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More than 25 million Americans suffer from some sort of flight anxiety and if you’re one of them the mere thought of even boarding a plane can incite fear.
However, there are a few steps you can take to help ease nerves when flying:
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Choose an Aisle Seat
Thankfully most airlines let you pick your seat prior to flying, so if you suffer from feeling claustrophobic on a plane, or don’t want to be reminded how high you are every time you look out of the window, make sure to pick an aisle seat. It will also make it easier to get up and walk around if you’re feeling hemmed in. It’s also helpful to choose a seat towards the front of the aircraft as seats located towards the rear can experience more of a bumpy flight.
Download a Relaxation App
There is a slew of relaxation and meditation apps available now and they can help calm frayed nerves when flying. We love Headspace and Simple Habit, which allows you to download sessions so that you can use them while your phone is set to airplane mode. Meditation apps that help you to implement deep breathing techniques are also helpful in controlling the shallow breaths that accompany anxiety.
Visit your doctor prior to flying to ask about taking anxiety medication. Having a glass of wine prior to your flight can also help calm nerves, just be sure not to mix alcohol and medications and stick to one, or two drinks max. Herbal remedies such as St. John’s Wort can also help, along with soothing herbal teas. Experts recommend steering clear of caffeine, a stimulant which can make you feel jittery.
Tell the Flight Attendants
Don’t feel ashamed about your fears. Flight attendants are well used to dealing with fearful passengers, so make sure you let the flight attendants know you have a fear of flying. You may also be able to visit the cockpit, where meeting the people in control of flying the plane can help create trust. Flight attendants can also calmly explain the plane’s safety features, which may help alleviate nerves and take away the fear of the unknown.
Find Your Calm
Download your favorite TV shows on your tablet, or phone, bring along a favorite book, pack some of your favorite herbal tea blends, or put a few drops of calming essential oils on a scarf to wrap around your neck.