5 Tips for Managing Anxiety on a Plane


For many anxiety sufferers, being on a plane can trigger their anxiety symptoms. Some have general anxiety about flying, while others fear being stuck in the event that they have a panic attack. No matter, there are several things you can do to keep your anxiety at bay. Consider these tips from Stuart MacFarlane, a notable therapist.

Know the facts

If you are afraid of flying, learning the facts can help put those racing thoughts at ease.  Understand that flying is a very safe mode of transportation. According to PlaneCrashInfo.com, which tracks accident data, a person flying on a major airline has a 1 in 4,700,000  chance of being killed on an airplane. While the statistics about flying might not completely ease your nerves, they can help you feel safer during your travels.

Keep yourself distracted

To keep negative thoughts from surfacing, bring along entertainment and activities to stay distracted during the duration of your flight. Load your laptop with the latest episodes of your favorite shows, and download some soothing tunes on your iPod. Make sure your electronics are fully charged, and bring along a portable charger just in case.  Also pack a good novel, magazine, and/or adult coloring book.

Practice deep breathing

When your feel your anxiety is starting to take over, practice a deep breathing exercise to slow your heart rate and calm yourself down. Inhale for four seconds, and then slowly exhale for six seconds. Practice this technique before your trip to become accustom to it.

Avoid alcohol and caffeine

To keep your anxiety at bay, it’s important to avoid your triggers, whenever possible. Alcohol and caffeine are common triggers for a lot of anxiety sufferers. Avoid these drinks and stick to water or juice.

Visualize your destination

Envisioning yourself at your final destination can help lessen your anxiety. If your destination involves something that makes you nervous, like if you’re headed to a job interview in an unfamiliar city, then picture yourself somewhere you feel happy and safe. Perhaps that place is a beach, park or even your bedroom.



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