Breathe deeply – it’s common to hold your breath when you’re in panic mode – calm your anxiety by controlling your breathing, slow it right down, continue to breathe deeply through the flight, especially when you feel your chest tighten, especially during turbulence.
Distract yourself – this can feel difficult when your seatbelt is fastened tight and the plane is making weird noises, but try to occupy your mind with a move, listen to music, read a book, test your brain with a puzzle, draw, sketch… anything to keep your mind from wandering back to anxious thoughts. Some people movies work, they don’t for me as I can’t really focus on them – need something to actively think about
Visualise the destination – imagine yourself stepping off the plane, safe and sound. You can see my nervous flyer visualisation HERE (link to shop). Really envisage how it feels to be at your destination safe and excited
Speak to the cabin crew – they are trained to help and support fearful flyers. Ask them to explain any noises, and to reassure you that everything is running smoothly and remind you to keep using distraction techniques
Ask for extra help – if it’s stopping you from travelling, it might be time to see a specialist. Find what works for you, be that CBT, talking therapy or hypnosis. There are lots of courses available for people who are scared of flying and you should be able to get information from your local airport – try their websites!
Don’t forget it’s one of the most common phobias. You’re NOT insane, you CAN get through this, there IS help available and you WILL conquer this. It’ll be so worth it when you step off the plane.