If you have aviophobia, you are part of almost 25 per cent of the population that experiences some degree of anxiety when flying. The good news is there are ways to help ease your anxiety so that you can travel worry-free across the globe.
- Find out the facts – Knowledge greatly reduces anxiety so get clued up on what to expect. For example: turbulence is neither unusual or dangerous; if your ears pop, this is to be expected; wing flaps can sometimes appear to be loose but this also is completely normal!
- Recognise triggers – Work out what triggers your anxiety while flying and manage it while your anxiety level remains minimal. Learning what sets you off makes it easier to divert your attention before the anxiety is triggered.
- Use relaxation techniques – Relaxation techniques can distract your mind from anxiety. Deep breathing, meditation, visualisation, soft music and progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) can help greatly. You might like to download some music or meditation apps to listen to during your flight.
- Keep distracted – A gripping book, a film, music, puzzles and snacks can keep your mind off the flying. A travel guide about the beautiful places you’ll be visiting when you arrive helps keep your mind on the destination and not the journey.
- Pack well in advance – Many people make a list and add to it as they remember things; that way, nothing gets left to the last minute which is a classic trigger of anxiety. Tick off the list as you pack each item so that you can rest assured you’ve packed everything.
- Take medications if need be – Your doctor may see fit to prescribe you with some medication to help settle your anxiety when you fly. Just knowing you have the medication ready in your hand luggage might be enough to calm your nerves.
- Go on a course – British Airways and Virgin Atlantic offer one-day courses to help reduce anxiety when flying. As well as useful advice on how to cope with flight anxiety the day also includes a short flight. Alternatively, SOAR delivers expert online courses.