Is a fear of flying dampening your wanderlust? Well, you’re in good company. By some estimates, nearly 25% of Americans cop to feeling anxious about flying. You’ve probably heard the stats: that flying is the safest way to travel, that car crashes are far more common than plane crashes, that commercial flight is the most inspected and regulated form of transportation. But statistics can be cold comfort when the thought of FLYING IN A BUS IN THE SKY has you (understandably) freaked out.
If your fear of flying is keeping you from realizing your dreams of travel and adventure, try these tips for cultivating in-flight calm:
- Meditation is a great way to relax through deep breathing and observe your thoughts and worries without being triggered by them. Once you’re settled into your seat and buckled in, put in your earbuds and turn on a guided meditation app, like Headspace, to help you destress. And check out these relaxation exercises from therapists.
- Make yourself comfortable. Though you can’t control the ever-diminishing elbow and legroom in coach, you can outfit yourself in warm, comfy clothes, a neck pillow, a sleep mask—anything that brings you physical comfort.
- Create a flying playlist. Distract your anxious thoughts by losing yourself in good music. Listen to something to get you in the mood for wherever you are traveling to. And don’t forget to take your Spotify playlists offline before you go into airplane mode!
- Move around. Especially for longer flights, get up every half hour or so to stretch your legs and walk the aisle. You can also do stretches from your seat to work out some of that nervous energy.
- Avoid caffeine. If you’re trying to reduce jumpiness, lay off the caffeinated drinks.
- When all else fails . . . try a glass of wine.