About Flight Anxiety
Flight anxiety is extremely common in travelers, even in some of the most seasoned travelers. Take it from me, I have been traveling almost monthly since the time I could crawl yet I still get the sweats seeing any plane and imaging a torturous death the second I step on. This is normal – sort of.
Flight anxiety is a fear or a phobia of flying. About 6.5% of U.S. citizens report having aviophobia (fear of flying) and 25% have some anxiety or fears in the air.
There is much debate on the best ways to deal with and cope with flight anxiety. Below are my own non-medical methods that have helped me stay cool, calm, and collected while traveling by plane.
Think Good Thoughts
You know when you go to the doctor and they have all of those cheesy posters with cliché sayings? Sayings like think good thoughts. Something so basic that you wonder how people could do anything different.
Cue anxiety, and thinking good thoughts become’s the hardest thing to do, ever.
When preparing for a flight, the good thoughts need to start at the time of booking. Once you book that flight start telling yourself how excited you are for this trip and how good it will be. Let the excitement outweigh the anxiety.
Once you start getting closer to flight time – like when you are buckling in – let the good thoughts flow. Start picturing your flight taking off and landing successfully at your destination. Think about the trip you are about the embark on. Positivity goes a long way in helping to overcome flight anxiety.
Similarly to thinking good thoughts, practice some meditation before your flight.
Meditating is a great way to calm yourself from within and get into the positive mindset. By setting up time before the flight to practice meditation processes, you will set yourself up for success mid-flight when the anxiety starts to set in.
Understand Your Fears
Understanding your fears is an important component of overcoming any anxiety or phobia. For flight anxiety, it’s important to understand where this fear of airplanes and flying came from and why it is affecting you. Once you get to the reason for your fears, it is easier to eliminate those fears through reasoning and education.
Flight anxiety triggers are all over the place, in the news, media, and common through pop culture and entertainment.
Before flying, make sure to rid yourself of all that could include plane crashes or anything negative about flying. Avoid searching about plane troubles, shows about planes, and just anything that could turn your good thoughts sour.
The statistics don’t lie, flying is by far the safest method of travel. Taking your car to the airport is way risker than your 10 hour puddle jump across the Atlantic.
It is extremely rare for plane related fatalities – especially on commercial flights – with only one fatal accident per 16 million flights.
It is easy to get caught up reading about plane crashes and crazy fatalities but remember that these are newsworthy because of their rarity. Before going through Wikipedia’s plane crash listings, read about the safety of planes.
Gotta do what you gotta do, and sometimes that means talking to a doctor. Fears and phobias can be debilitating but doctor prescribed medications can help you to stay active and chase your dreams.
Many people are prescribed slight sedatives or anxiety medication, if you feel like this is right for you, I encourage you to reach out to your doctor for help.
Face Your Flight Anxiety
Last but most importantly, get out there and face your flight anxiety fears.
Like any fear, once you start doing it, overcoming it becomes easier.
There are even flight anxiety classes for people with a fear of flying. These classes can be in person or online and may be just the push you need to get you into the air. Some airports even have them on location so you can be prepared for your next flight.
Managing Flight Anxiety
Any anxiety can be frustrating to deal with and may seem like a never ending battle. Having flight anxiety can feel like one more big step in reaching your destination. Try out some of the tips above and see what works for you to help get you flying.
Let me know in the comments below what has worked best for you!
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