Everyone who knows me, in one way or another, knows about the existence of my real fear of flying … A few weeks ago I received an article in Etihad Airways, where I recommend 1o key guidelines for the plane trip be as pleasant as possible and we can travel in peace. I found it interesting to share it so that it serves all those people who, like me, have aerophobia. I hope it helps, I will try to apply these tips ….
Although it is known that the plane is the safest means of transport in the world, the fear of flying, known as “aerophobia” is a problem that affects around 30% of the population. However, there are techniques to combat it so that flying becomes a pleasant experience. Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, shows the decalogue of guidelines and recommendations for passengers suffering from this phobia to put into practice before boarding a plane.
Before flying: Perform a simulation at home
The fear of flying is, in many cases irrational, without motivation or apparent justification. It can be caused by the unknown, by the influence of the media when talking about plane crashes or, due to previous negative experiences. It is advisable not to avoid the problem, try to normalize it and face it: To do this, try to perform an exercise at home before the date of the flight. Sit on the couch and imagine that you are on the plane, take a deep breath and take control of all the unpleasant situations you may experience, all those that cause you fear or unrest.
The organization will prevent us from accumulating stress
Also, it is advisable to organize the trip well before the flight. Prepare the suitcase in advance and have all the necessary documentation located and ready, in addition to leaving time to the airport to help us reduce the feeling of nerves and anxiety.
Everything is in the mind
We must assume that fear is something natural, like anxiety, it is best to let it out and not fight against it. Therefore, it is important to clear our mind of all those negative thoughts that invade us and think of good things like those that await us in our destiny. Also, to keep our head distracted, it is advisable to talk with the people next to us, or use the entertainment that is offered on board.
Well-being and comfort
Although it may seem a good idea, in those moments of nerves, to have a coffee or a drink; we should try to avoid drinking alcohol or any excitement, because after an hour of consuming it, anxiety levels increase. In the same way, copious meals can cause gastrointestinal discomfort, and lead to anxiety.
Know what sensations you will experience on board
The nerves and the ignorance of the internal functioning of an airplane make us overwhelmed by situations that can be totally normal. Why is it going so fast at takeoff? Why are there turbulences? Why are there belts fastened? When an unusual circumstance occurs, the first instinct is to assume the worst. To minimize this, it is good to know what can be experienced during a flight. The more you know, there will be fewer uncertainties to worry about.
Looking out the window relieves stress
The landscape from the sky, whether you see large cities or a sea of clouds, not only relaxes the view but also the tension. The sense of spaciousness offered by flying next to the window also gives us peace of mind, as it distracts us and prevents us from thinking about the hours of flight that remain ahead or the claustrophobic feeling that sometimes invades us. If we have vertigo, we must choose corridor.
Movie and music marathon with onboard entertainment
Whether they are short or long trips, during the same we can use mobile devices (disconnecting them in the takeoff and landing) that make us more enjoyable the trip. Also on long trips, each seat has a screen with hundreds of hours of music, movies and series of all genres, which will make us feel as if we were in the living room.
Tighten and loosen the muscles before the trip
When we are nervous, the muscles are tense and this can cause discomfort during the flight and small contractures due to lack of movement. An exercise that serves to calm down is to concentrate on tensing all the muscles to then relax them, from the feet and hands, to the legs and arms and repeat the exercise several times until we feel we have no rigidity.
The clothing should be comfortable and loose, since it does not compress any part of the body and facilitates movements. Long flights can also cause a swelling of the feet so the footwear should be large and should be of a size greater than usual.
And finally … Use breathing control techniques
Knowing breathing techniques is something that can be helpful in these times of stress. Because abdominal breathing helps us breathe deeply and provides automatic relaxation. It is advisable to try your breathing before leaving for the airport. In addition, the bags that are usually in the seats of the plane also help to avoid hyperventilation with short breaths associated with anxiety.