Updated: Jul 3, 2020
I remember when I NEVER wanted to fly. My friends would take countless trips and I would of course be left behind if a plane was involved. I would make a million excuses not to travel. I would say things like..."I have other plans during that time."..... " I'm not really interested in that trip." "I'll go next time." Excuses!!! Excuses!!! ALL EXCUSES!!! I let my fear get in the way of traveling, enjoying life and gaining new experiences. I thought of irrational things like the plane running out of gas, terrorist threats and of course the plane crashing..YIKES!! I filled my thoughts with the worst case scenarios. It was exhausting! But one day, I decided to just do it! I said to myself.. "I will board an aircraft." "I will stay on the aircraft!" "I will not panic or cause others to." "I will not freak out!!" Whew!! I had to come to the realization that I am an irrational over-thinker that can talk myself out of experiencing the best life has to offer. Then suddenly, I just did it. I took my first flight, then my next, and I've been flying ever since!! I take an average of 4-5 flights per year. I went from not wanting to look at or hear anything about an aircraft to practically booking trips left and right. I even take some of my best naps on flights, and trust me I don't sleep unless I'm fully comfortable. With that being said, I STILL get nervous sometimes. I still get the occasional butterflies before flying, but I've mastered how to control and cope with my anxiety and fear beforehand. Here are some tips that I find useful while flying.
1. Arrive early!!
Always and I mean always arrive to the airport early. This is extremely important. If you arrive late, there is a strong possibility things can go wrong. For example: Your luggage may be too late to board the flight. You might be too late to board your flight! You won't have time to get coffee, grab lunch, use the restroom or just simply relax. You may have to run to your terminal. All of these issues will put undesired stress on top of your initial fear of flying. So, do yourself and everyone else a favor and arrive early. Once your arrive early, you will have time to decompress and rationalize all irrational thoughts before you board the flight.
2. Comfort Items!!
Make sure you have all items that make you feel the most at ease and peaceful. Neck pillows, blankets, headphones, snacks, reading material, movies, etc. are all comfort items. You can spend the entire flight watching your favorite tv shows/movies, listening to music or reading your favorite books/articles while snuggled in your blanket and surrounded by snacks!!. Be sure to prepare in advance so that you don't forget anything. I promise your comfort items will make you feel at peace.
3. Visualize your destination!
Be sure to visualize your destination. Think about how much fun you will have once you land. Visualize the scenery, people, food, entertainment, etc. If your destination isn't so exciting, think about this as a challenge you will soon overcome. Its feels so refreshing to overcome an obstacle that has plagued your thoughts. This feeling is simply priceless. So visualize positive outcomes!
4. Get some shut-eye
That's right!!! I said it!! Fall asleep!! Sometimes, we get the best sleep when we are anxious. Our brains are usually exhausted from over-thinking and worrying about every little thing. I once thought I would never sleep on a plane, but now I get some of the best sleep on an aircraft. The temperature is usually pretty cool and the lights are off. Seems just like a bedroom right? Well not exactly..... but it definitely works. As soon as you awaken, it will most likely be time to land. Sounds like a win, win!!!
5. Wine anyone?
A glass of wine or any beverage of your choice is sure to relax your nerves before and during a flight. A flight should be enjoyed, so drink up...well not too much. :-)
6. Fly with someone
If possible, flying with a familiar face is always sure to calm your nerves. Flying with a spouse, friend, family member or colleague can help ease irrational fears. You can always talk the entire flight to take your mind off of negative thoughts.
7. Talk to the flight attendant
Flight attendants are pretty awesome!! Observe their demeanor and behavior. Flight attendants are usually very confident, calm and relaxed. They fly often so their behavior is pretty consistent. Any bumps in the air will be pretty normal to the flight attendant. So observe their behavior. After all, you're all on the same flight. If they are okay...you should be okay!
8. Get an aisle seat!!!
An aisle seat is pretty much the best seat on an aircraft. You will not feel as cramped, you can go to the restroom with ease and you are able to see the entire aircraft. Usually middle seats can make individuals with anxiety feel pretty trapped in an enclosed space. So do yourself favor and pay extra for that aisle seat.
9. Positive Vibes ONLY!!!!
Just trust and believe you will be okay. Please don't focus on horror stories involving planes or discuss irrational fears with individuals that refuse to fly. This will only set you further back and you will never feel confident enough to fly. Talk to someone that is a frequent flyer and get tips on how to stay relaxed. Positive thoughts are everything. What we think is what we will manifest! Know that God is always in control, have faith and remain positive.
I hope some of these tips will help you overcome your fear of flying. There is a huge and exciting world to explore filled with rich culture and mind blowing experiences.
Don't miss out :-)