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Do you love to travel but are scared of flying? You’re not alone! Many people share this problem. But, you don’t have to be limited by your aversion to airplanes. I have a close friend who gets very anxious about flying, but she travels the world on a regular basis by coping with her fear. The secret is not to cure your fear, but to focus your mind on something other than flying to get you through it. Here are some simple tips to help you reduce anxiety when flying.
Tip #1: Meditation
A great way to help cope with your fear of flying is to meditate. Meditation will help you to calm your breathing and still your mind. This can prevent your anxiety from spiraling out of control. Meditate anytime you begin to worry about flying. Other good times to calm yourself through meditation are when you are waiting to board the plane and when you are waiting for takeoff. If you need to, spend the entire flight meditating. In addition to helping you keep your fear in check, meditating while in the air has the extra benefit of keeping you occupied by something other than thoughts of what could go wrong.
Tip #2: Use a Mantra
Another simple tip for reducing your anxiety when flying is to use a mantra during the flight. From the time you board the plane until you land, keep repeating the mantra to yourself. By focusing all of your mental energy on your mantra, you will prevent your brain from thinking about your fear. A mantra helps you have tunnel vision which will block out all other thoughts. It will also help the time to go faster while in the air.
It doesn’t matter what your mantra is, as long as it is something that is meaningful, helpful, and positive for you. Your mantra could be a slogan, chant, or song. Try visualizing someone close to you saying the mantra in your head. Or pretend everyone on the plane is chanting your mantra!
Tip #3: Distraction
Distractions work wonders to alleviate your fear when you are flying. The key here is to give yourself something to focus on other than the flight. If you are flying with a companion, spend the time talking about something completely unrelated to flying. Other distractions that work well include making a list, watching a movie, listening to your favorite music, journaling, or reading a book. If you have a hobby that can be done while on an airplane, try working on it while flying to distract yourself from the worry.
Tip #4: Have a Drink
Alcohol can calm your nerves and help you to relax. So, if you are over the age of 21, try having a drink or two before boarding to reduce your anxiety when flying. Now, I’m not advocating getting completely drunk and out of control here. I’m suggesting that having an adult beverage at the airport can help ease your apprehension about getting on an airplane. If you use this technique, please, know your limits and drink responsibly! And never drink and drive!
Tip #5: Sleep
Another great way to eliminate your anxiety when flying is to simply sleep through the flight. This may not be possible if your fear of airplanes is extreme. However, it is worth a try. Schedule your flights, if possible, during times you would normally be sleeping. If you must fly during normal waking hours, try getting less sleep the night before so you will be more tired than usual when you board. You could also try a sleep aid to help grab some ZZZ’s during the flight. If you are going to use a sleep aid, please be careful about the dosage and know how it will affect your body before using on a plane. Make sure you will be able to fully wake up and function normally once you land and are at your destination.
For some people, flying is a scary thing to do. Yet, if you suffer from this fear, it can make it difficult to travel. But, you don’t have to let your fear get the best of you and keep you grounded. You can overcome it and push through it with some simple tips and techniques. By focusing on something other than your fear of airplanes, you can still enjoy traveling the world. Meditation, distractions, using a mantra, and sleep can all help you to reduce your anxiety when flying. Do you have other tips to help deal with a fear of flying? Share it with other readers by leaving a comment. For more tips on stress free travel, read tips for reducing child anxiety when flying and how to travel with your spouse stress free. For other tips on flying, read my safety tips for airports, tips for flying with kids, and how to prepare your kids for long flights. Happy travels!