Millions of Americans experience some type of anxiety while flying. Within the Astrid Solo Travel Advisor team, each of us have had moments of greater flight anxiety over the years.
Here are 4 suggestions to help ease your flight anxiety:
1. Anticipate Your Anxiety
If you know you get anxious on flights, acknowledge it, and try to work on getting better. Some suggest having a stiff drink in order to mellow out. While having a drink won’t work for everyone, being conscious of and acknowledging your anxiety before a flight will be helpful. It might sound woo-woo, but consider watching a short guided meditation video before you take off. Sometimes, you just have to get out of your own head in order to relax.
Deep breathing is proven to be a stress reducer. When you start to feel anxious, either before or during a flight, begin by taking deep breaths in and out through your nose.
Andrew Weil, M.D. goes even further, stating, “Practicing regular, mindful breathing can be calming and energizing and can even help with stress-related health problems ranging from panic attacks to digestive disorders.”
Have you ever tried alternate nostril breathing? This type of breathing really forces you to focus on your breath and in effect, helps begin to clear the mind. Yoga with Adriene has a great YouTube how-to video on alternate nostril breathing. While you’re there, check out this short video on yoga moves you can do on an airplane.
3. Bring Something To Do
Don’t overthink your time spent on a plane, which could make your anxiety worse. Read a book, watch a movie, listen to music, do a crossword puzzle- anything to distract yourself might help get you through the flight. Having something to take your mind off the physical act of flying will help, trust me!
4. Do a Bit of Research
If you understand a little about how a plane actually works, it might make you feel a better about flying. Did you know that a plane can still fly if it loses power in one engine? Even if it looses power in both engines, a plane can still glide surprising distances and land safely. Even still, the likelihood of a commercial jet loosing power in both engines is incredibly slim. According to Boeing the chance of this happening is “less than one in one billion flight hours.” For more facts to help curb your flight anxiety, check out this great article by lifehacker.com.
If you are someone who gets anxious on planes, you are not alone. It isn’t easy to rid yourself of anxiety, especially when you’re flying alone or when you experience things like turbulence. (Note: when you know a bit about turbulence it becomes much less scary.) However, there are steps you can take to help mitigate your fear of flying. If you’ve tried any of these techniques, or if you have other tips you’d like to share, let us know in the comments below!
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Author: Julia Ballard
Julia was the first member of the Astrid Solo Travel Advisor team, and has helped shape our unique approach to travel writing which focuses on affordable, luxury ideas for the solo traveler. She is on top of all the cutting-edge in everything from technology to travel, and works to share her insights with our audience. To read more about her and each one of our Solo Travel Advisors, head over to the About page!