Although the thought of riding on a plane could be a bliss for some, others take it as a frightening experience. Often, the level of nervousness varies from person to person. While some may feel a slight fright, some may feel a terror so intense that they may opt not to push through with their flight.
According to Lola.com, about 2.5% to 6.5% of the population suffers from what we call as “aviophobia”, or fear of flying.
Whether you’re a first-time plane rider or someone who has been struggling with flight anxiety for a long time, knowing the best ways to ease your worries and combat your anxiety is necessary. Below is a roundup of the best flight tips for anxious travelers. Continue reading to learn more.
Flight Anxiety – What Is It?
To simply explain, flight anxiety is the excessive worry people often feel when they’re about to take a flight, and it is described by One Medical to be “so profound that it can prevent a person from traveling by air, or causes great distress to a person when air travel is necessary.”
Often, the extreme sense of fear and panic is fueled by thoughts of possible crashing, fear of the unknown, fear of losing control, and more.
Try to Exercise Before Your Flight
Believe it or not, merely packing and picking up your last-minute essentials isn’t enough to prepare you for your flight anxiety. For better chances of combating your fear of flying it’s best to conduct a pre-flight exercise.
Sure, although adding another preparatory task before your flight may seem like a hassle, this will benefit you greatly, especially if you’re an anxious traveler.
Specifically, putting your body at work for as little as 30 minutes can help boost your mood, put you in a relaxed state, and make you feel more comfortable while traveling.
Once you get on a plane, it’s normal to feel a bit tense and a little panicky. To overcome these anxious feelings, try to distract yourself by doing something else, such as listening to a podcast, reading a book, watching a film, or more.
By doing any of these, you’ll get to focus on other things and distract yourself from overthinking the possible worst-case scenarios.
This tip will work best if you have a list of things you can do while on the plane. Before your actual flight, create a checklist of the things you want to accomplish and try to stick with it.
When it comes to dealing with anxiety, becoming honest with the people around you comes as a necessity. Not only will it help you combat the heightened feeling of isolation, but it can also help you feel less scared knowing you’re not alone in your struggles.
With this, it’s best to tell your companions, as well as the flight attendants on the plane, about your condition. This will make you feel more secure knowing the people around you are willing to help in case you feel trapped in a dangerous situation.
Practice Deep Breathing
Another tip you might want to take note of is to be aware of your breathing pattern when on a plane. Specifically, try to take a long, deep breath during takeoffs and whenever you feel panicky during the flight. This will help trigger the calming response of your mind and body.
Try to maintain a relaxed posture, keep your feet apart, and breathe deeply and slowly. Breathe in through your nose, counting up to five, and out through your mouth, counting another five again. You can repeat this for three to five minutes until you feel more relaxed and comfortable.
The Bottom Line
Combating anxiety isn’t easy, but with the right help and determination, everything is possible. Don’t let your fear of flying stop you from enjoying the most out of your well-deserved vacation or trip.
To know more, feel free to consult your doctor days before your actual flight. You can also ask for possible medication that you can use while on your trip. For additional help with your anxiety, consider consulting a counselor at BetterHelp.