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How To Calm Flying Anxiety

Watch A Few Planes Take Off

A Meditation For Flight Anxiety or Flying Phobia

Waiting in the airport terminal watching planes

Get to the airport a little early. Not only will you be more calm if you dont have to rush, but then youll have time to hang out at the gate and watch a few planes take off before you board your flight. This helps you get more comfortable with what to expect during takeoff: how long it will take, what the angle will be like, where it could be bumpy, etc. Familiarity is much more calming then the unknown.

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Weve all heard the trope youre more likely to die in a car accident than a plane crash, but thats little comfort to those who are understandably a little perturbed by the notion of flying hundreds of miles per hour in a hunk of metal some seven miles above the Earths surface.

When people come in wanting to address a fear of flying, they will often say that they know flying is a safe form of travel and this may make sense to them in a rational, logical way, says Dr. Rebecca Hoffenberg, a clinical psychologist. The problem is that their body has formed a response pattern where airplanes have become associated with anxiety.

While a clinical diagnosis of aviophobia a fear of flying is pretty rare, only affecting 2.5 percent of the population , general anxiety about flying is far more common. Some fliers are worried about being in an enclosed space for too long, others dislike heights, and a select group is terrified they might accidentally open a plane door mid-flight. Further still, some passengers are worried about germs and viruses , and others are just anxious that they might feel anxious on a plane.

Whatever your trigger may be, there are many ways you can alleviate your anxiety. Were here to help with these nine tips.

Prepare For Motion Sickness

If youre nervous about motion sickness, think about dropping by your local drugstore and picking up some travel motion sickness wristbands before your trip. These cloth bands are safe, reusable and work by applying pressure to an acupressure point on each wrist. They may also give you some peace of mind when youre in the air just to know that you have them with you. If you need something a bit stronger, Dramamine works for many peoplejust make sure to take the non-drowsy version if you dont want to be super sleepy for the rest of the day!

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Plan Ways To Distract Yourself During The Flight

When I’m going to be in the air for hours, I plan out my schedule for the whole flight, keeping in mind what will make it go by faster. Even if it’s just watching 10 episodes of a new TV show and then napping having an idea of how I’ll spend the trip is helpful.

According to Todd Farchione, Ph.D., of Boston University’s Center for Anxiety & Related Disorders, distractions help alleviate anxiety, and people associate tv with home and safety.

So letting your favorite TV show consume you for your entire flight may be the best way to spend it.

Have Relaxation Remedies Handy

How to Calm Anxiety When Flying

Some doctors prescribe anxious fliers with fast-acting anxiety medications like Xanax or Valium, but Farchione warns that you should be aware that each has its own side effects and that you may feel tired for hours after the plane has landed. If you don’t have a prescription, herbal remedies like St. John’s Wort or Scullcap may help calm nerves too, according to an article by USA Today. Bring the medication or the herbal remedy, but hold onto it as a “last resort” option. When you feel jitters coming on, start by employing a minor relaxant, such as sipping chamomile or peppermint tea. Farchione says that doing the things you associate with being calm and content will help remind you to remain calm as you fly. You may find that simply knowing the medication is there in case of emergency is comforting enough and you can reap the benefits without the side effects.

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Distract Yourself With Technology Or Puzzles

Bring things on the flight with you that you can complete without a large amount of focus. Reading a book, watching movies, editing work-related items or even solving easy word or number puzzles allows you to focus on something besides the flight, all the while not being frustrated with the task. Pick a task that you can do over a long period of time, or bring multiple things to do while you are flying.

Anxiety When Flying: How To Beat Your Fear Of Flying

28 January 2017 by Jo

Hi Frugalistas! I was recently contacted by a reader, J, who mentioned that she was anxious about flying and was wanting advice on booking a Business Class ticket at a good price. Her dilemma started me thinking more generally about the anxious flyer, and what anxious flyers can do to overcome their anxiety when flying. Because I know not everyone has the opportunity to buy a Business Class ticket, here is my best advice on dealing with anxiety when flying and how, if you are anxious, you can beat your fear of flying.

As I have said before on health related posts, my advice is only general in nature and may not be appropriate for you as an individual. If you do suffer from anxiety, always take the specific advice of your own healthcare provider.

Contents

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    Calmigo Smart Calming Companion

    CalmiGo

    Like a cross between an inhaler, an infuser, and a stim toy, CalmiGo is the multi-tool of anti-anxiety devices. The best of all worlds, youll get relief that targets multiple senses, all in a compact gadget you can whip out even before you reach cruising altitude.

    If you start feeling an anxiety attack coming on, the lights and vibration feedback help regulate your breathing so you can soothe yourself in the moment. Theres also a mouthpiece where you can inhale a calming scent, such as lavender, peppermint, or bergamot. A clicking wheel on the side lets you do something with your hands if you get fidgety. For all-in-one sensory distraction, fast, the CalmiGo will help you forget the last few bumps in the air.

    Invest In Regular Flying Classes

    How to calm your FEAR OF FLYING! 5 Tips From A Nervous Flyer. Part I.

    If you seek a long-term solution for your flight anxiety, taking a flying lesson is your perfect option. Flight classes make you face your fear and find ways to overcome it.

    Flight classes simulate the real-time flight experience, providing a valuable understanding of what to expect during the flight. Regular flying lessons offer you knowledge about the plane and can help in eliminating those fearful thoughts.

    Also Check: How To Deal With Anxiety And Obsessive Thoughts

    Choose Your Seat Wisely

    Although some airlines no longer assign seats, most still do. When booking your flight, choose a seat toward the front of the plane to limit the amount of motion and noise. Additionally, you’ll want to consider which seat gives you the most comfort. Choose a window seat if you’ll benefit from the reference point of seeing the ground during takeoff and landing. Choose an aisle seat if you’d like to remain blissfully unaware of what’s happening outside or need to visit the restroom frequently. Pick the middle seat if you need two armrests to grip.

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    “I was sure that if I stood up, the floor would collapse and I’d fall through,” says Avis, now 61, who spent the entire flight motionless and petrified.

    When the plane landed in Philadelphia to refuel, Avis fled. “My husband was annoyed, to put it mildly,” she says.

    “Instead of an hour flight home, we took a 14-hour train ride.” She could not fly again for five years.

    Fear of flying may seem irrational, but it is no joke.

    It can restrict your life and hobble your career, says Al Forgione, PhD, a Boston psychologist who treats the condition. It’s common, too — a 2006 survey by Gallup and USA Today found that more than one in four people are somewhat afraid, and one in 10 considers him or herself very afraid of taking to the skies.

    Despite the term, fear of flying isn’t just a fear of being in the air.

    Some people are claustrophobic or afraid of being far from home. Forgione says the most common fear is not crashing, but becoming hysterical and humiliating yourself in flight. And “the underlying fear in all of these anxieties is loss of control,” he says. To create the illusion of control, some people believe that their actions — listening for odd noises, noting the slightest dip, or even staying motionless in their seats — could actually save the plane.

    Other therapists use virtual reality to help people feel more at ease with flying.

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    Find A Distraction That Works

    Some people can get lost in a good movie or podcast, which could distract them from the fact that theyre flying, but its not that simple for everyone. One trick I’ve learned is to focus on the opposite side of my brain, says travel blogger Nicole Ratner. So, for instance, I am left-handed, and when any turbulence begins, I will take out a piece of paper and use my opposite hand to write my name over and over again. It helps keep my brain sharp and focused on what’s in front of me to distract me from the fear.

    Two: Choose The Right Flight And Seat

    Natural Remedies for Calming Flight Anxiety and Flying ...

    Right now, Im all about getting on the plane pleasantly exhausted so Im relieved by the time I get to my seat, zonked out for take-off, and in deep chill mode by the time I inevitably wake up mid-flight. That means red-eyes, when I can, or staying up late the night before and going to a crazy workout class before heading to the airport if I cant. Bonus! Late night or early morning flights are also a smoother ride statistics show turbulence is much lighter either post-sunset before the day heats up, especially in the summer.

    Experts also recommend choosing a seat over the wing for the smoothest ride. And while we all can agree that middle seats are hell when youre flying solo, youll just have to experiment to figure out if you find aisle or window seats most calming. Personally, I go window for long flights I plan to sleep on and aisle for short jaunts I predict Ill mostly be awake for and dont want to risk any claustrophobia added into my anxiety cocktail.

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    One: Reduce All Other Stress Factors

    Since my fear of flying emerged, I put serious intention into boarding a plane as relaxed as possible. For me, a lifelong cut it as close as you can-er, that means getting to the airport early, checking in ahead online, and getting through security stress-free with Pre-Check. I try not to let myself dwell on thoughts about the upcoming flight the greatest fear is fear itself, after all and instead switch my focus to my excitement about the destination when my mind wanders pre-flight. Or I will tell myself, this is going to be a safe and smooth flight, and I am going to enjoy it.

    Anxiety snowballs set yourself up for success by starting from zen.

    Going From Fearful Flyer To Fearless Flyer

    While there is no “one size fits all” approach to overcoming your fear of flying, many fearful flyers have made significant progress using some or all of these tips. Don’t let your aviophobia prevent you from taking a flight to Hawaii, Australia, Japan or any other distant destination. Use these tips to take control of your flying anxiety and start seeing the world!

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    Focus On Controlling What You Can

    Try to control things that are within your grasp by eliminating any related sources of stress as much as possible, since you dont need to be worried about missing your flight as well as being anxious about being on that same flight.

    Prepare in advance as thoroughly as possible. Make sure you have plenty of time to get to the airport, and pack your luggage appropriately, so you dont have to deal with repacking two large suitcases at the last moment.

    Wear comfortable clothes to minimize your sense of bodily discomfort, bring along any medication you may need, and make sure to stay hydrated while on the plane.

    Other than tending to your basic needs when it comes to physical comfort, you should also pre-empt your anxiety so as to avoid adding to your general sense of unease. I like to think of my fear of flight as an unruly toddler that needs to be constantly placated in unfamiliar and uncomfortable conditions.

    Furness-Smith has a similar take on things. She likens aviophobia to an imp, a little naughty creature that likes to cause distress and needs to be kept in check.

    Imagine your phobia as a mischievous little imp. The sole purpose of these small creatures from German folklore was to bug and harass humans by misleading them. An imp is not really a dangerous enemy, more like an irritating child that needs to be disciplined and controlled.

    Patricia Furness-Smith

    Natural Remedies For Calming Flight Anxiety And Flying Comfortably

    My Travel Anxiety Tips and Tricks | Dealing with Anxiety when Flying
    This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

    Two weeks ago, my family boarded a plane bound for Iceland. Why? Heres the backstory

    Instead of Christmas gifts in the form of toys, we give the gift of experiences, together. Weve given trips because we love traveling and the kids love traveling. Plus, trips are a family gift, which means this is also Mom and Dads present. The money that would have been spent on toys and other stuff goes into the family vacation fund. Each year these trips look a bit different. One year we may drive to a local spot to explore hidden gems for a few days. Another year, we may travel somewhere that requires more planning . < -Iceland was a trip that was years in the making!

    Our main goal behind this tradition is to encourage togetherness and experiences versus amassing more stuff. The goal isnt minimalism, elimination of things, or exotic travel rather, the goal is intentionality and thoughtfulness. For us, we all love to travel and so, for now, planning to visit a new place is an intentional gift that can be enjoyed as a family.

    Youll find more together/experience gift ideas over in this post.

    Travel is certainly amazing, except for one major part: flying!

    In preparation for our flight to Iceland, I asked the Live Simply community to share tips for calming flight anxiety. Heres a snapshot of the many suggestions.

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