
Taking deep breaths is one of the best ways to help you feel more relaxed during a flight. The truth is that this simple technique can have a major impact on how well you are able to handle yourself during a nervous situation.
When we think about breathing, we usually only think about shallow breaths that come in and out quickly. But there's another type of breathing called diaphragmatic breathing that can actually help us feel calmer when we are stressed out or anxious about something.
Diaphragmatic breathing involves taking slow, deep breaths into your belly instead of your chest. It's important not to breathe too fast or too deeply because it can cause hyperventilation — which leads us right back into panic mode!
- Think about why you’re flying
Thinking about why you are flying can help you focus on what matters most. There are many reasons why people fly, such as visiting family or traveling for business. This helps you to focus on what matters most and not the little things that may cause you stress while flying.
It also helps in reducing stress by making a plan for when things go wrong. We all know that sometimes things go wrong when we fly, but if you have a plan in place, it makes it easier to cope with any situation that arises during your flight.
More importantly, it gives you something else to think about instead of being scared about flying. When we have something else occupying our minds other than our fears, it’s easier to deal with them because they don’t seem as big or scary anymore.
- Know what to expect from your flight and crew
Being knowledgeable about your flight can help you deal with flight anxiety in several ways. You'll be able to plan ahead for any issues that might arise during your trip, so that if something does happen — and it probably won't — you'll be prepared for it. You'll also be able to use this information as a way to put your mind at ease and help yourself relax before boarding the plane.
For example, if you know that turbulence is normal on flights, then when turbulence happens on your flight (which it most likely will), it won't scare you. You'll understand that these conditions are common and normal, which will help ease any fear or panic attacks that might occur because of them.
Another benefit of being knowledgeable about your flight is that it helps reduce the stress levels caused by having little control over the situation at hand. Many people feel more anxious when they don't know what's going on around them or how they should react in certain situations because there is a lack of research on their part about the flight.
- Know where the exits are
Being able to see where the emergency exits are located is one way to calm your fears during a flight. A lot of people who suffer from aviophobia also have claustrophobia (an abnormal fear of confined spaces), so knowing where they can escape in case of an emergency is important.
Knowing where the exits are can give people who are afraid of flying an extra sense of security when they're on a plane. Having this knowledge gives them peace of mind and helps them enjoy their flights more.
- Try yoga or meditation exercises during takeoff and landing
Meditation during takeoff and landing can help you deal with flight anxiety and make your flight more enjoyable.
Mindfulness has become popular in the past decade, but for those who are new to it, it can seem like a difficult practice. Luckily, there are several ways that you can begin incorporating mindfulness into your daily life without any prior experience or training.
Meditation during takeoff and landing is one way to get started with mindfulness. Since being mindful is all about being present in the moment, this is something you can do while you’re on a plane ride — especially if you’re feeling anxious or uncomfortable because of turbulence or other factors.
Here’s what you should do:
When the plane is taking off, sit up straight in your seat and take some deep breaths through your nose and out through your mouth. Focus on the feeling of air entering your body and exiting again. Do this for about 10 minutes before takeoff and during takeoff if possible.
Once you have landed, do not rush off the plane as soon as it stops moving — take some deep breaths again while sitting up straight in your seat until everyone else has left the plane.
- Be prepared in case of turbulence or an emergency situation
Knowing what causes turbulence and what to do if it happens while you're on a plane. Turbulence is caused when different air layers move at different speeds. The result is bumps that can be hard on even the most seasoned travelers. Turbulence can occur anytime, but it's most common during flight after takeoff and before landing or during stormy weather. Despite popular belief, turbulence does not indicate that something is wrong with the plane or its engines — it just means there are pockets of different air speeds moving across each other in the atmosphere.
It's also important not to panic if you get bumped around because there's nothing you can do about it anyway. If your seat belt comes off or your tray table gets knocked over, just put it back where it belongs and don't worry about anything else until the plane has landed again safely on the ground at your destination airport.
- Use earplugs if noise bothers you
One way that can help you deal with this problem is by using noise cancelling headphones during your flight. These earplugs can help reduce the amount of noise coming from outside so that it does not affect your mood while inside the plane cabin. They also help block out any other sound coming from inside the plane so that no matter how loud it gets, you will still be able to hear your music or audio book without having to turn up the volume all the way up on those speakers found around most airports and airplanes today!
- Find ways to distract yourself on board (computers, books)
You may feel like you have nothing to do on board, but there are plenty of things you can do to keep yourself entertained. Bring a book or magazine that interests you, or take advantage of the many entertainment options available on airplanes today (most offer movies and TV shows). If you have a laptop or tablet device, bring it along so you can use it for entertainment as well as communication purposes.
Don't forget about sleep! Flying can be exhausting because of all the changes in altitude and pressures inside the plane. Try to get some sleep if you can — even if it's just an hour or two — before landing so that when you get off the plane you'll feel rested instead of exhausted from sitting around all day long with nothing to do but worry about your flight getting off safely!
- Talk with someone else who is nervous about flying
While it’s easy to feel alone when you’re dealing with flight anxiety, there are other people who struggle with it as well. Finding someone else who understands what you’re going through can help you feel less isolated and alone when dealing with your fear of flying.
Talking with someone else who has experienced flight anxiety can help you understand that they also have some of their own fears and concerns about traveling on planes. It’s also nice to know that there are others out there who are going through similar situations as you are.
For example, if you have ever been afraid of taking off or landing on a plane because of turbulence or bad weather, then talking with someone else who is nervous about those things will help you understand that they may be afraid too! This type of connection can make it easier for both people to understand each other better and share their experiences more openly.
If you are flight phobic and you want to overcome your fear by taking proper action that serves as a cure, keep in mind these ten ways on how to deal with flight anxiety.
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