How To Overcome Fear of Flying

Flying can be a very stressful and nerve-wracking experience for some people. It’s a long journey that involves a lot of waiting, getting up at the crack of dawn, and waiting in line to go through security. It can be difficult to deal with all of these thoughts and feelings while simultaneously trying to stay calm. About 40% of the general American population has a fear of flying, and 2.5 percent have a clinical phobia, which means they avoid flying or do so with substantial discomfort.

headache on an airplane, man passenger afraid and feeling afraid during the flight

Those that have a fear of flying may experience a wide range of symptoms, such as:

  • Feeling sick
  • Panic
  • Trembling
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sweating and more

Tips to overcome your fear of flying

1 – Plan ahead and get ready

Plan ahead and get ready to fly by making sure your passport is up to date, print off tickets and boarding cards, leave plenty of time for transit between flights or airports, and drink plenty of water before or during the flight.

Additionally, get some great sleep the night before your flight. You want to be as physically and mentally rested as possible to prepare yourself for the airport and everything that goes with it.

2 – Be aware of the statistics, they’re in your favor

According to research by the National Safety Council, the odds of dying in a car accident are 1 in 106, versus the odds of dying in a plane crash which is a staggering 1 in 1 million.

This should play a big part in putting your mind at ease. The statistics are very much on your side when it comes to flying.

3 – Don’t stress over turbulence when you’re in the air

Turbulence is just an air current that’s not smooth and causes the plane to shake or shudder. It can’t cause a plane to crash or fall apart, it has enough power to overcome this force and keep flying at a safe altitude.

4 – When flying, remember to stay hydrated

It is important to stay hydrated when flying because dehydration can cause many adverse effects. On a plane, you are more likely to get dehydrated due to the high altitude, dry cabin air, and stress.

Dehydration can make your muscles cramp up, make you feel lightheaded or dizzy, and trigger headaches. It also increases the risk of getting sick by weakening the immune system.

To avoid dehydration when flying it is important to drink water before getting on the plane, and to keep drinking water throughout the flight. Conversely, don’t forget that alcohol will also dehydrate you.

5 – Keep your mind distracted when you’re in the air

You can use movies, crosswords, puzzles, and podcasts on a plane to distract the mind. Podcasts are especially helpful because the speaker’s voice can be soothing to some people. You can also listen to music or audiobooks with headphones for the same effect.

6 – Upgrade to business class or first class

Flying, just like anything else, becomes easier with practice. It’s not necessary to buy first-class or business-class tickets to overcome your fear but if you are looking for a way to feel more at ease during the flight, then this is can also help if you have the budget for it.

Flying in first-class or business-class typically means having a wider aisle and foot space as well as being able to stretch out more. There are also likely to be fewer people in your business or first-class section, which means less noise and distractions too.

Natural supplements for flight anxiety

Passionflower, Rhodiola, Valerian Root, and Magnesium are all-natural supplements that are beneficial for those with flight anxiety.

Rhodiola is a flowering plant that grows in cold areas such as Siberia and Iceland. It is most often used as an antidepressant and stress reliever.

Valerian root can be found in many products such as tea or capsules and is used as a sedative.

Magnesium has been shown to help ease muscle tension and make you more relaxed overall.

Passionflower extract contains beta-carbolines which have been shown to help reduce anxiety without any sedative side effects.

Other common types of supplements used for flight anxiety are Phosphatidylserine and Lysine. Lysine is an amino acid that has been found to reduce the production of histamine in the body – making it a great option for reducing anxiety. 

Whereas Phosphatidylserine improves mental focus and cognitive function by increasing serotonin levels in the body.

These are the main natural supplements available for people with anxiety which can be taken before or after a flight to help with their symptoms. However, not all of these natural supplements will work for everyone. Before you decide on one, you should either speak with your doctor or consult with a dietitian who specializes in helping patients manage their conditions.

Over the counter flight anxiety medication

If you need something a little more intensive to get you through your flight, we have you covered – there are a few options:

Dramamine is an over-the-counter medication that works to combat motion sickness, which can be caused by a variety of things such as car rides, amusement park rides, and – yes – even planes.

Melatonin can be used for several purposes including helping people to sleep better or adjust their circadian rhythm and to help people who are experiencing jet lag because they traveled across many time zones.

And Xanax and Ativan work to calm the brain and reduce the production of adrenaline. This reduces feelings of panic and provides relief from symptoms such as rapid heartbeat and tightness in the chest that you may encounter from severe flight stress. 

Flying is Safe

Fear of flying is a common condition and it can be a debilitating phobia for some people. It can cause a great deal of anxiety and stress in your life – but this doesn’t have to be the case at all.

Flying is statistically the safest form of transportation you can take and there are many ways to keep your mind busy when you’re in the air.

If these don’t work then – no problem – there are natural and over-the-counter options there to give you an extra helping hand while you’re 30,000 feet in the sky.

For 120 years now humans have soared the skies on planes. Embrace flying, overcome your fears and see as much of the world as you can.

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