The freedom above clouds seems to be limitless – but all of your fears and worries remain. While leaving the ground can trigger a feeling of happiness for some, it can cause an uneasy feeling in the stomach region for others. The best ways to deal with your fear of flying can be found here.

Although flying is regarded as the safest means of transport, one in three of us are entering the plane with wobbly knees. Whether it’s because the pilot has total control of the plane, you’ve simply seen too many Hollywood films, or you’ve already had a traumatic experience due to some serious turbulence – the fear of flying can spoil the start of your wonderful holiday. Read my tips against flying anxiety and wave goodbye to your racing heart and sweaty palms.

The best tips for beating your fear of flying

What is a fear of flying? | Causes |How many people have a fear of flying? |Seat | Comfortable Clothing | Distraction | Relaxation Exercises | Natural Healing

Knowledge against the Fear of Flying

Airplane’s shadow over a crowded beach

What is a Fear of Flying?

The techincal term, aviophobia refers to the fear of being on an aeroplane. The panic that the people overcome who suffer from it can be overwhelming, paralysing and extremely distressing. Often it leads to a limitation of air travel and therefore missing out on family gatherings, holidays or business trips. It can be a missive invasion into their social life as flying is hard to avoid nowadays.

Causes

There are numerous caused that lead to being scared of flying. It could be combined with a fear of heights or claustrophobia. A mistrust in the technical side of an aeroplane is also often the reason for the fear of flying. For many the problem is also losing control and giving your life into the hands of the pilot. Then, the unnatural situation of being up in the air can also lead to panic attacks. A fear of flying can develop throughout life and grow during time.

How many people have a fear of flying?

It is said that one on six is afraid of flying. So, something that is relieving: You are not alone! There are numerous seminars that teach you how to overcome your fear of flying, however they are quite pricey, for some they work, though. A big increase in the fear was cause by 9/11 and still today the fear of a terrorist attack in an aeroplane ranks quite high in the causes.

How do I get over my fear of flying?

1. The right seat does the trick!

With most airlines, you can choose your seat when checking-in. If you suffer from claustrophobia or dizziness, I’d recommend an aisle seat for you. Here you have the most legroom and can also have a stretch now and again. Psychological fears and the feeling of being confined, are eliminated in this way, and you’re also spared the dizzying view from the window seat. The seats in the areas in front of the wings are also particularly quiet.

Young woman enjoys drinking coffee and coconut

2. Choose the right clothing

Although the departure date is still a few days away, can you already feel the butterflies in your stomach? I understand that it is unpleasant to be squashed in the same narrow seat for hours on end. That’s exactly why I have some great tips for you, as to how you can make yourself that little bit cosier.

Comfortable flights

  • Jogging bottoms
  • Scarf for cold air conditioning
  • Flight socks
  • Jumper

Throw on some comfortable clothes, for example, your jogging bottoms and a few baggy t-shirts. If you don’t want to wear them all day, you can also quickly change into them in the toilet at the airport or on the plane. One thing’s for sure: nothing is more annoying on a flight than a pair of tight trousers, which dig into your stomach. If you already know that you will experience some outbursts of sweating and shivering, you can easily add or remove a layer, with one of your baggy t-shirts.

During the flight

3. Distraction at all costs

So that you notice as little as possible of the flight itself, you should definitely try and distract yourself. If you do not have a partner with you, maybe the person sitting next to you will be glad to exchange a few words. If this is not the case, be sure to take an exciting book with you as a precaution. If you are truly absorbed in a book, you’ll hardly notice anything which is happening around you. Alternatively, an audio book or your favourite music can also prove to be relaxing. Just close your eyes and dream of your upcoming destination… from the warm beach to the crystal clear water.

If, amongst the excitement, you have forgotten about packing one of these things in your hand luggage, you can still rely on good old onboard entertainment. Grab some magazines, watch a good film or have a chat with the air hostesses from time to time. If you tell them about your fear of flying at the beginning, they will make a real effort in trying to answer all of your questions. Consequently, your flight will ‘fly by’, much quicker than you thought. There is now nothing standing in the way of your holiday. ;-)

At the airport lounge
People waiting for a flight at the airport lounge. Focus on the two women talking.

4. Relaxation exercises

If you can’t cope with the tension and you’re still clenching from within, the correct sitting position can act as an immediate remedy. Sit straight and put your legs firmly on the floor. Breathe deeply in and out, until your pulse calms down. Alternatively, you can lift your shoulders up to your ears and hold your breath for ten seconds, whilst maintaining this position and remaining still. When you breathe out, let your shoulders hang loose again. After a few repetitions, this method should work wonders for your anxiety. If you have a very strong fear of flying, you can learn special techniques such as progressive muscle relaxation. The tensing and relaxing of certain muscle groups can quickly provide relaxation, without anyone noticing.

Young asian woman sleeping on airplane

5. Calmness through homeopathy

If your inner anxiety is so strong, that even the best tricks don’t help you to relax, you can of course resort to medicine for reassurance. However, I’d advise you against chemically based tablets, as they can often cause side effects or interfere with other medicine, which you may be taking. In a worst case scenario, you may even become dependent upon them. I’ve already had some good experiences with herbal medicine, such as Pascoflair. The highly dosed passion flower extract is very well tolerated and kicks in after almost half an hour. So, if you notice that your nervousness increases when you’re checking-in, you will soon feel a lot more relaxed after taking these tablets. However, the fact that the herbal medicine is easily within reach in case of emergency, is also reassuring.

Passion Flower

6. Knowledge against the fear of flying

It often helps to sit down and think about how rational your fear is. I know, it’s a highly emotional topic, but when you panic it might help when you look at the statistics and put into relation if it actually “makes sense” worrying. Things that might help but sound a bit morbid…

Adios fear of flying

I hope I could reassure you with my tips, so that you can now muster up some courage. And once you’ve arrived at your holiday destination, with the upcoming beach days and the anticipation of future adventures, you’ll quickly forget all about your fear of flying. Do you suffer from aviophobia? If so, do you have any other tips to help you relax? Or is your fear so great, that you cannot get onto the plane at all? I’d be delighted if you shared your experiences with me in the comments section below.

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