As a traveler, you would have had multiple accounts of flight turbulence. Even though I love riding airplanes, turbulence is the one thing that always keeps me away from them. I know so many people who have a fear of flying, and I myself have had a phase a few years back. After over 30 flights, I’ve come up with a few things you could do when you are scared in an airplane.
before the ride
Though what you do on the plane is very important, preparing yourself to have a breakdown before you board is a great way to cope with your fear. Whether it is to say a religious prayer, take sleeping pills, or even stretch, do something that will calm you down before boarding.
define your fear
To most people who fear flying, most say that they are afraid of crashing. However, only a minority of them actually fear legitimate death. Majority fear crashes because they imagine the worst scenarios. They imagine every single scene of what would happen if the plane crashes, not the crash itself.
I have to say, this isn’t the best answer out there. When you’re scared, nothing comes in your mind and you just blank out. You start imagining the worst cases possible, like I said above. When this happens, try your best to stay distracted. Whether it is listening to music, trying to fall asleep, or even focusing on your plans after landing helps. I know that doing this will be very hard, as I have had many cases when I failed to do so. However, focusing on the flight itself worsens your condition and makes the fear even more severe.
take deep breaths
Don’t focus on the turbulence, focus on the rhythm of you breaths. Breath in and out very slowly, but consistently. Similar to staying distracted, you should put your focus to your breaths, not the shakes around you. Because I am not knowledgable in dealing with anxiety, I recommend talking to a professional if your conditions are severe.
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ask for help
Whether it’s your friend, parents, or even a flight attendant, search for help. They might not be able to take away your fear, but talking to someone else and receiving comfort sometimes help your mental state, and allows you to focus on your conversation with them.
some tips you can apply now
1. find seats in the wings of the plane
It is a known fact that seats next to the wings of the plane receive less turbulence than other seats. Try your best to avoid sitting in the tails of the airplane.
2. inform the cabin crew
Tell the cabin crew about your fear and let them find a seat that is most comfortable for you, or give you any distractions possible. I used to receive anything from coloring books to chocolate bars, and even a stuffed animal. However, don’t use this to the advantage of getting free stuff (I have seen some parents do this).
3. remember that you’re safer in an airplane than in a car
This might be a stretch, but compared to a million chances you may get into a car accident, airplanes can withhold so much more than a minor turbulence. Remember that anything that could happen in an airplane could happen in a car, but with an airplane, the changes are much less.
I seriously hope that these few tips help you to cope your fear of airplanes. Though I am fine with airplanes now, I once had a time when I had to take sleeping pills on the airplane all the time to avoid experiencing the in-flight turbulences. I know that fearing airplanes is the one big thing that could stop you from traveling, but don’t give up the opportunity of experiencing the world because of it!