Flight anxiety is more common than we think. It is believed that around one third of the population experiences this phobia, with intensities ranging from slight uneasiness to panic attacks. Here are some pieces of advice to overcome this feeling that may sometimes become disabling.
Some Simple Tips to Make Flight Anxiety Go Away
- Stay busy: movies and music are your best allies for a good flight. Reading may not always be enough to calm your mind down.
- Try to take it easy and avoid stressful situations before a flight. If you add the concern of being late, not receiving your mail or forgetting something to your existing flight anxiety, your discomfort can increase tenfold.
- Doing some yoga before takeoff or breathing exercises, such as cardiac coherence, before and during takeoff will most surely reduce your anxiety.
- Don’t fly solo! Often times the mere fact of being accompanied can help you cope with stressful situations.
- Learn how planes work. In many cases flight anxiety comes from the distressing feeling of not being able to control the situation. By understanding the flight mechanism you will feel less passive.
- If you suffer from severe anxiety inform the crew before takeoff. In case of a panic attack the flight staff will be able to react more quickly and help you control your fear.
Identify Where Fear Comes From
Flight anxiety has different causes for different people. Some fear the plane may crash, some may feel claustrophobic or anxious about being surrounded by strangers, while others may struggle with the feeling of losing control.
Take the time to reflect and think during the flight. Remember your reactions during your first few flights and try to identify what may have caused this fear, or think whether or not you were afraid at all.
Overcome Your Anxiety Through Therapy
There are many courses that can help you overcome your fear. In general these sessions last one day and take place at airports.
The objective is to become aware of your own peculiarities. You can have an individual interview with a therapist or talk to the people working on the plane and ask them questions. It is extremely interesting to interact with people who fly every day and who have already worked on their anxiety.
More than one specialist can participate in the session and give you their advice to help you manage your emotions. More than just dealing with flight anxiety, you can get in touch with your internal state, recognize it, accept it, and, finally, overcome it.
Sometimes a flight simulator is used. In this case it may be difficult to completely immerse yourself in the experience and put the recommendations into practice.
If therapy is not an option remember you can also seek professional help with a psychologist or a psychiatrist, but remember to plan in advance as this type of treatment can take a long time.