7 Tips For Nervous Flyers
Let's just say I have a love-hate relationship with flying.
I've flown quite a bit in my life - short flights, long flights, domestic, international - and yet I still don't feel 100% comfortable with it. I mean, how on earth do those metal birds stay in the air? (yes, I know I know, "lift" and all the physics. I've researched it, I understand it, and yet, it is still magic to me)
But here's the thing, facing my fears over and over again has helped me to grow and has pushed me to see things from a new perspective. I guess that's what life's all about, right? It doesn't mean that I don't get nervous anymore or that I particularly love flying. It does mean, however, that it's gotten a lot easier.
If you're a nervous flyer, here are a few tips that I hope will help you in overcoming your fears...
7 Tips For Nervous Flyers
Know you are not alone
Understand the sounds of the airplane
Try to sleep
Find ways to distract yourself
Focus on the staff
Make friends with your seat mate
Let's break it down...
1. Know you are not alone
There are wayyyyyy more people than you think in your shoes. I used to think that I was the only one because everyone seemed so nonchalant at the airport. With just a little bit of digging and a few in-flight conversations, I quickly found out I wasn't alone - and neither are you. People are just really good at hiding how they're really feeling.
2. Understand the sounds of the airplane
Airplanes involve lots of sounds. It can be easy to think that the end is quickly approaching or that something has gone horribly wrong if you don't understand what's really going on. Here's a great resource to help you get acquainted with the various sounds you'll hear: https://www.backpackertravel.org/random/airplane-noises-explained-nervous-traveler/
BONUS: Turbulence is just a fancy word for a change in air pressure. No plane has ever gone down due to turbulence (this fact has radically helped to improve my relationship with flying)
3. Try to sleep
Do you remember when you were little and you'd fall asleep on a car ride and wake up feeling like you time traveled? Yeah, well that's my favorite thing to do on airplanes. Some of my favorite tricks include making sure that I get in a workout before my flight, not drinking caffeine before my flight, taking melatonin and making sure I'm wearing comfy clothes. It's not always guaranteed that you'll actually fall asleep, but in any case, this is my favorite hack to dealing with flights.
4. Find ways to distract yourself
In my experience, music is great for shorter flights but podcasts are better for longer flights. I love giving my full attention to the music that I'm listening to but when I listen on a plane, it's like my brain knows that it's just a distraction and I lose interest relatively quickly. When I'm listening to a podcast, I can get invested as if I'm having a conversation and because it's longer form, I don't fall out of connection with it as quickly as a string of songs (strange to hear coming from a music lover, but true nonetheless). Reading and/or writing can also be great ways to distract yourself on day flights.
Every time I get on board a plane, I carry my rosary with me. I say it once at the beginning of the flight before takeoff and once before landing. It comforts me and gives me strength. Meditating and focusing on your breathing are other very powerful ways to calm yourself down and tame anxieties. Another tool to keep in mind is visualization. By visualizing your safe landing, you are able to raise your level of personal confidence and control what you are able to - your mindset.
6. Focus on the staff
I've found that focusing on the people who fly for a living helps to calm my nerves a little bit. They're calm and collected demeanor tell me that everything is running as it should.
7. Make friends with your seat mate
The magic of time travel doesn't just happen when you fall asleep. Sometimes you have the opportunity to meet really fascinating people. I was once on a 3 hour flight when I struck up a conversation with my seat mate. We talked for a good 2 hours. I learned a new perspective and got the time I had left to worry down to only 1 hour - not too shabby.
There are so many ways to not only manage, but overcome your fear of flying. That doesn't mean that it's going to be easy, and it doesn't mean that it will ever completely go away - I still have some trouble with it - but actively working to shift your mindset will undoubtedly leave a lasting impact.
I hope this helps! Let me know what you think and feel free to join the conversation either in the comments below or over on Instagram!
Sending love always,