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How to Feel Less Anxious about Flying

Hate flying? There are ways that you can get to your destination with as little anxiety as possible.

Hate flying? There are ways that you can get to your destination with as little anxiety as possible.

Seeing a new place is always exciting but if the thought of getting there fills you with dread, it can take away from the overall experience.

Anxiety about air travel is not uncommon. In fact, the whole experience can be a bit stressful if you’re not prepared but when you already have anxiety about the flight, everything else feels worse too.

What many people don’t realise is that flying is far safer than getting into a car and driving to your destination. However, people hate flying for many different reasons, including a fear of heights, claustrophobia and terrorism.

Whatever your reasons, there are steps that you can take to improve your flying experience.

Tips to Overcome Your Fear of Flying

  • Do a little reading

Sometimes knowing exactly why flying is so safe can make you feel a lot better about your upcoming trip. For example, knowing how planes are equipped to deal with emergencies and how a plane continues to fly even if an engine fails can all keep your anxiety to a minimum. One thing you should avoid is any media about airplane disasters – don’t skew your impressions unnecessarily.

  • Stick to an aisle seat

If you can choose your seats when you book your flight, stick to an aisle seat if you’re prone to feeling anxious and claustrophobic. This way you can get up and move around with ease and you won’t need to catch a glimpse of sky-high views from the window.

  • Focus on the positive outcome

In the days leading up to your flight, do what you can to focus your mind on the positive outcome of your trip. Think about the things you will do once you get to your destination or the friends and family that you will get to spend quality time with.

  • Give yourself plenty of time

To ensure your stress levels are as low as possible, give yourself enough time to get to the airport, check in and get through the boarding gates. If you have the option to relax in an airport lounge prior to your flight, take full advantage. Airport lounges are geared towards relaxation, making them perfect for anxious flyers.

  • Have something to keep your mind busy

Give your mind something to focus on during the flight. Whether this is an eBook, a relaxing playlist or a few games, make sure that your phone battery is charged and that you’ve downloaded everything you need to keep your mind busy during your flight.

  • You’re in control

If a lack of control is making you feel anxious, turn this around in your mind. For one, you decided that you wanted to fly, which means you get to decide how positive you want this experience to be. You control your thoughts! Your breathing is something else you control, so breathe slowly and deeply to relax your body and mind. Know that any negative feelings and emotions you’re experiencing are temporary and will pass. Just keep riding the wave and flipping your mind back to the positive.

If you are really concerned about an upcoming trip, speak to your doctor about medication options. Sleeping pills and anti-anxiety medication can both be options but you should always speak to a medical professional first.


Jenny Cohen Drefler

Jenny Cohen Derfler

Air Dr CEO & Co-Founder

Jenny is the CEO and one of the Co-Founders at Air Doctor. She spent more than 20 years at Intel, most recently as general manager of its manufacturing facility in Israel and before that in various engineering and manufacturing roles in Silicon Valley. Air Doctor is her second startup having previously founded electric vehicle company ElectRoad.