How do you deal with flight anxiety?

38
Posted 8th Nov
Ive been on about 12 flights in my life and I still get nerves beforehand!

things I'm trying for these flights coming up!!!

cut out caffeine and sugars (where possible)
doing lots of yoga and running
doing breathing exercises to relax me
noise cancelling headphones with music on
getting some new ps vita games to distract me

let's hope it works! I prefer not to drink but sometimes a few whiskeys beforehand seek to help as well, maybe try a calming wine !!!

oh and o have some vallium just in case none of that works ha

what do you to help you through it ?

positive thoughts and just think of how great it'll be when you get there
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Nothing in your list about confronting your fear and issues about flying. Your list is about mitigating the problem but not dealing with the cause. So perhaps read a self help book on the subject or consider therapy whether in a group or 1-1.
Part of our problems come from not being able to let go or a fixation on control. Once you realize this, life is a lot easier to deal with and enjoy.
My wife just talks to someone she’s sat next to! Until she’s actually sat in the plane there’s no issue, but as soon as that door closes she realises there’s no getting off that’s when the panic kicks in. It has led to a couple of great discussions though. On a flight to Pisa, my wife asked a stranger where she is going to whilst trying to make conversation. Couldn’t help but say I’m sure she’s parachuting off somewhere over south France.
Didn’t get a good response for some reason
You're not a pilot are you?
ireallyambob08/11/2019 10:11

My wife just talks to someone she’s sat next to! Until she’s actually sat i …My wife just talks to someone she’s sat next to! Until she’s actually sat in the plane there’s no issue, but as soon as that door closes she realises there’s no getting off that’s when the panic kicks in. It has led to a couple of great discussions though. On a flight to Pisa, my wife asked a stranger where she is going to whilst trying to make conversation. Couldn’t help but say I’m sure she’s parachuting off somewhere over south France. Didn’t get a good response for some reason


Are you really Bob? As I've got a mate called Bob, can't be two Bob's
richp08/11/2019 10:26

Are you really Bob? As I've got a mate called Bob, can't be two Bob's …Are you really Bob? As I've got a mate called Bob, can't be two Bob's


No sorry, I’m not ‘the’ bob. Just a stealthy imposter.
I HATE Flying. its the worst!

Ive been on about the same amount of flights as yourself and 3 this year. it starts building up about 1 week or so beforehand in just intensifies more and more and only really goes way once Ive landed the other side.

I have a gazzillion poops and pees and just utter restlessness. I get a little like this going to work and even going out just to the shop but flying is the worst out of them all. mad thing is, its not about the fear of flying eiother, I think its because im so far away from my confort zone, and further i am the more anxious I am. Hell im bad just trying to make a phone call.

How do I deal with it? Just face your fear. Its your brain is telling you that your anxious about this event. Im also super super travel sick (hell im travel sick even when im driving) so flying itself sucks more as its like being on a roller coaster. So this ads to my anxioty too.

You just have to face it head on, ride the "wave" and get out of it the other side. Just dont give into it and try and dont get out of it (that always piops into my head). Find things like headpones and music (choose something that sooths you, mine is speed metal ha) or what i also try to do it, go to sleep.

Once your the otherside, your golden but i know its always easier said than done.
Edited by: "darthbacca37" 8th Nov
Nothing to worry. It's more scary the time to crash than the crash itself. If you crash at high speeds you'll probably become million pieces so you'll not feel anything. If you somehow survive, the adrenaline kicks in so even with open wounds you may not feel any pain. Life's good !
You've got some some great ideas in your list, cutting out that caffeine is definitely a good one. What you'll probably find is that the thought of getting on a plane and going on a long trip is what is causing you to be anxious by thinking about it beforehand. Once you are on board, the plane has taken off and is on its flight, and you've settled down with a game or movie to keep you engrossed you'll be fine. Your anxiety will level off and you'll begin to relax. I wouldn't worry too much about having a drink if alcohol or a valium, but I would have a nice nutritious meal beforehand. Why not treat yourself to a new movie, album, or game that you've really been wanting to try and saving it for the journey as a treat? It will give you something enjoyable to look forward to on the trip. Also you might find that meditation would be great for you, something you can just do quietly that no-one will even know that you are doing it, you can practice it when you are just sitting in a chair waiting around the airport for your flight.
There are some airlines like easyJet who have programs to deal with flight anxiety.
I know it won't make much difference, but look up the odds of being in a plane crash vs car crash, the difference between the two is rediculous, and that doesn't factor in your only taking the odd flight here and there in your lifetime, your much safer in a plane.

The problem with fear of flying is the only way to get over it is to fly more often

You have some diazepam so what you worried about? there's no problem taking diazepam in the short term as long as they're legit and from a pharmacy, or you could try some L-Theanine instead, it works very well for anxiety, you could take it days before you fly as well it's very safe, poeple take it every day.

L-Theanine Information

L-Theanine 300MG

L-Theanine 400MG
Edited by: "4Real2016" 8th Nov
Is it just anxiety nerves or do you suffer with panic attacks? Airlines do take into account these days what are labelled as 'hidden disabilities' and offer help as needed.
cicobuff08/11/2019 11:14

Is it just anxiety nerves or do you suffer with panic attacks? Airlines …Is it just anxiety nerves or do you suffer with panic attacks? Airlines do take into account these days what are labelled as 'hidden disabilities' and offer help as needed.


Yeah I heard they give you a parachute
My problems start once I've checked in. Dizziness, heart beating faster, nausea. Nothing I can do to stop it.

I just take Kalms and hope for the best...
I can’t even book a holiday because of this, very bad flight 2008, going to do a course next year though to try overcome my fear my kids are doing my head in now nagging, they’re all sick to death of Cornwall & Scarborough
Edited by: "claire7519" 8th Nov
I tend to fly an awful lot for work these days (I've done 6 trips this year so far, with more to come). I used to hate flying, but now it just doesn't bother me.

1. Keep yourself busy/distracted. Noise cancelling headphones + a game, or movie. If you're focusing on the movie/game, you're not focusing on the plane.

2. Keep yourself hydrated. Drinking a fair amount (non-alcoholic) will make you feel better.

3. Eat healthily. Airplane food, especially in coach, is crap these days. Bring on a sandwich, salad or fruit from the airport.

4. Get an aisle seat (makes it easier to get up and about), and keep some normality. Go brush your teeth after meals, take regular trips to the bathroom. I normally put my electric shaver in hand luggage and have a shave mid flight if it's a long one. Go for a walk up and down the aisle and do some stretches at the back of the plane. Hell, go chat to the flight attendants in the galley if you feel like it (they normally won't mind the chat if they're bored mid-flight).

Some other things, which whilst not quite as easy, are important to remember.

1. Minor turbulence is going to happen on any flight. Think of it as riding in a car - you wouldn't worry about every minor bump in the road. Same applies on an airplane.

2. Severe turbulence is unusual, but can happen at any time. It's not pleasant, but remember it's perfectly safe.

3. If you're worried, keep an eye on the flight attendants. If the pilot has switched the seatbelt lights on due to expected turbulence, have a look at the FAs. If they're still up and about, and aren't strapped in, it's not going to be as bad as it may feel. When the FAs take their seats mid flight, is the only time you can expect anything nasty.

Don't let one bad flight put you off. If you fly frequently enough, you're bound to get a nasty one. It's unpleasant, but rare - and when have you heard of someone dying during turbulence?
Edited by: "bma1445" 8th Nov
I have a friend that swears by Bach Rescue Remedy
Edited by: "OllieSt" 8th Nov
Gollywood08/11/2019 11:55

My problems start once I've checked in. Dizziness, heart beating faster, …My problems start once I've checked in. Dizziness, heart beating faster, nausea. Nothing I can do to stop it. I just take Kalms and hope for the best...


You should ask you doctor about Propranolol (beta blocker) it would stop all those systems, it helps with anxiety as well
OllieSt08/11/2019 12:24

I have a friend that swears by Bach Rescue Remedy


yep what i use..it works a treat ..its more the build up that is a pain but the more you fly the less it becomes a pain
Wouldn't worry, you've a life jacket there just in case. If you plunge into the ground at 600mph, just pull the cord and blow your whistle
Come sit next to my wife whilst she's driving, that'll cure your flying anxiety , trust me you'd feel safer at 36000 feet in the air rather the 2 foot from the car in front!
Edited by: "richp" 8th Nov
I would suggest something but last time I did in a similar post I got suspended so will refrain
Bad idea OP about the Caffeine
I deal with it by not flying.
I used to work with a guy who would play with himself under the blanket.. worked for him!
Give up flying.
I studied everything there is about flying, just short of becoming a pilot. What is it you are exactly afriad of?
samosa08/11/2019 17:38

I studied everything there is about flying, just short of becoming a …I studied everything there is about flying, just short of becoming a pilot. What is it you are exactly afriad of?


I guess ..dying ...in pain, and if it's not fast, acknowledging he's going to die.
Edited by: "TobyZ" 8th Nov
don't know about overcoming fear as i never try to do so, it is just hopeless for me. hubby is frightened to fly and has a few drinks before he does to calm his nerves.
TobyZ08/11/2019 19:07

I guess ..dying ...in pain, and if it's not fast, acknowledging he's …I guess ..dying ...in pain, and if it's not fast, acknowledging he's going to die.


We all gotta die someday!
toysdude08/11/2019 13:52

I used to work with a guy who would play with himself under the blanket.. …I used to work with a guy who would play with himself under the blanket.. worked for him!


Bet it was hard to work under those conditions.



For Long Haul flights my wife has a Nytol (blue) which knocks her our for the duration of the flight.
Do what everyone else and start drinking as soon as you get to the airport and pretend it's because 'you're on holiday'. If you're a man you can show how manly you are whilst actually being driven to drink because you're so scared!

Jus' Kidding

What worked for me is flying more! It's true what they say, that the most dangerous part of your journey will be driving from the airport to your home/hotel.
mutley108/11/2019 19:12

...overcoming fear ...


Indeed, OP should make peace with himself. Furthermore there is no reason for flight anxiety in general, the sudden deceleration is the problem.
TobyZ08/11/2019 19:55

Indeed, OP should make peace with himself. Furthermore there is no reason …Indeed, OP should make peace with himself. Furthermore there is no reason for flight anxiety in general, the sudden deceleration is the problem.


with most fear, it is irrational so you tend to become afraid of something that you yourself know you should not be afraid of, but you just can't help it. the fear of flying falls into this irrational fear as you are more likely to die from a car accident than you are from flying.
Don't book a seat above the engine
I'm a recently retired airline pilot with 30 years of flying under my belt. With horrible irony my wife is a very anxious flyer So, first of all, my sympathies to you, I know how hard it can be.

Next on the list is well done! You haven't let your anxiety stop you booking a flight. So, you are not as anxious as you might think. I know two people in their 50's who went on their first flights of their lives last year, all due to extreme anxiety which has stopped them flying for all of their lives, til now. One has just come back from Australia by air, thoroughly wondering what all the fuss was about!

Next, you are right to feel some anxiety on an aeroplane. I can absolutely tell you that if you measured the heart rates of everyone on board at take off and landing, including the pilots, you would see an increase. For the pilots, it is because that is a critical phase of the flight where we have to be most on our game if something goes wrong. For the passengers, it is being put into a situation which humans are often particularly bad at. You are not at all, in control! You are in a metal tube going very fast, a long way above the ground and being kept safe by things that you have little to no knowledge of. So, all you have left is trust. In the crew, in the airplane, in...the list goes on and on. But, of course, humans often have issues with trust and so, in an alien environment, with perhaps a bit of natural distrust of everything going on around you, this is going to create anxiety. The trust issue is what the 'courses' run by British Airways and others try to address. They do this by humanising the experience as much as possible with explanations of flight, human psychology and the technology. It gives you a sense of control.

So, I can't offer you a guarantee that you will ever be totally at home with the idea of flight. But here's a few ploys which seem to work. Different strokes for different folks of course.
1. The easiest. Go to the Docs, explain the situation and get some diazepam. My wifes favourite method. Only downside is you mustn't take too much as it isn't helpful to be unconscious. She usually tries to time it so that it kicks in around takeoff time, so has the drug about 30 mins before boarding.
2. When you board, explain to the cabin crew that you are nervous. Most (but not all) will be sympathetic to you, and many will go out of their way to try to put you at your ease. If you are a little braver, ask if one of the pilots could come and say hello. This is so you can associate a human with the process of flying. If you think about it, it would be unusual to jump on a bus without seeing, even speaking to the driver. There may be good reasons why they don't have time to do this, but I've done it many times if time allows and it does help.
3. Before you go, watch a few videos on You Tube on the theory of flight. Google how do aeroplanes fly. If you understand why this 200 ton metal tube is able to fly, then it is surprisingly reassuring, because it is actually as simple as how a vacuum cleaner works.
4. Avoid alcohol. Simply because it increases anxiety and dehydrates you too. Bad combo on a long flight.
5. If it gets bumpy, as said above, watch the cabin crew. Still working? Nothing to see here. Crew sat down? Aircraft are incredibly strong, I really mean that, I saw some testing done on a new airliner back in the 90's where they bent the wing (on the ground!) nearly vertical before it failed. The last in flight loss of a large passenger plane from breaking up in turbulence was around 50 years ago. If possible try to get seats towards the front for a better ride. Business Class is at the front for a reason!
There are over 100,000 flights around the globe every day, do the maths, the most dangerous part of your trip is the car to the airport, by a huge margin.
Sadly, for some like my Mrs. flying is never going to be the best part of a holiday, but it doesn't have to be too much of a trial, and remember you are never ever going to be the only one feeling a touch of anxiety on an aeroplane. GL and hope this helps.
You need to work out the root cause of your fear and then go from there. Do you take your kids on planes with you? Would you ever put your kids in danger? No you wouldn't. You just need to start thinking about it in different ways and get to the bottom of why not just occupy your mind
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