7 Tips to Ease Your Fear of Flying

By on April 30, 2013

7 Tips to Ease Your Fear of Flyingj

It's one of the most common fears known to man, the fear flying or ‘aerophobia' as its known more formally. We often paint aerophobes with one brush, however, there are differing degrees of fear and different sources.

Some people are afraid of crashing, some suffer from claustrophobia, and some just don't like the idea of cruising an altitude of 30,000 feet, no matter how turbulence-free it is.

However, in spite of what the source is, or your degree of fear, there are number of things that you can do to help manage the debilitating symptoms that can manifest with aerophobia. It's time to gain some control over your fear and here's how:

1) Narrow Down the Cause

As I mentioned above, there are a number of causes that contribute to the fear of flying, and like any disorder, or disease, if you don't know the root cause, treatment is futile. At what point do you start to feel symptoms? Is when you're packing your suitcase? Are you fearful on the way to the airport? Maybe it's just the take-off and landings that have you rattled. Find the cause, and the healing can begin.

2) Tell Someone

Don't wait until you're strapped into your seat to have a mental breakdown, if you're nervous, have a candid conversation with the ground agent who checks you in, and again with the flight attendants on board. The more informed the airline staff are, the better prepared they will be when and if an issue arises on board.

3) Sit Near the Front

If turbulence is one of the contributing factors to your anxiety, then you may want to ask the ground agent to seat you near the front upon check-in. Similar to being on a bus, motion is far more pronounced in the back, so the closer to the front of the plane you sit, the less the turbulence. Plus, a seat closer to the front means you're one of the first to deplane!

4) Keep Yourself Preoccupied

If you've got a long haul flight ahead, your very best friend is a bag full of goodies to keep your mind off of your anxiety. Think about all the fabulous reading you've been meaning to catch up on, or how many Sunday crossword puzzles you've missed because you've been to busy. Bring a pile of trashy magazines and spend the flight critiquing celebrities for their overzealous wardrobe choices, whatever relaxes you at home is what you need to be doing on your flight!

5) Skip the Coffee, Seriously!

The last thing you need to be doing before you board a flight is putting a substance into your body that is not only going to hype you up, but caffeine dehydrates you, which will only exacerbate any anxiety you're feeling. Also, avoid sugary sports drinks and never drink anything that is designed to give you energy. Drink plenty of water, and or decaffeinated tea.

6) Listen to Music

Music has wonderfully therapeutic powers, one being a calming effect. While you're waiting for take-off, and until the flight attendant requests the shut-down of electronic instruments, close your eyes, listen to some soothing music and block out cabin noise as you mentally prepare for your flight.

7) Breathe

This may sound like a redundant tip, but we often forget to breathe in times of stress. We tense up, grip the armrest and hold our breath unconsciously. This forces our heart to work in overdrive, it prevents a sufficient amount of oxygen from circulating its way through the bloodstream and can cause lightheadedness which all contributes to anxiety.

Take long, deep breaths, and focus on your heartbeat. Feed your brain with oxygen, and you'll be well on your way to having a calm, problem free flight.

Jordana Manchester
Jordana Manchester
Contributing Writer at ExcelLiving.com
Jordana is an award nominated freelance travel and fashion writer, a former model, an anthropology student and photographer. After spending a year abroad working with lions in Zambia, trekking through the jungles of Sumatra and wandering medieval castles in Portugal, she settled down in beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia. She makes use of her eclectic background by incorporating her infatuation with fashion and style, her obsession with xenophilia, and her obvious love of wayfaring, into every piece she writes.

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