For some, travelling to new places is just a dream. Try these 11 effective ways to overcome fear of flying and you will be set to go to explore new places.
Ways to overcome the fear of flying
Don’t underestimate the fear of flying. It’s incarcerating and nerve-wrecking. Many people who experience this fear actually love to travel and see new places. But will you ever be able to do it?
It’s definitely not easy, but it can be done. Overcoming irrational anxiety is an uphill task, but with enough support and preparation, you are one step nearer to that vacation you’ve always wanted.
BEFORE THE TRIP
Read up on the right stuff
Shun away from news about plane disasters that will heighten your anxiety towards flying. Instead, learn about facts and understand how a plane can continue to fly even if there is an engine failure. Reading up on what causes turbulence or the sounds planes make during take off and landing will help you rationalise the unknown.
Travel with someone you trust
A partner, a sibling or a close friend whom you can express your anxiety to will make you feel better. Knowing that there is someone with you is definitely a great help, and having that person there is already a good distraction for your thoughts!
Familiarise yourself with your plane
This makes the unknown a little less scary. You will know how big it is, where the emergency exits are and how it looks like, and you won’t be greeted by surprises.
Choose an aisle seat
If you are prone to claustrophobia, this is a no-brainer. It also prevents you from looking out of the window if that makes you nervous. Naturally this lets you go to the washroom as many times as you like if you need to have a safe space and be alone.
Easier said than done, but you’ll have to try. Anxiety builds up days before the trip but focus on positive things. Think about the wonderful and fun activities at your destination.
Speak to a professional
A counsellor or therapist can help manage your anxiety leading up to the planned trip. A psychiatrist can also arm you with medication that you can take onboard.
ON THE PLANE
Speak to the crew
You can spend time chatting to a flight attendant to allow yourself to trust him or her. Sharing your anxieties with the attendant will also help – they are trained to make you feel comfortable and will check on you every now and then. The friendly and competent environment will help assure you.
Listen to music
Soothing music, or meditate. Bust those stressors by surrounding yourself with calm and relaxing tunes, or voice. Meditating will also help regulate your breathing. Deep breathing keeps anxiety away.
Read a very interesting book or magazine, or watch a comedy on your plane’s in-flight entertainment system. If you know what always makes you laugh, put them on your iPad or laptop.
Have a drink
Relax yourself by having a drink to calm your nerves. Bear in mind that having too much might have a perverse effect as it causes dehydration. If you are on anti-anxiety pills, be careful not to combine them.
Pop a pill
If your fear is overwhelming and debilitating, some anti-anxiety medication will help. They either calm you down or make you so drowsy you’ll sleep on the whole flight.