Flying can be a scary experience for some. I’m certainly not the most nervous flyer in the world, but about 24 hours before I fly anywhere, I start to feel anxious and my mind begins to tick over thinking about my oncoming journey. There are certain worries that begin to set in and ‘what ifs’ that enter my mind. But as I write this post, 35,000 feet above the Atlantic Ocean, I feel completely safe and at ease. Since there's no internet access to be had from up here, the tips I’m about to give are purely off the top of my head, taken only from personal experience. What works for some may not work for others, but these are the things that I’d at least recommend giving a go if you tend to be an uneasy flyer.
I think the root of many peoples fear of flying is fear of the unknown, or fear of not being in control. Just how can this big heavy metal tube lift off of the ground without dropping like a stone? Unless you’re a physicist or an engineer, you may not know the ins and outs of fight technology, but that’s where Google comes in, right? I really recommend spending some time getting to know a little bit about how it all works, that way, you can force your conscious mind to remember just how safe aviation is once the time arrives for you to step onto the plane.
2. Try the window seat
Leading on from the last point, positioning yourself next to the window can help ease your mind while in flight. Do sudden bumps make you nervous? Being able to peer out of the window and see that you’re perhaps just travelling through some clouds can be reassuring, especially if you've already read up about what causes such turbulence. Being able to logically explain changes is noise or stability can go a long way in helping yourself to relax.
3. Prepare your distractions
I believe this is what they call an 'oldie but a goodie'. If uncertain noises make you anxious onboard a plane, think about bringing some headphones along to zone yourself out (noise cancelling ones get extra bonus points!). Books, films and magazines can all help keep your mind from wondering and dreaming up all of those unlikely scenarios.
4. Count to 30
A pilot friend once told me that the first 30 seconds of a flight are by far the most dangerous. This might not be exactly what you want to hear when you’re sat on the runway, but I always find it helpful to count to 30 in my head starting from when the plane leaves the ground. Once I reach the magic 3-0, I feel much more reassured that everything is going to plan. It's also I big relief when the seat belt sign gets switched off - a sure sign that you're safe! So sit tight for those first few moments and you may hopefully feel your anxiety pass, or at least decrease gradually.
5. Visit your doctor
If your fear of flying is causing you significant distress, visit your doctor! They can offer you options to help your travels run a bit more smoothly. You almost certainly won’t be the first person that has come to them about the problem, so there’s really nothing to be worried or embarrassed about. It's definitely something worth considering if nothing seems to help you keep your anxiety under control.
What do you do to help yourself relax on a plane? Whether you're a nervous flyer, or you love life up in the sky, it's always good to have methods to make the journey as fuss free as possible!