Traveling is one of the most exciting things you can do, but the worst part of the trip is, no doubt, the flight. There’s nothing fun about being squeezed between strangers for hours on end, and it’s pretty freaky to think about what could happen when you’re that high up in the the air.
However, it’s important to find ways to get over a fear of flying so you can enjoy all the perks of travel without having to dread the journey there. If you have a trip planned this summer, consider one of these six ways to calm your flying anxiety.
Take an Evening Flight
“Many individuals who suffer with a fear of flying report having an easier time with night flights, as the take-off and distances from the ground are less visible,” says psychotherapist Denise Limongello, LMSW. “If your mindset is one of starting with smaller goals to help you overcome your fear of flying, this might be a great example of a way to take a gradual approach to working on being able to fly comfortably.”
Listen to Relaxing Music
“Load up your phone with relaxing or favorite tunes,” says psychotherapist Sharon Martin LCSW. “Then put on your headphones, sit back, and enjoy your playlist.” Listening to music can reduce the stress level cortisol, and research even shows it can help reduce anxiety more than prescription drugs.
Plan ahead and bring activities that you can enjoy on the plane. “Distraction is an effective strategy for fear of flying,” says Martin. “Bring along activities that require mental focus such as crossword puzzles, a novel you can’t put down, or a video game.”
Listen to a Guided Meditation
“Download some guided meditations that will guide you through relaxing your mind and body,” says Martin. “Simple deep breathing can also work wonders. Breathe slowly in through your nose for a count of four, and then exhale through your mouth for another count of four.”
Bring a Comforting Object
It’s okay if you want to bring your teddy bear on your flight — we’re not judging. “Don’t be embarrassed to bring your favorite blanket, fuzzy slippers, or lucky baseball cap,” says Martin. “Adults can benefit from a security blanket just as much as a child.”
Use Positive Visualization
Imagining yourself in a peaceful and calm environment can help work wonders on your anxiety. “Close your eyes and visualize yourself successfully boarding, flying, landing, and enjoying your destination,” says Martin. “Repeat something positive such as ‘I’m going to arrive safely and feel confident that I can manage my anxiety’ whenever you begin to feel anxious.”
xx, The FabFitFun Team