Tackling the “what if” mindset when flying

With summer in full swing, that means your summer vacations are too. I’ve been flying since I was a child and it never bothered me, but with the current state our nation is in and the media constantly instilling fear in our minds, I can’t help but have the “what if something goes wrong?” mindset sometimes and I’m sure I’m not the only one! So here are some tips to help you get over your flying fears!

  1. Realize that those feelings are normal– Anytime you’re in a new place or experiencing something you don’t usually experience everyday, it’s natural to feel anxious so don’t assume you’re losing it! If you try to deny those feelings, the symptoms will increase. Tell yourself, “this is how I’m feeling and it’s ok”
  2. Breathe-  This one might be common sense but when you’re nervous you tend to only breathe mainly using your upper lungs which causes all sorts of problems so to help you use your full lungs, breathe slowly and deeply to help ease your mind and body
  3. Take your mind off of flying– I have a song I listen to during takeoff because that is the part that makes me most nervous (Just Breathe by Philip Lawrence if you were curious) and that gives me something to drown out the loud noises I hate. Sleeping is obviously the best choice for long flights but if that’s not an option try reading, writing, or anything creative. This allows you to put all of your mental energy into whatever you are doing and actively take your mind off what could happen to you.
  4. Make friends on your flight– One of my favorite flights (also my first one without parents so I was nervous) was on the way to Chicago and the guy next to me shared his twizzlers because he saw I was nervous. Even making small talk with the person next to you enables you to have someone to discuss turbulence, flight noises, or any other concerns you have.
  5. Know your facts- I was lucky to have a dad that is a pilot so any small noise was questioned by me and then explained by him. Your chances of dying on a flight is 1 in 7 million and driving is far more dangerous than flying. Whether your fear be engine trouble, pilot error, or even hijacking make sure you read up on the facts and chances of that happening (spoiler alert:it’s really low). My personal discomfort comes from turbulence so I went to google and now I’m practically an expert on it and know it’s nothing to be worried about!

Happy Travels!

 

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