6 tips you can do before the flight

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If you, like many others, suffer from fear of flying, you're probably all too familiar with the debilitating feelings of anxiety and panic that are linked to the journey. If you're one of those who never thought they'd be able to fly without getting sick or relying heavily on anti-anxiety medications, with the right tips, you can conquer your fear of flying long-term.

What You'll Need

  • You can try breathing exercises
  • Download calming music
  • Bring a notebook and pen
  • Prepare yourself mentally and emotionally in advance

What You'll Do

  • Identify your triggers: For some it's simply the drive to the airport that sets off a cascade of negative emotions. For others it's hearing the flight attendant. Knowing what makes you feel bad will make it easier for you to feel better.
  • Educate yourself: So often anxiety and fear stems from not knowing facts. Prior to flying educate yourself on the mechanical features of the plane, know how they operate, and understand that they are built to stay in the air, not crash.
  • Separate fact from fiction: The anxious mind will often dream up wild scenarios, none of which is rooted in fact. On a piece of paper draw two lines down the page making three columns. The first column is where you write your inner dialogue, the next should be titled "Fact", and the third is "Fiction". In the first, write out your thought. Then examine it and ask yourself for any evidence to support it. If there's actual evidence, write it in the "Fact" column. If there is none, then that will fall into the "Fiction" column. Any statements not supported by fact and real evidence can be discredited and thrown out. They're only weighing you down and causing unhealthy stress.
  • Own your anxiety: Anxiety will not kill you. It's the mind's way of preparing for action and to either fight or flee perceived or imagined danger. It can actually make you a stronger person.
  • Focus on your destination, not the journey: Remember, the flight is merely a mode of transportation. If you have a meeting to prepare for, then review it in flight. If you have a vacation destination you're headed to, then bury yourself in a stimulating and informative guide book.
  • Breathe: Remember, turbulence is akin to being on a boat and experiencing rocking from the waves. Rather than dread it, embrace it and know that it is entirely routine. Listen to some music, read a good book, and enjoy the ride.
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