Travel by plane, by all accounts, is safer than travel by most other forms of transportation, including cars. Don’t try to tell that to someone with a fear of flying, however. This kind of logical thinking generally doesn’t seem to help those who suffer from anxiety, shakes, or paralyzing fright when they step aboard an aircraft.
Flight anxiety can be hard to cope with, but there are steps you can take to help mitigate the effects. Read on, and we’ll walk you through what tips you can borrow from pro flyers to help you get over the impact of flight anxiety.
Bring a Photo Of Your Destination
It can be hard to take your mind off of turbulence and other frightening parts of air travel. There’s a lot of different things your mind can jump to while you’re in the air, including just how far you are off the ground.
However, keeping your brain focused on the end goal of this journey can help to relax you. Visualizing your eventual destination can help calm you down more than you might initially imagine.
Yes, you can do this in your mind, turning over images of where you will soon arrive. This is easier to do if you’ve been to this location, of course. However, if you can bring a photograph with you, whether on your phone or in a physical format, it can give you something to refer to.
Keeping your mind on these images as opposed to the reality around you can help to calm your nerves. Alternatively, bringing photos from home can work too. You can imagine yourself in the safety of your bedroom and it can put you at ease.
Avoid Coffee and Alcohol
It’s important to stay in control of your body if you’re already prone to feeling anxious and strange while flying. That’s one of the main reasons to avoid drinking coffee or alcoholic beverages on or during the flight.
While getting a little drunk might seem like it will dull your senses, it can make you dehydrated. Dehydration tends to worsen existing anxiety issues and can leave you feeling worse than before! Coffee speaks more for itself in terms of why to avoid it. If you’re already prone to feeling jittery in the air, coffee is certainly not going to do you any favors.
Bringing a few easy to munch on snacks and some water is a much better way to keep your body feeling good and yourself in check.
Eat an Edible Prior
Now that marijuana has been legalized in many states around the country, there’s a new way for those prone to fear anxiety to cope. Unlike alcohol or coffee, an edible won’t dehydrate you. Getting high before a flight can help dull anxiety and make you calmer while in the air, or even lull you into a trance-like state.
This might not the case for everyone, and you should certainly experiment with edible products before trying it while in the air. Some people feel paranoid while high, after all. However, for most people eating an edible before a flight can be a great way to avoid getting freaked out.
You can read this article for more details about marijuana and how to use it as a travel aid.
Familiarize Yourself With Safety Procedures
A lot of flight anxiety comes from a perceived lack of control. You’re stuck in a little seat far away from the captain with no hand in what happens– of course, you feel out of control!
To mitigate this anxiety, it can be worth looking into all of the safety information that is paired with the plane. Taking actions to be prepared for the worst can help to reassert a sense of control over your surroundings. You can even watch the airline’s safety video ahead of time from home, as most airlines keep these uploaded online for easy reference.
When you get on the aircraft, note the emergency exits and identify where air masks will drop down from. With all these details in your head, you should feel a lot more confident about your trip, even if you’ll likely never need to utilize these details.
Control Your Breathing
The body and mind are more linked than we sometimes assume, and controlling aspects of the body can help us to be in better control of the mind. Breathing exercises and the changing of one’s breathing patterns can actually have a big impact on how they feel.
Intentionally slowing down the breathing so a very slow pace can produce a calming effect on the body. When the body is stressed or anxious, the breathing pace tends to increase. Forcing a slow down can do the reverse and in the reverse order.
Pairing this slower breathing with a relaxed posture can help as well. Keeping the body loose, or even slouched, can trick the brain into feeling more at ease. It may sound crazy to think you can change your brain by changing your body, but it’s true!
Handling Flight Anxiety
No one enjoys experiencing flight anxiety leading up to or during a big trip.
However, it does happen and it impacts many people. Luckily, there are steps you can take to curb the impact of this fear. The above tips and tricks are just a few ways to help put your body at ease and make your trip go that much smoother.
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