Meditate. Or, to put it differently, find a way to control your thoughts. You may try to think about something that makes you feel good, or at least something that will make you forget about your creeps. You may also consider listening to yourself breathe, say the alphabet backwards or count to 1,000.
Get into a peaceful mood. Don’t forget to take your iPod with you and play some serene and tranquil music which will help get you into a serene calm of mind. Start replacing your nervous thoughts with POSITIVE and CALM ones.
Remind yourself who’s in charge. Many fearful fliers are bothered by their perceived lack of control, since they have no influence over the SAFETY or PERFORMANCE of the aircraft. Try to regain a little control by reminding yourself that you made the decision to fly, and that you can decide how you respond to the experience.
Try a breathing technique. You may not be able to breathe properly as the level of ANXIOUSNESS multiplies; however, you will be able to control your stress level by means of a breathing technique. For instance you can try to breathe slowly as well as deeply while counting to 5 or 10. You may also try breathing with the upper part of your chest by inhaling and exhaling rhythmically. This leaves your body with no other choice but to calm down.
Avail yourself of something fun. Find a funny story to read or even watch. Resort to a book or a magazine whose reading will by all means take your mind off what’s happening in and around the plane.
Have a drink, but drink reasonably. Indeed, there are a lot of flying phobics who make use of ALCOHOL to help them keep their cool. Alcohol will certainly calm your nerves provided you USE IT MODERATELY. Nevertheless, you should also remember that medications must not be mixed with alcohol. Not only that it is partly responsible for dehydration, but it also diminishes the effect of any pills whatsoever.
Stay away from caffeine and sugar. Any products containing caffeine and a substantial intake of sugar will make you feel more NEUROTIC and AGITATED due to the sudden rush of energy they can produce.
Education helps calm anxiety, too: how a plane flies, facts about turbulence, and the meaning of the various sounds and bumps during a normal flight. VIRTUAL REALITY PROGRAMS, during which fearful fliers are exposed to computer simulations of flight triggers, are also helpful. So, too, are FLIGHT SIMULATORS that are ordinarily used to teach private pilots how to fly small planes. It is true that turbulence is quite uncomfortable.
Nevertheless, it is not at all dangerous. What is more, it does not affect the performance of the aircraft and you should consider it as a normal thing to experience.
Last but not least, remember that if you manage to overcome your fear of flying you will finally manage to enjoy a vacation to a remote place which you have probably always wanted to see. Or, you’ll finally get a job promotion because you made that business trip. Or, you’re finally not absent to a wedding or the family reunion and, of course, have the time of your life.
Thus, all those things that once seemed impossible will now be within reach, the vacation flights which you once dreaded, will now be achievable, the business flights will bring new opportunities. Finally, all your friends and family living abroad will BECOME CLOSER in every sense of the word.
What about you? What tricks do you use to cope with your fear of flying?