Some people are total travel pros, booking flights at a moment's notice and counting down the days until they can leave for their destination. They want to take as many trips as their work schedule will allow, they don't even bat an eye at turbulence and delays, and they've never felt a moment of anxiety when the plane takes off.
Other people aren't so great when it comes to hopping on a plane. Sure, they want to travel and experience a new place or visit friends or family... but they can't help but be pretty scared of getting on that plane no matter how thrilling or exciting their upcoming vacation is going to be.
There are some tips to getting over your fear, but there are also some common things people do that make their nerves stick around for much longer. Read on to find out things that nervous flyers do that only make the flight worse.
Continuing To Think About How Scared You Are
So you're sitting in your plane seat and now it's taking off. You grip the seat and clench your jaw and close your eyes, wanting the flight to be over as soon as possible. You feel scared and you would much prefer to be on land.
According to an interview with life coach and certified mindfulness meditation teacher Ora Nadrich on NBC News, you can get over being scared of flying by changing your thoughts. She told the publication, “You take a thought like, ‘I’m afraid to fly because I think the plane will crash,’ and replace it with something like, ‘I am aware that flying frightens me, but I believe I will be fine and the plane will not crash."
So, based on this, it seems like you make your flight worse if you kept thinking about scared of flying you are. If you just keep thinking about that, you're going to feel even sweatier and the hours will pass by even slower. As someone who has tried to get over how scared they are of flying posted on Reddit, "Ruminating is the worst thing you can do. Try not to think about it. If you start to think about it, find a distraction. Music, reading, watching a movie, anything. The more you think about it the worse it'll get; it's because your brain, or more specifically the Amygdala, sees this fear as a threat."
Forgetting To Breathe Properly
Another thing that could make the flight worse is if you forget to breathe properly. This could especially happen during take-off and landings.
According to Smarter Travel, "As anxiety increases, your breathing may get shallow—but deep, conscious breathing is an instant stress reliever. Breathe slowly and deeply for a count of five or 10, in through your nose and out through your mouth."
This makes a lot of sense because if you think about it, focusing on your breathing can really calm you down in any kind of situation that makes you nervous. If you're on a first date that has you racked with nerves or are stepping into a job interview for your dream position, you can breathe and feel better. If you don't do this on a plane, though, you might not feel much better at all and the flight is going to feel so much worse than it has to.
Never Flying At All
It's easy to convince yourself that it's a good idea to forget all about flying if you're truly scared of it. But as it turns out, this can be a really bad thing to do.
Quartz.com interviewed psychologist Dr. Jason Guy Richards who told the publication that people who have anxiety about flying will engage in "escape and avoidance behaviors" like never taking flights or even being in a car close to their city's airport.
If you never or rarely fly, then the next time that you do get on a plane, you're going to have a pretty miserable time. It seems like the best thing to do would be to book some flights and work on your nervous feelings and thoughts around traveling this way. Otherwise, your negative emotions about taking planes are just going to get worse.
While everyone has had some rocky flights that made them feel a bit nervous, such as turbulence that seemed to go on forever, there's a gap between people who are cool with flying and those who are pretty scared of it. These three things mentioned here are the worst ways that you could approach your upcoming plane ride. Instead of focusing on your anxiety and nerves, remember that tons of people are flying all the time and that giving into your nerves is only going to make flying even more miserable.