Love travel but hate flying? You’re not the only one. Fear of flying is a common phobia among air travellers. The good news is there are many methods and tips available to help flyers feel better when up in the air. But what happens when the usual practices like deep breathing, anti-anxiety pills and meditation don’t work?
When the usual tactics stopped working for travel writer Katka, she had to look for new ways to overcome her fear. Here are some useful tips she shares on Travelettes to help reduce the stress of flying for nervous flyers like herself:
1. Research the mechanics of flight
I always find it easier to get over a fear of something if I have a better understanding of it. For example, did you know that most planes can fly for over 30 minutes – AND safely land – during engine failure? That’s because most planes are equipped with at least 2 engines. And those weird buzzing sounds you hear during takeoff and landing? Most likely they are just the wheels being drawn in or released. You’ll feel a lot more comfortable once you realise just how resilient airplanes are.
2. Close your eyes
Sometimes, fear of flying is all about how the mind interprets the situation around you. Watching the land get further and further away, or looking out into a gray cloud of nothing, followed by the close proximity of the seat in front of you, can definitely make a person go crazy. But sometimes “out of sight, out of mind” psychology helps you feel a bit calmer – you can’t predict yourself falling out of the sky if you can’t see it.
You want to distract yourself, but in a sort of thoughtless way. Reading, I find, takes too much concentration – you have to put words and phrases and sounds together, and it becomes a struggle between your brain and your anxiety (and anxiety always wins). I find drawing to be super relaxing however; I’m not a great artist, but doodling helps me focus on shapes, shading, and design in a different way. I try and sketch the seatback. I try to sketch my vodka soda. I try to make the word, “Vodka Soda” look as pretty as possible.
Free-writing is also a super effective way to channel your thoughts. Instead of freaking out to the person next to me, I write down every single thought or feeling going through my head as turbulence happens. It exhausts me to the point where I pass out on my notebook or laptop.
4. Pretend you are on a roller coaster
I hate flying because I equate the drop sensation to riding a roller coaster (which I also hate). But I’ve since ridden a few amusement park rides, which has actually helped me not freak out at every bump. When a plane drops deeply (like sometimes during landing, or during turbulence), I actually put my hands into the air and shout, “WOOOO IT’S LIKE A RIDE!” It tricks my brain into thinking I’m just at Hershey Park, and it also makes the people around me laugh, or join in.
5. Watch a stupid movie
I emphasise the stupid part, because I’ve tried watching “new” movies thinking that I’d distract myself by paying attention to the plot, the dialogue, the actors, etc. In reality however, I was too distraught by my own anxiety to concentrate. I prefer to watch films and television shows I’ve seen a million times over, or that don’t have a lot of substance to them, like Center Stage. Plus, I feel better knowing that after watching The Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, I’ll be landing in LA. <cont.>
Read the rest of Katka’s tips of getting over your fear of flying at the link below. Hopefully they make a difference for you on your next flight!
Read full article:
Reposted from: Travelettes
Picture credit: Pixabay
More from Zafigo: