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How to deal with flight anxiety?

Mental Wellbeing

Most of us will have experienced some kind of anxiety while flying. This is normal, so do not worry about it too much. There are some guidelines you can follow to minimise this fear and have a pleasant journey. We have listed five tips to help reduce your worry of flying:

Trust the pilots and airlines

Flying can be scary, especially when you are cramped into a small economy seat with crying children, snoring passengers and other nervous flyers. The fear you are feeling is not the fear of the safety of the plane but much more the fear of letting go of your own control. Remember it takes pilots years of extensive training, checks and learning to sit in that cockpit ahead of you, so trust the industry to know what they are doing and the fact that they will get you to your destination safely.

Distract yourself

A great way of not feeling completely overwhelmed and anxious is to distract yourself while you are on the plane. It depends on what distracts you, but listening to music, reading a book or bringing your tablet or laptop to watch movies is a great way of distracting and forgetting about your fears.

Remember the air travel facts

If there is a time where you feel anxious, remember that the most dangerous part of your day is driving to the airport not actually sitting on the plane. There is only about 1 air disaster in every 2 million flights, so you will be OK. It may be helpful to read guides before flying on the usual procedures that you will be experiencing during a flight.

 

Don’t get drunk or drink lots of coffee

Getting drunk seems like a sensible idea but it really is not. First, you will have false confidence which could turn into panic easily. Furthermore, when you are drunk you are actually much more vulnerable than you would be sober, so we recommend staying off the booze. We also suggest that you do not overload with coffee as this increases your heart rate, which ultimately increases your anxiety. It also dehydrates you, which will make you feel terrible, especially after a long-haul flight. Drink plenty of water and keep hydrated at all times.

Listen to your instincts

Try and reassure yourself with the above steps to minimise your fears, but in fact you are the one who will be able to control your emotions best. If you are making yourself crazy with anxiety and telling yourself that things will go horribly wrong, you will probably have an unpleasant experience. However, if you calm yourself with breathing and telling yourself that everything will be ok you will be able to be calm and relaxed. Remember to focus on your breathing if at any point your anxiety increases.

It may be useful to let your flight attendants know that you have a fear of flying. This will forewarn them and allow them to help you quickly if you start to panic. They can also answer any questions you may have, and let you know if anything is going on during the flight.

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