It is not uncommon to be an anxious flyer. In fact, statistics show that 25% of Americans suffer from the fear of flying. You are not alone, and there are a number of ways to overcome your fear and reduce your anxiety. Here are eight tips.
#1: Find a distraction. Whether that means downloading a movie to your iPad or working on a Crossword puzzle, always pack a distraction in your carry-on bag. This will not only keep your mind from drifting, but may help the time go by faster.
#2: Remember to breathe. Practice mindful breathing when you start to worry or get worked up. It can help mitigate a panic attack. There are a number of breathing exercises out there. Be familiar with these and find one that works for you.
#4: Avoid caffeine. Too much caffeine will make you jittery, which can cause more anxiety. Avoid drinking coffee before or during a flight. If you need something warm, ask for some herbal tea, caffeine-free if possible.
#5: Overcome turbulence. Turbulence is a common issue for many nervous flyers. If you are afraid of turbulence, try your best to remind yourself that this is a normal part of flying. Take a look around the plane when you feel turbulence. Chances are, people will be calm. Just remember that it will pass and a smooth ride will resume.
#6: Don’t drink alcohol. A lot of people tend to think that drinking will help you loosen up, but it can actually cause you more anxiety. Skip the alcoholic beverage!
#7: Let the flight attendant know of your fear. If you need a bit of reassurance, a flight attendant may be able to provide that to you. Give him or her a heads up and they may check-in on you more frequently.
#8: Download soothing music to your phone. Bring a pair of headphones and tune out airplane noises with a relaxing soundtrack. You could even download ocean sounds and waves crashing to transport you to the beach. Whatever works best for you, download and be ready to relax. Music can relieve anxiety, after all.
Flying can be scary without preparation, but if you know you will have anxiety, it is best to prepare yourself physically and mentally. By following the above tips, you’ll prepare yourself in the best way possible for a calm and smooth flight.