Traveling is fun, exciting, and adventurous, and the easiest way to get to a new location is by flying on a plane.
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But, even though it’s the safest traveling method, many people are anxious about riding a plane.
Fear of flying comes in different forms; some people are claustrophobic inside a plane, some fear heights, while others worry that an accident or crash will happen.
Here are some tips that will make your next flight more comfortable:
1. Understand Turbulence
Experiencing turbulence is scary, but turbulence is actually very common and pretty harmless.
It’s caused by wind currents, and modern planes are built in a way that minimizes the impact.
Plane wings are very flexible and won’t break off no matter how much they wobble.
Just make sure to fasten your seatbelt when the sign indicates.
2. Learn About Planes
Airplanes have been a common travel method for a while now, and yet the average person knows very little about them.
Learning about how planes are made, how they fly, the various safety protocols in place, and some general facts and trivia about them might help you.
Demystifying something and better understanding it leads to less fear.
3. Study the Dangers
Learning about plane crashes and safety measures might also help you ease your fears.
There are documentaries that focus on plane crashes, what caused them, and the measures put in place to prevent that type of accident in the future.
Or you could watch videos about tests that planes undergo before being cleared to fly.
4. Choose Your Seat
One of the few things you can control during a flight is where you sit, so make it work for you.
If you feel claustrophobic during the flight and need some distraction, choose the window seat.
If you’re afraid of heights, or the sight of shaky wings makes you nervous, pick an aisle seat.
An aisle seat will also let you move around the plane more without inconveniencing anyone.
Sitting closer to the front of the plane could also be beneficial, as it’s a bit quieter, and the turbulence isn’t as noticeable.
5. Inform the Flight Attendants
Flight attendants are trained to help people who are nervous about flying.
Tell them about your fears and what they can do to help you.
Feel free to ask them any questions you might have during the flight.
They will check up on you during the flight to make sure you’re doing okay.
You could also inform your fellow passengers about your fears.
They could help distract you from thinking about your fears, remind you to breathe, etc.
6. Distract Yourself
Find something to take your attention away from the flight.
Try watching a movie, reading a book, playing a game, listening to music, chatting with other passengers, writing something in a notebook, whatever works for you.
This will help the time go by faster, and it will stop you from looking for signs of danger.
7. Relaxation Techniques
Learn some relaxation techniques and breathing exercises.
These will help you if you start getting overwhelmed.
Getting up and walking around from time to time could also help you relax a bit.
There are apps that will guide you through meditation and breathing exercises, which is very helpful if you’re feeling too anxious to think straight.
8. Think About Your Destination
Thinking about your destination and the fun things you have planed can also be an effective distraction technique.
Try to picture, in vivid detail, visiting a landmark, trying a local specialty, or taking interesting photos.
If you’re traveling for business, think about the meeting you’ll attend or presentations you have to make.
9. Go to a Therapist
Seeing a therapist for a persisting problem is always a good idea, and in the case of flying phobias, there are even dedicated workshops with exposure therapy that can help solve the problem.
If your problem is severe, a therapist might prescribe anxiety medication to help you.
If you’re open to more experimental methods, there is hypnosis therapy, and even VR therapy, where you go through each step of the flight.
10. Additional Tips
Food and drink can affect your mood and anxiety.
Avoid sugar and caffeine before a flight if you’re already anxious.
Drinking some alcohol might help you relax, but don’t go overboard and make sure to drink lots of water!
Also, remember that alcohol and anti-anxiety medication don’t really mix.
If your fears are really unbearable, consult your doctor about taking a sleeping pill and just sleep the flight away.