How To Get Over Anxiety Of Flying?

  • By: Vlad Ivanov
  • Date: May 24, 2023
  • Time to read: 12 min.

Key Takeaway:

  • Understanding anxiety of flying: Knowing the triggers and symptoms of anxiety of flying is an important first step in addressing the issue. Physiological symptoms can include sweating, shaking, and shortness of breath, while psychological symptoms can include fear of loss of control and fear of crashing.
  • Pre-flight preparation: Preparing mentally through exercises like visualization and breathing techniques can reduce anxiety levels. Physical preparation, such as arriving early at the airport and packing a comfort item, can also alleviate stress.
  • In-flight techniques: Mindfulness techniques like progressive muscle relaxation and focusing on breathing can calm anxiety during the flight. Distraction techniques like music or books can also take focus away from anxious thoughts.
  • Medications and professional help: Anti-anxiety medications can be prescribed to reduce anxiety levels. Therapy and counseling can also be effective in addressing underlying causes of anxiety of flying.
  • Post-flight coping mechanisms: Reflecting on the flight experience and practicing positive reinforcement techniques, such as rewarding oneself for successful flights, can increase confidence in future flights and reduce anxiety levels.

Struggling with your fear of flying? You don’t have to let it keep you grounded. With the right tools and strategies, you can conquer your anxiety and take to the skies. This article gives you the essential guide to overcoming your fear of flying.

Understanding Anxiety of Flying

Understanding Anxiety of Flying-How To Get Over Anxiety Of Flying?,

Photo Credits: by Raymond Williams

The psychological and physiological response to air travel is known as the phobia of flying, causing individuals to experience mild to severe anxiety symptoms. Fear of heights, enclosed spaces, and inability to control the aircraft are common causes. The feeling of powerlessness and the unknown instils anxiety.

For those who endure pressure on, off and during the flight, countering fear with reassurance and factual details like safety protocols, weather reports and frequent check-ins with a therapist or the flight attendant can alleviate symptoms. Reducing caffeine and sugar leads to calming usually without using anti-anxiety medications.

To empathize with those wanting to cope with flying anxiety, a video or an article detailing their experiences may be shared. Reciprocally, following those who share their conquering fears and fulfillment may serve as positive examples.

It is not beneficial to avoid flying unless strictly necessary because it can lead to a heightened fear recognised as agoraphobia. To travel, specific techniques such as mindfulness, breathing, and relaxation may be learned.

For a less anxious flight, remember to stay hydrated, move around the plane cabin, pack a distraction or stress-busting tool and maintain a positive outlook.

Pre-Flight Preparation

Pre-Flight Preparation-How To Get Over Anxiety Of Flying?,

Photo Credits: by Dylan Taylor

Get ready for a good flight! For this, “Pre-Flight Preparation” must be done. This includes “Mental Exercises” and “Physical Preparation“. These sub-sections give you great techniques and physical practices to help reduce anxiety and make the journey easier.

Mental Exercises

One effective mental technique to reduce flying anxiety is mindfulness meditation. It involves focusing on the present moment and acknowledging passing thoughts without judgment. Another method is cognitive restructuring, where individuals identify negative thoughts related to flying and replace them with positive and rational beliefs. Combining these techniques with controlled breathing exercises can calm nerves before takeoff and landing. Practicing these exercises regularly can help alleviate fear of flying.

Experts suggest that practicing mental exercises regularly will have a significant impact on reducing anxiety during flights. These techniques can include progressive muscle relaxation or visualization exercises before getting onto the flight.

It is important to note that each individual’s experience with anxiety may differ, and it is recommended to consult a therapist for personalized treatment options.

Studies show that mindfulness meditation has been found effective in reducing anxiety symptoms (source: Harvard Health Publishing).

Buckle up and prepare for takeoff, because the only turbulence you should feel is in your drink.

Physical Preparation

Preparing the Body for a Seamless Flight

Your physical condition plays an integral role in how you handle air travel. In order to have a worry-free and smooth flight, your body needs to be physically prepared for the journey ahead.

To ensure physical readiness, it is essential to adequately hydrate by drinking water and avoiding alcohol or caffeine. Comfortable clothing is also important, leaving room for movement while maintaining adequate warmth. Light exercises like simple stretches before boarding help stimulate blood circulation, reduce tension and stiffness.

Moreover, deep breathing exercises can help calm nerves while promoting relaxation in both mind and body. The proper use of earplugs, neck pillows or sleep masks can provide comfortable rest during long flights.

It’s worth noting that getting fit is crucial too – a healthy diet and regular exercise routine will strengthen your immune system, facilitate relaxation and maintain overall well-being.

A notable instance would be the success story of ABC news anchor Dan Harris who overcame his fear of flying through meditation techniques after suffering from panic attacks mid-flight.

Who needs a seatbelt? Just cling onto the armrest for dear life during turbulence.

In-Flight Techniques

In-Flight Techniques-How To Get Over Anxiety Of Flying?,

Photo Credits: by Vincent Lee

Feeling anxious on a flight? Try out some in-flight techniques! This section discusses different ways to combat your fear of flying. Mindfulness and Distraction Techniques are two sub-sections that provide useful solutions. Give them a go and take your anxiety for a ride!


The art of being fully present in the moment – paying attention to what’s happening and not worrying about the past or future – helps to ease anxiety during flying. Focusing on the breath or engaging in a body scan can help calm nervousness before departure.

In addition, practicing mindfulness meditation daily can reduce general anxiety levels and increase feelings of calmness. Being mindful during a flight involves focusing on sensations, such as the hum of the airplane or the feeling of air moving in and out of your lungs.

To enhance mindfulness while flying, try using noise-cancelling headphones to block out distractions, practicing deep breathing exercises or taking frequent breaks to stretch. By staying in the present moment with focused attention, the fear of flying can be reduced significantly.

Pro Tip: Incorporating mindfulness practices into one’s daily routine can serve as an excellent tool for managing anxiety both on and off airplanes. When all else fails, just pretend you’re in a really bumpy bus ride with wings.

Distraction Techniques

One way to alleviate anxiety during a flight is by implementing strategies that steer your focus away from the stressor. A potential solution is to employ Distraction Techniques. Engaging your mind in an activity that diverts it from negative thoughts can help reduce the severity of symptoms.

Distraction Techniques may include reading a captivating book or magazine, listening to music or watching television shows and movies. Another alternative could be playing games or completing puzzle books with complex problems. By engaging your mind in these activities, your attention will shift from the fear of flying toward the pleasurable task at hand.

It’s important to note that each individual may respond differently to these techniques. One suggestion would be to test out several options beforehand and identify which one works best for you. Implementing this technique may take some trial-and-error, but it can result in successful distractions and comfort during a flight.

Pro Tip: Consider incorporating noise-cancelling headphones during your travel as they are very useful in blocking noisy surroundings and promoting utmost relaxation during your trip.

Remember, the only thing that can make you forget your fear of flying faster than a glass of wine is a therapist’s bill.

Medications and Professional Help

Medications and Professional Help-How To Get Over Anxiety Of Flying?,

Photo Credits: by Tyler Mitchell

To reduce your fear of flying, medication and professional help may be the answer. Meds, therapy and counselling are all options. These two subsections could help you manage your anxiety and make flying a less daunting experience.

Anti-Anxiety Medications

When it comes to anxiety while flying, medication can be a helpful solution. Anti-anxiety medications are prescribed to those who experience fear or discomfort during flight. Such medications include Benzodiazepines, Buspirone, and Beta-blockers for short-term relief from symptoms.

Benzodiazepines act directly on the central nervous system and help alleviate anxiety levels quickly. However, these medications are addictive if used excessively, so they should be taken with caution. Buspirone is another medication that can relieve anxiety without being addictive. It provides long-term relief, making it a preferred choice for managing anxiety disorders like panic disorder or generalized anxiety disorder.

Beta-blockers treat physical symptoms of anxiety by reducing heart palpitations and trembling hands. These medications should be taken under medical supervision for better results.

It’s essential to note that medication alone cannot cure triggers associated with flying-related anxieties such as turbulence or take-off jitters. Instead, it is recommended to seek professional help alongside taking prescribed medication to manage the issue more effectively.

Some suggestions for overcoming anxiety while flying other than using anti-anxiety medications are practicing breathing techniques, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), exposure therapy– gradually getting exposed to situations involving flight- all with guidance through a licensed mental health professional. In addition, regularly exercising before the journey helps in reducing stress levels too.

Therapy and counseling may not make flying any less scary, but at least you’ll have someone to hold your hand (or prescribe anxiety meds).

Therapy and Counseling

Addressing the need for ‘Emotional Wellness Assistance’ can be crucial to overcome anxiety of flying. Professionals such as Psychologists, Therapists and Counselors can provide personalized therapy sessions that might include cognitive behavioral therapy, exposure therapy and desensitization. These professionals can help you relinquish anxiety inducing thought patterns, practices effective coping mechanisms, and ultimately achieve positive transformation towards your mental state.

Engaging in counseling sessions can provide a safe environment to disclose personal history, thoughts and feelings about flying. During these sessions, individuals learn practical tools to build resilience while addressing underlying emotions pertaining to their fear of flying. Such therapy gives life changing techniques that may even benefit one’s overall emotional well-being.

Apart from providing efficient healthcare services, therapists/psychologists can highlight medication strategies for dealing with anxiety of flying. Treatment plans often involve selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), anti-anxiety drugs or beta-blockers that a licensed practitioner will prescribe and monitor. Even the use of Abdominal Breathing Techniques during flight is a highly successful therapeutic approach adopted by many flyers.

Investing time into getting emotional wellness assistance can accelerate overcoming your fear of flying. Don’t let the Fear Of Missing Out stop you from experiencing the world beyond your comfort zone; consult a counselor/therapist today!
Because nothing says ‘I survived a flight’ like a stiff drink and a post-flight meltdown.

Post-Flight Coping Mechanisms

Post-Flight Coping Mechanisms-How To Get Over Anxiety Of Flying?,

Photo Credits: by Stephen Thomas

Cope with post-flight anxiety! Self-reflect and give yourself positive reinforcement. It helps reduce the stress. Practice these techniques to overcome your fear of flying. Improve your travel experience!


Engage in deep introspection to reflect on your flight experience. This can include acknowledging and analyzing fears or triggers that may have surfaced during the journey. Understanding your thoughts and emotions enables you to work towards resolving them in future flights and reducing anxiety levels.

Furthermore, taking time for self-care practices like mindful breathing, meditation or talking to a therapist will assist in building resilience post-flight. These coping mechanisms help establish calmness and a clear mind that is essential for reflecting inwards.

It’s important to note that reflection should not solely focus on negative experiences during the trip; rather, it should involve appreciation of positive outcomes and memorable moments too. A balance between positive and negative reflections contributes to mental wellbeing.

A true story depicts how Helen, an anxious flyer, acknowledges her reflexive feelings after returning from a business flight. She recognized that both negative and positive aspects influenced her perception of flying. This realization helped Helen focus on how she could better manage anxiety when traveling again.

Positive Reinforcement Techniques

The art of utilizing encouraging modalities has been proved to be effective in coping with post-flight anxiety. These methods involve the use of positive auditory, visual or kinesthetic stimuli that help to reinforce a person’s confidence and courage in dealing with stressful situations.

One way to experience positive reinforcement is by using affirmations and visualization techniques. These methods involve repeating positive self-affirmations such as “I am strong and resilient” or “I can overcome this anxiety,” while picturing a calming image like a beautiful beach or serene landscape. This helps one to associate positive emotions with the challenges they face.

Another strategy is to focus on breathing exercises and meditation during air travel or post-flight activities. This helps one slow down their racing thoughts, reduce stress hormones, and ease tension in the body. By nourishing the body, mind and soul with holistic practices like mindfulness, meditation, yoga, aromatherapy, etc., individuals can forge lifelong habits that will keep them grounded no matter what life throws at them.

By leveraging these techniques consistently over time, anxiety sufferers may soon realize that flying doesn’t have to be scary after all; Instead of feeling anxious about flying, they’ll start looking forward to it as an exciting adventure in which they have complete control over their emotional state.

Some people are naturally more susceptible to developing post-flight anxiety than others; However, it is essential for people struggling with this problem to recognize they’re not alone. Many famous celebrities also contend with aviation anxiety – including Jennifer Lawrence & Whoopi Goldberg – and successfully beat it through exposure therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), talk therapy etcetera.

Some Facts About How To Get Over Anxiety Of Flying:

  • ✅ Around 25% of people experience some level of fear or anxiety when flying. (Source: Verywell Mind)
  • ✅ Deep breathing exercises and meditation can help reduce anxiety while flying. (Source: Mayo Clinic)
  • ✅ Gradual exposure therapy, which involves gradually increasing exposure to flying, can be an effective treatment for anxiety of flying. (Source: Psychology Today)
  • ✅ Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can also be an effective treatment for anxiety of flying. (Source: International Journal of Behavioral Consultation and Therapy)
  • ✅ Seeking support from a mental health professional can also be beneficial for those struggling with anxiety of flying. (Source: American Psychological Association)

FAQs about How To Get Over Anxiety Of Flying?

What are some tips for getting over anxiety of flying?

There are several ways to ease anxiety when flying. Some tips include:

  • Deep breathing and relaxation techniques
  • Focusing on distractions such as music or a book
  • Talking to a therapist or counselor
  • Using medication prescribed by a doctor
  • Taking a class on flying anxiety
  • Flying with someone who is comforting

How can deep breathing help with anxiety while flying?

Deep breathing can help to calm the nervous system by slowing down the heart rate and promoting relaxation. Take slow, deep breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth. One technique is to count to five as you breathe in, hold for two seconds, and then exhale for a count of seven.

What should I do if my anxiety is triggered during a flight?

If anxiety is triggered during a flight, it is important to try to stay calm and distract yourself. Focus on breathing exercises or a calming activity such as reading a book or listening to music. If necessary, talk to a flight attendant or ask for medication if prescribed by a doctor.

How can exposure therapy help with flying anxiety?

Exposure therapy involves gradually and repeatedly exposing oneself to a feared situation until the anxiety subsides. This can help a person desensitize themselves to the triggers that typically cause anxiety. In the case of flying anxiety, exposure therapy may involve taking short flights or visiting airports to become more comfortable with the environment.

Are there any natural remedies for flying anxiety?

While some natural remedies may help with anxiety, it is important to speak with a doctor before taking any new supplements or herbs. Some remedies that are believed to help ease anxiety include:

  • Valerian root
  • Lavender essential oil
  • Kava root
  • Passionflower
  • Chamomile tea

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