If you have a fear of flying also referred to as flying phobia, flight phobia or aviophobia then we have the top 10 tips n tricks from all over the globe to keep your fear of flight under raps and get you exploring the world.
Your fear of flying is real and significant. (Flying goes against basic, deeply rooted human reactions, including the fear of falling which is the most fundamental of all fears.) Remember you are not alone and having a fear of flying is not irrational but avoiding it and doing nothing about it is.
1. Identify if you have a flying phobia or maybe something else that just does not work with flying.
If you have a fear of heights, small enclosed spaces or traveling somewhere new and you do dot speak the language are all reason to get you shaking in your seat before you board the plane, but are not flying phobia’s. Step one is to identify your fear, if it is flying that gives you the sweaty palms and racing heart beat, keep reading.
2. Hire a trained professional pilot.
Leave it all in the pilots hands, delegate the responsibility of flying to the professional pilot you are paying for through your airfare. As a bit of a control freak myself I can totally relate to feeling out of control thousands of feet in the air in a steel fuselage , but you do not need to be in control. Think of yourself as the worlds busiest CEO delegating what needs to get done and in this case it is flying and flying safely that needs to get done. Hence the professional trained pilot up the front that you have delegated the task of flying to.
3. Get a Travel Agent who’s in the know and has been there, done that!
Talking with someone who has been there and knows the airports, terminals and destinations you are traveling through and who can give you an insiders scoop on what to expect is always a plus. That is exactly what travel agents enjoy the most, is talking about their travel experiences, where the best sleeping spots in terminals are hidden, what funny unexpected experience you can expect where and how, plus the scoop on where to get the best cocktails to carm the nerves before boarding.
4. Scope out the airport’s calming spaces
Not all airports are sterile zones filled with intimidating security personnel and stressed-out travellers. In fact, many will have specific locations where you can take a mental health break. Singapore’s Changi International Airport, for example, has no announcements and carpeted terminals to create a more relaxed and calming atmosphere, transit in Kuala Lumpur and you can enjoy a outdoor garden located in the centre of the terminal building. Those on a layover at the Albuquerque International Sunport Airport in New Mexico may notice a church like stained glass meditation centre — perfect for some calming breathing exercises before a scurry to the gate. If you’re nervous about upcoming air travel, see if your airport has quiet spots to help you nip that anxiety attack in the bud.
5. Sometimes a little knowledge puts the fears to bed.
There are plenty courses and programs out there to make flying less mentally draining and put one at ease as to what to expect. Flying without fear is exactly what Sue at Fly Ok does http://www.flyok.co.nz/ Air France offers a three hour workshop on calming the nerves before a flight. Speak to your travel agent to put in in touch with a facilitator or maybe even a run in a flight simulator. If you know how it all works and how safe it really is the understanding is enough to put the risk conscious minded among us at ease.
6. Watch the flight attended…there body langue says it all
When turbulence hit or the plane makes a noise you are sure its not meant to make just keep your eye on the flight crew. Hands down they have the most air miles under the belt in the cabin and if they are as cool as cucumbers you can be assured what ever just happened it totally normal.
7. 4 X 4 Breathing
As basic as it sounds breathing can have an instant calming effect on your anxiety and heart rate. Breath in deep through your noise for four seconds using your diaphragm and completely filling your lungs, hold your breath for four seconds, exhale through your mouth for four seconds completely emptying out your lungs, hold four seconds and repeat cycle four times, hence 4X4 breathing. Technique used by military and air force to keep heart rate in check and the nerves at bay.
8. Stay busy and distracted at times you know you do not like
Staying busy with listening to calming music during take off is a great way to divert your attention if take off is your trigger. If you know your triggers, know what you do not like about flying you can plan ahead and make sure you have something to distract you.
9. Location, Location, Location
Where you are seated on the plane can have a big impact if you are a nervous flyer. Sitting next to the window can give you a sense of adventure and others find solace in the view out the window. Others prefer an isle seat and do not want to look out the window at all and have no interest in seeing if the wings are still attached or how the ground is approaching. Turbulence is what get your palms sweaty, well there is a location for that aswell, sit in the front as it is far less bumpy and you do not feel the plane tial drag as much.
10. Eat n Drink to calm your nerves
Avoid stimulants such as coffee and sugary beverages. This includes alcohol as it tends to heighten your anxiety. Only consume things which help to calm your senses and keep you more relaxed such as chamomile tea, sniffing on lavender sachets or sucking on peppermints. For the kids, it is tempting to lull them into a false sense of security by giving them too many sugary treats as you may think it would make them feel better. But we all know what too much sugar can do to kids!