Did you know there’s more chance of drowning in a bubble bath (1 in 840,000) than dying on a plane, which is 10x LESS likely?
Who gives a sh*t! We’ve all heard the “statistics” or some version of “there’s more chance of…” but it’s neither comforting or helpful.
Here’s 4 really helpful tips and tricks I use to cure my extreme fear of flying.
01. SIZE MATTERS (and positioning)
The bigger the plane, the smoother the ride. But the real trick is to find an aisle seat closest to the wing.
There’s less turbulence, and if you manage to not look outside the window, chances are you’ll get less freaked out!
02. JERK-OFF BEFORE TAKEOFF
Yeah, sounds filthy (and great) but this isn’t just an excuse to bash one out. When you blow your load, the brain releases a stress and anxiety reducing hormone, Oxytocin.
03. CHEW GUM
Talking of anxiety. Chewing gum reduces anxiety and can decrease stress almost immediately.
04. KNOW YOUR SH*T
If you’re the type of person who panics and asks “is that normal?” or “is it meant to sound like that?” then having an understanding about how planes work and why they make certain noises will remove any concerns when something ‘unusual’ occurs.
Here’s a great article by backpackertravel.org which explains all the plane sounds.
What is turbulence?
Remember, anxiety thrives on uncertainty. An hours worth of learning about how planes work and why they do certain things / make certain noises will put your worries to rest when it happens during the flight (and make you smarter).
It’s THE most important thing we do as humans and totally underused when in times of need.
Here’s three popular techniques (I personally only use the first).
Breathe in through your nose for four seconds.
Hold your breath for seven.
Exhale through your mouth for eight.
Repeat until calm.
Squeeze your ass while doing the 4-7-8 technique.
LEFT NOSTRIL BREATHING
Block the right nostril with your finger or thumb and take a deep breath in through your left nostril. Exhale slowly with the right. Repeat.
06. AVOID THE FOLLOWING
04c. Flights with multiple stops
04d. Too much booze
04e. Drugs / stimulants
04f. READING / WATCHING ANYTHING TO DO WITH PLANE CRASHES
By the way, if anything like Final Destination or Snakes on Planes is on the in-flight entertainment thing, I’d recommend NOT watching…
Anti-Anxiety medications / nerve aids like Kalms can be extremely effective short term cures / fixes for flight phobia, but there’s solid evidence and a handful of reasons why you shouldn’t use them.
Check out psychologytoday.com’s “anti-anxiety medication and flying article” for more info.
Here’s a few more tricks and tips I’ve seen flying about, but not used personally.
There’s a dozen meditation apps like Headspace which have specific tutorials for meditating when flying.
Fear of Flying clinic
If you’re sh*t scared of turbulence and don’t mind getting geeky, there’s a site called Turbulence Forecast which shows flight routes with the least turbulence.