While it’s not uncommon for travelers to have a fear of flying, it’s very hard to rationalize with people shaking from the nerves. Not even the right travel insurance plan can reduce the fear of flying if you have one. It’s 100% a personal struggle that each person deals with individually. There are ways to cope with a fear of flying, however, so you don’t have to sacrifice traveling due to a fear.
- Stay away from caffeine before a flight. Choosing the right beverage prior to flying is extremely important if you are nervous. Stay away from any beverage that is going to make you jittery; it could increase your stress level, making it more difficult to stay calm. Instead look for passion fruit drinks or non-caffeinated herbal teas. They can help calm your nerves and possibly help you sleep.
- Meditate or use breathing techniques. While this isn’t for everyone, meditation and breathing techniques can actually help “remove” you from the situation. If you can focus on your breathing and come into a state of meditation, you would experience the flight completely differently. It could help you cope with a fear of claustrophobia as well.
- Distract yourself with technology or puzzles. Bring things on the flight with you that you can complete without a large amount of focus. Reading a book, watching movies, editing work-related items or even solving easy word or number puzzles allows you to focus on something besides the flight, all the while not being frustrated with the task. Pick a task that you can do over a long period of time, or bring multiple things to do while you are flying.
- Try and sleep as much as possible. While some flights are short, others can seemingly go on forever! Sleep is a great way to pass the time as quickly as possible. Don’t worry about missing the drink cart or the snacks, they are usually available throughout the flight – just hit your call button.
- Don’t overreact if turbulence should occur during the flight. While it’s easy to tense up when a flight starts to get a little bumpy, do your best to stay calm. Allow yourself to flow with the plane. Think of turbulence as potholes in the road. If you think of it as a completely normal occurrence while flying, which it is, then it may help you cope with the flight.
- Talk to your doctor prior to going on your trip. Anxiety is a serious condition, no matter the reason. Talk to your doctor to explain the level of your fear and they may be able to suggest medical techniques to calm yourself during the flight. They are your best bet for advice for medication to help relieve anxiety as well.