What a shame to be afraid of flying when your only wish is to explore the world! Do not let your fear of flying control you, if I made it, you can make it. You might have the fear of heights or claustrophobia like me but let me tell you about my story and how I manage my flight anxiety in 10 tips.
+ My fears and story
I am a very anxious person and on top of that, I am afraid of flying despite my passion for travel. It was not always the case…
As a student, I wanted to be a stewardess, until love knocked on my door … For many years I was happy to fly, I always prefer the plane instead of any other transportations. Lately, things changed, I had an accident and I have been immobilized with a cast and it was a nightmare and the main trigger of my claustrophobia.
It all started with a fear of lift and very tiny spaces, then I realize that my anxiety controlled me. Even the fact to book a flight and choose the seat was terrifying. I thought I would be unable to handle this by myself, so I contacted a Sophrologist. I found out that my fears are from something very personal in my life and realized that the sophrology is something magical to control yourself for any moments in your life. The most important is to believe in what you are doing and to trust the sophrologist, if you have any doubt or do not feel confident with the person, find someone else! My experience was a success, I learned how to relax in a stressful situation, discovered where my fears come from and worked on it!
I took back the control of myself and started to use the lift instead of the stairs, 1, 2 and then 3 floors. After each successful tentative, I took a picture of me in the situation to remember me that I can do it!
Then it was time to book my flight for my honeymoon and I made it. I felt anxious when I boarded the plane and also during the journey, but evert time I felt uncomfortable, I applied what I learned about how to breathe and imagined myself in a pleasant place full of space and it worked! I had about 6 hours and a half flight with connection and I made it!!!!
And now I am unstoppable, but I still use the following tips:
1. Check where your fear comes from
All the fear comes from somewhere! Strange? Not really!
For years you built your personality and the challenges of life made what you are now! Sometimes, things happen without any notice, you do not even realize that It can have an impact on you. That’s why it’s hard to detect where your fears come from, but if you work on yourself, you may find out and fix the “problem”.
2. It is ok to ask for help!
So many people are afraid of flying or are claustrophobic, you are not the only one!
The hypnoses, sophrology or a specialist, can help. I have seen a doctor and he did not help me, and I was so uncomfortable with him. Then I have tried the sophrology and hypnoses with a great woman and I felt much better only after 7 sessions. (she is based in the south of France for the French reader). Also, I have never tried it but some companies (like air France) organize trainees to get over the flying anxiety. Everyone is different, choose the best option for you!
3. Book your flightwith positive vibes
If you feel anxious to book your flight ticket, think about all the beauties you will see, how much fun you will have. Try to remind yourself of all the best moments you had on your previous trip. Sometimes the only fact of processing with online booking can be stressful, in case you have difficulties ask an agency of a friend to book it for you.
4. Pay attention to the time
Choose the BEST time to fly to ensure you get some good sleep … While you sleep you do not overstress.
5. Book the good seat
If you can afford a business class with a lot of space, a great food menu and the possibility to sleep very well, great – but it might be not the case…The two great options can be the window or aisle seat.
The aisle seat: Perfect for the people with the fear of heights, more comfortable and no possibility to look down and panic. For claustrophobia, if you have the “feeling” to have less air to breathe (which is only in your mind), you have space around you, and you can stand and walk easily.
The window seat: It is my favorite as a claustrophobic, you can look outside, it may relax you. Keep your mind busy and take pictures of the beautiful landscape and admire the view!
6. Download feel-good music, relaxation courses, and great Netflix movies
On long haul flights, you have movies and bad music available … better to have yours! Before your flight, download a great feel-good playlist, and relaxation podcasts and while you feel anxious, play it. Stay busy or sleep!
7. Breath and relax
When you start to be anxious, you lose all common sense and stress takes the advantage on you.
This panic might disappear with a good breathing exercise, not to worry, no one will notice it while you do it! Once you do the breathing exercises, you will feed your brain with oxygen and relax your body. Good news, it can help in any situation of stress or irritation. All the breathing exercises are adapted to you, choose the one which works best for you!
I’d recommend doing it a few days before the flight and each time you feel anxious over the journey.
Don’t think too much about your anxiety! The more you think about it, the more anxious you will be.
8. Travel essentials
You might not have access to your cabin baggage for many reasons, so avoid any stressful situations. Stay organized, keep a bag with your essentials (headphones, battery charger, books, makeup and hand sanitizer…).
Nothing worst than to be stuck at your seat with an uncomfortable outfit! Avoid any stressful situations and wear your casual pants with a shirt and sweater.
9. Soft medicine against anxiety
I hate medicine but I feel safe having a relaxing medicine with me while I am flying. I never took it, but it is reassuring to have an “in case”, it is psychological… To be clear I am not talking about strong medicine. it is more like a placebo or herbal stuff. Check with your doctor or pharmacist for recommendations about soft médicine.
10. Inform the crew if you are too anxious
About 40% of the population is afraid of flying, the crews are used to dealing with anxious passengers. Inform them about it, I am sure they will pay more attention to your wellbeing.