For many people, flying on a plane is a similar experience to riding a train or taking a bus. Because it’s such an essential part of traveling long distances, a lot of people end up getting used to the stresses and anxieties of flying.
But for a lot of people who don’t fly or fly frequently, facing flight anxiety is a consistently stressful issue. So, what do you do if you haven’t traveled frequently by plane, or simply are made anxious by flights, and your anxiety is building up in anticipation of an upcoming flight? Or, what if you’re someone with a fear of flying?
Here’s a list of a number of things that you can do to help relieve some of the stresses of flying and put yourself at ease. Hopefully, you’ll find something that not only helps you feel less anxious about flying but that helps you feel more excited about the destination you’re arriving at!
One of the best ways to reduce anxiety, in almost any situation, is to have ideal distractions that will grab your attention and keep you from thinking about what it is that’s giving you anxiety. On a plane, distractions can come in many forms.
Depending on the kind of person you are, you can bring along a personal belonging that engages you with an activity. For example, bring along a book that you’ve been meaning to finish, a handheld gaming system, a creative project that you’ve been working on, or even just headphones to listen to some music or a favorite podcast. In some cases, if the stress and exhaustion of getting to and through the airport have drained your energy, it’s good to try sleeping for a while during the flight.
Although a lot of people would recommend taking medication like Dramamine before a flight, it’s better to look towards solutions that work for everyone. In particular, solutions that cure anxiety rather than motion sickness or physical unease are superior.
Using homeopathic remedies for matters such as stress, exhaustion, tension, and unease can help immensely without having to feel like you’ve taken medication. There are lotions and extracts that come with eucalyptus, chamomile, lavender oil, and more that can take a few seconds to apply and make a world of a difference once you’re sat on your flight.
Before you actually get on the airplane or are even in the airport, make sure to find time to consistently destress during the days prior to your flight.
If you’re already the type of person who engages in mindfulness practices like meditation or yoga, it’s good to get a few sessions prior to flying that will leave you feeling a bit more relieved of the anticipatory flight anxiety. But even if you’re not that type of person, maybe it’s worth trying yoga or meditation for the first time to try and release some tension from your body!
Depending on what allows you to relax, try to find time to do that activity and be able to decompress. If you’ve recently been feeling like you haven’t had much time to rest, give yourself some time to catch up on sleep. If you feel like you haven’t had much downtime to relax and do nothing, give yourself time to relax and enjoy yourself. Whatever it is that relaxes you, find some time to do it for a few days before you mentally prepare for stepping onto your flight.
Once you’ve boarded the plane to fly to your destination, it’s just as important to pay attention to the instructions given by flight attendants as it is to remind yourself that flights are unanimously seen as the safest form of travel.
With two million people being flown daily in the U.S., and no commercial plane crash fatalities happening within a period of nine years, it’s safe to say that you shouldn’t have anything to worry about in terms of safety on a flight. Although this may not make you feel less anxious immediately, it’s a comforting thought to keep in the back of your mind.
When you’ve sat down on your flight, if you still feel worried about the possibility of things going wrong, make sure to pay attention to the instructions of flight attendants. Although most people who fly feel they know the instructions well enough already, there’s no harm in listening to make sure you know what to do in case of an emergency. And even though you’re unlikely to have to employ the acts that your flight attendants explain to you, it’s probably more comforting to know what to do in case of an emergency!
Regardless of where you’re flying or how soon you’re going to fly, remind yourself that the flight itself is less of a stressor than the thoughts you’re having about it. As long as you have enough distractions, stress remedies, comforting items, and knowledge of flights to keep you from feeling constantly on edge, you’ll be able to make it through your flight before you know it.
Remember to find ways to keep yourself distracted during the flight, and to also give yourself some time to decompress during the days before it. It may seem stressful at first, but in most cases, after you’ve become a bit more accustomed to comforting yourself during flights, and flying in general, you should be able to have mostly stress-free flying experience. Here’s hoping that you have a great flight with minimal anxiety and that you enjoy the experience awaiting you once you’ve landed!