A fear of flying is a common but powerful anxiety that can stop a person from experiencing the beautiful sites and cultures that the world has to offer. Often, people who fear air travel will research everything from meditation to breathing techniques and visualization strategies to help vanquish their phobia. And while these valuable tools can provide comfort, there are also some practical tips to help make a frightening and overwhelming experience that much easier.
Expect the Unexpected
As vague and ambiguous as this sounds, it’s true. Air travel is full of variables. Flights can be delayed or cancelled, you may be placed on a different flight due to unforeseen circumstances or your flight may be delayed on the tarmac, resulting in a longer than anticipated wait for takeoff. While frustrating and inconvenient, remind yourself that this is a routine part of air travel and no cause for alarm. If you go to the airport expecting the unexpected, you won’t get rattled when it occurs.
Grab a Beverage
After you’ve made your way through security, it is a good idea to stop at an airport store and get a non-alcoholic beverage for the flight. There are in-flight beverages available, but under the banner of “expect the unexpected”, it’s good to be prepared. Although unusual, heavy turbulence can make the flight crew unable to move around the cabin and provide refreshments to passengers. If feeling queasy or scared, having a cool drink of water to refresh yourself or taking motion sickness medication can be very comforting. Ginger ale can soothe a troubled stomach, so makes a great choice if you are prone to motion sickness.
Make a Soothing Playlist
Prior to your trip, upload a relaxing playlist to listen to on the flight when feeling anxious. Whether it’s Mozart, Bob Dylan or the hypnotic sounds of trance music, take it with you. Or perhaps it’s a meditation podcast that always calms you during the most troubled of times. Do whatever works best for you. When experiencing unease, close your eyes and try to lose yourself in the soothing sounds. Consider it a security blanket for your soul.
Talk with Your Doctor
If you feel that your fear of flying may become overwhelming or debilitating, make an appointment to speak with your doctor before departure. Often, the doctor can prescribe an anti-anxiety medication to help alleviate some of the panic associated with flying. You may also want to consider requesting a prescription to alleviate potential motion sickness, even if you’re unsure whether you’ll need them. Knowing you have a remedy at hand will relieve some of the anxiety associated with possible air sickness.
Don’t let your fear of flying trump your desire to see the world. Educate yourself on the safety of air travel and find the coping mechanism which works best for you as well as taking some practical steps to conquer your fear in comfort.