7 ways to ease flight anxiety

Stock image. Jason Toevs (Pexels)

Flying is often necessary because of the time it saves, but it also can bring discomfort to a lot of people while in the air.

But there are steps people can take to help be calmer and enjoy a flight.

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“It’s understandable that flying can be a nerve-wracking experience for many, however, these anxieties can be restricting and unpleasant,” said Blake Walsh, travel expert at Travel Lens. “Therefore, knowing the best ways to tackle these feelings and ease these anxieties can be crucial for those hoping to travel.

Here are seven ways to easy flight anxiety, according to Travel Lens.

1. Figure out your anxiety triggers

Knowing the reasons for flight anxiety can be important to reducing such feelings effectively. By doing this, you can begin rationalizing your fears and figuring out whether they are irrational or unnecessary. You will also be able to prepare yourself for these feelings beforehand. One example is the feeling of turbulence.

2. Practice breathing techniques

Breathing techniques can be a good way of calming the mind and body. Practicing a few different techniques throughout the days leading up to the flight can help you find the one most effective for you. Box breathing (inhale for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds, exhale for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds, etc.) and general deep breaths are a good start.

3. Familiarize yourself with safety measures

All airlines have thorough and strict safety measures to ensure the flights run as smoothly as possible. Prior to the flight, familiarize yourself with the passenger safety procedures of your airline. In addition, listen in when the attendants are giving the pre-flight demonstration to help you feel prepared for the journey ahead.

4. Book your seat accordingly

Some airlines give you the option of free random seat allocation, or to pay a little extra and be able to choose your own seats. If you know that you will need to sit with your group or have a window seat, paying some extra money could be a good investment. You might also prefer to be seated towards the back so you have quick access to flight attendants and the bathroom.

5. Be mindful of what you choose to eat and drink

Having an alcoholic beverage might seem like a good option for calming nerves. However, this can be counteractive, especially since it can dehydrate you when flying. It is also best to avoid caffeine if you are an anxious flyer. Choose a calming drink like camomile or peppermint tea to help you relax, or even just water. Have a light meal before your flight to help settle your stomach, but try not to overdo it.

6. Have a distraction

This can be an effective way of helping the flight pass quickly. Some planes have a TV with films for you to watch, which can be a good distraction for a long flight. If this isn’t the case, downloading some music or movies to your phone or tablet is also a good idea. Make sure they’re downloaded so you can watch them offline.

7. Find your comforts

Some people find visualizing a safe space a good method of relaxing. Pack some home comforts in your hand luggage, such as a cushion or blanket that you know will help you settle down. Familiar scents that calm may also help. Either pack a small amount of this scent or an item which shares the smell. This can help ground you into that safe space.

Are there any other ways you calm flight anxiety? Share with us in the comments below.

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