LIFE

12 Incredibly Easy Ways To Combat Your Fear Of Flying

by Phil Mutz
Phil is an Editor at LittleThings. He loves writing and the outdoors. You can often find him at the movies or the park.

Traveling by plane can be one of the most stressful experiences. You have to remember to pack the right things, print out your boarding pass, and make it to the airport on time.

But for many, the lead-up to the flight isn’t the hardest part. If you’re like me, the anxiety that surrounds flying in an airplane can be extreme and it can be debilitating.

The experts at Fly Home told LittleThings, “While not everyone has an intense fear of flying that leaves them paralyzed, most people experience some level of discomfort when it comes to air travel.”

But it’s not enough to simply recognize the signs of anxiety on a plane. I want to know what I can do about it.

Luckily, there are quite a few tips, tricks, and techniques that can help me lower my anxiety when it comes to flying.

Scroll through this exclusive list below to see how simple it is to fight your fear of flying.

Will you be trying these anxiety-figting tips the next time you fly? Let us know in the comments.

1. Put Down The Coffee

ways to combat your fear of flying
LittleThings / Maya Borenstein

The experts at Fly Home told LittleThings that caffeine can actually make you jittery, causing your anxiety levels to rise. “Avoid caffeine… Caffeine can increase the effects [of anxiety].”

Instead of coffee before or during a flight, try a non-caffeinated beverage such as juice or water. Staying hydrated can be extremely helpful in battling the anxiety and helping you to have a pleasant, jitter-free flight.

2. Take A Deep Breath

ways to combat your fear of flying
LittleThings / Maya Borenstein

While you can’t necessarily do yoga on a plane, remembering to breathe can be one of the most important tactics for battling in-air anxiety.

The Independent Traveler writes, “As anxiety increases, your breathing may get shallow  but deep breathing is an instant stress-reliever. Breathe slowly and deeply for a count of five or 10.”

3. Talk To A Flight Attendant

ways to combat your fear of flying
LittleThings / Maya Borenstein

Travel expert James Wysong told NBC News, “Don’t conceal [your anxiety about flying]. Tell the gate agent when you check in, the flight attendant when you board, and the passengers around you when you sit down. It’s nothing to be embarrassed about, and what you need is support, not added frustrations by suffering in silence.”

Alerting the flight crew about your nerves can also ensure that they check in on you often, to reassure you that all is well.

4. Keep Your Blood Sugar Up

ways to combat your fear of flying
LittleThings / Maya Borenstein

Flying expert Professor Robert Bor told the Independent, “Before and during the flight, it’s important to keep blood sugar levels up. Stick to water and juices to keep hydrated and remember to eat little and often to maintain your energy, which can help control anxiety levels.”

Keeping a light snack handy or ordering a juice can be crucial to keeping your blood sugar steady while in-flight.

5. Turn On The Tunes

ways to combat your fear of flying
LittleThings / Maya Borenstein

Travel expert James Wysong told NBC News, “Listen to peaceful and calming music. Your mind tends to wander and hear sounds that either don’t exist or are perfectly normal flight noises.”

Keeping your headphones close by is an easy way to tune out your anxiety and allow your mind to wander to a happier, more peaceful place.

6. Go For A Walk

ways to combat your fear of flying
LittleThings / Maya Borenstein

Dr. Earl Henslin told the Fear of Flying School, “If it is a long flight, take a walk every half hour. Take your time. Focus on breathing deeply with each step.”

Getting out of your seat and going for a walk can help to combat the slight claustrophobia you may be experiencing. Also, increasing the blood flow with minor exercise is great for lowering anxiety levels.

7. Learn About Turbulence

ways to combat your fear of flying
LittleThings / Maya Borenstein

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, you should “step on to the airplane with knowledge. Anxiety thrives on ignorance… Become familiar with the facts. They will not eliminate your anxiety, but they will help you manage it.”

Doing some minor research on turbulence and how planes work can make a world of difference when your anxiety is trying to kick in. Being knowledgable can help you differentiate between what is normal or not while in-flight.

8. Crank Up The Air

ways to combat your fear of flying
LittleThings / Maya Borenstein

The Independent Traveler writes, “Turn on the air vents above your head as soon as you board. The flow of air will help you feel less claustrophobic.”

Increased air flow can cool your body when your anxiety makes you feel like you are overheating. Plus, the movement of air can be helpful in making you feel that you can breathe more easily and freely.

9. Grab A Rubber Band

ways to combat your fear of flying
LittleThings / Maya Borenstein

According to the Calm Clinic, “The wristband anxiety treatment is designed to take you out of your own head and snap you back into reality. It’s a reminder piece designed to get you to stop over-thinking and prevent anxiety from getting worse.”

Whenever you feel anxiety creeping in, snap a rubber band on your wrist. Experts also recommend repeating some kind of affirmation every time you do. The sudden pain can bring you back to reality from your anxiety-ridden imagination.

10. Stay Entertained

ways to combat your fear of flying
LittleThings / Maya Borenstein

The Express writes, “Make sure you have something you can turn your attention to, be it a book, film, puzzle, or work. Without an activity, your mind is more likely to drift back to focusing on your body.”

Some activities can be even more helpful than others. They continue, “Puzzles and films release dopamine in the brain and allow us to be more focused on the task at hand.”

11. Sway With The Plane

ways to combat your fear of flying
LittleThings / Maya Borenstein

Travel expert James Wysong told NBC News, “Treat the turbulence like bumps in the road. Don’t tense up or fight it, but instead, let your body sway with the aircraft movements.”

Tension certainly adds to stress and anxiety levels. Remembering to breathe and sway with the plane can aid in remaining calm and relaxed.

12. Choose The Perfect Seat

ways to combat your fear of flying
LittleThings / Maya Borenstein

The Independent Traveler writes, “Request an aisle seat, particularly if you’re prone to claustrophobia. You’ll feel less hemmed in by other people, and you’ll be able to get up and move around the cabin more easily.”

And for those who think a window seat is better, this actually may be making your anxiety worse. Aisle seats make it “easier to avoid looking out the window if those sky-high views make you nervous.”

For some people, traveling by airplane is unavoidable. But that doesn’t mean that we have to fall victim to airplane anxiety. These techniques can go a long way in alleviating our in-flight fears.

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