Top Tips For Nervous Flyers
For many people, flying can evoke powerful feelings of anxiety and fear. It's one of the more common phobias, but also an easy one to overcome. It's also very common for those with a fear of flying to simply try to avoid flying completely; however, that is not always possible or desirable. The best solution is to overcome your anxiety, and there are several ways to achieve this. Even nervous flyers can benefit from these activities. Read on to see some of the best ways to curb your flying anxiety.
Find The Motivation To Conquer Your Flying Fears
Firstly, if you have been avoiding flying because of your fears, you've likely been missing out on some incredible travel experiences and maybe even hurting some of your long distance friendships. Keep these things in mind as motivation to conquer your fears -- the rewards will be worth it. It may be easier for you to ease into flying with shorter, local flights. If this is the case, know your limits and use each quick flight travel opportunity as practice in overcoming your fears. If, on the other hand, you're the type who would rather cannonball in than inch in one toe at a time, don't shy away from opportunities for lengthy flights. As much as it scares you, keep in mind that once you've faced your fear, you've likely conquered it. Easier said than done, of course. What do you do on the plane while you're starting to panic?
Flying Anxiety Coping Strategies
Distraction Is Key
There are several activities you can try to distract yourself from the flight and they involve very little planning. On most commercial flights, there will be some kind of in-flight entertainment offered. Make sure to bring headphones or earbuds with you, though you can purchase them from the flight attendants, and plug in as soon as you can. For many people, distraction is the key to coping with flying anxiety. If you can focus on something else, something more enjoyable, then the time in the air will seem to pass more quickly.
Soothe Your Mood With Melody
If there are no viewing programs offered on your flight, or you're finding it too hard to focus on what you're watching, music is a very good alternative, maybe even preferable. Science has shown that music can have a powerful affect on moods and emotions. Imagine yourself plugged in to soothing and uplifting music, surrounded by everyday travelers. It will likely make you feel more at ease in your surroundings.
Tend To Your Physical Stressors
Sometimes even when your brain is distracted, the physical effects of flying can shift your focus back to your fear. It's important to have some way to settle the uneasy feelings in your body. If you start to get nervous when you feel the pressure changes in your ears, keep a pack of gum with you and chew a piece to relieve the pressure. Chewing while flying can also provide comfort through the repetitive motion. It's also a good idea to keep a stress ball with you to squeeze when you start to feel the panic build. Or, if you don't have a stress ball, gently put pressure on the webbing between your thumb and index finger -- this is a pressure point and when activated can help with nausea and panic.
Fears are irrational to some extent. Sure, there are rational reasons, in theory, to fear flying, but largely these fears are irrational. The likelihood of accidents or worse are very slim. Planes are built to withstand any environmental (etc.) threats and to comply with an exhaustive list of safety considerations. The pilots and all staff involved are competent and trained with safety in mind. It's very unlikely that anything bad will happen to you while flying, and sometimes the easiest way to ease your fears is to remind yourself of these facts. Appeal to your logic, and you may find it's just the trick to ease your tensions. For many people, the issue is a lack of control. Try to get that back by controlling your panic, and you'll surely have a much more pleasant flight.
Good luck and happy flying!