Flight Anxiety Symptoms
With air travel bouncing back to pre-pandemic levels, more travelers are getting back in the air and venturing to far away destinations. Traveling by plane, as freeing as it is, induces anxiety for many travelers. Flight anxiety symptoms include: sweating, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, dizziness and irritability.
An article published in The Washington Post says 40% of travelers report some level of anxiety around flying. If you find yourself in the same category, read on for ways to combat flight anxiety naturally.
Visualization for Anxiety
The human mind is powerful. If it is strong enough to make us irrationally afraid of things that are statistically safe, it can dissolve those fears into more tranquil territory. The practice of visualization takes time to develop, but there are many different techniques you may use.
Practice some techniques before flying and explore which ones bring you the most ease and relaxation. A popular technique, serene beach scene technique, involves dreaming up a white sand beach and lapping waves to induce a calm relaxation. Focusing on every aspect of the beach from the texture of sand to the sensation of the salty breeze on your skin, keeps your mind in that space and worrisome thoughts at bay.
Visualizing a calm flight and safely reaching your destination also helps keep nerves calm. Thinking about what is happening in the moment and staying focused on the desired result keeps your mind from wandering off to far-fetched possibilities.
The Center for Treatment of Anxiety and Mood Disorders recommends pairing visualization with breath work to calm both body and mind. Taking long deep breaths and releasing slowly while focusing on calming images assists in lowering anxiety levels and releasing tension.
Flipping through your camera roll and recalling happy memories is another great technique. Seeing loved ones in good times will stir up the same feelgood chemicals as visualizing a beach.
You Are Not Alone
With 40% of travelers experiencing some level of flight anxiety, it is not uncommon to feel jittery when you board a flight. Conquering a fear of flying is easier when you know there are many who feel the same.
Knowing you are not alone in feeling anxious makes it less isolating and embarrassing. Chat about it with someone next to you and share tips on how to overcome pre-flight butterflies. With practice, things that seem unnatural to us become routine.
Laugh It Out
You know the old cliche, laughter is the best medicine. But did you know there is actually truth behind it? An article from Mayo Clinic says laughter causes physical changes in the body, stimulating organs and blood flow. This results in a reduction of the physical effects of stress and anxiety. Prior to flying, download a hilarious podcast or episodes of your favorite sitcom and let the laughter ease your worries.
Keep It In Perspective
Set realistic expectations around your anxiety, and allow it to come and go. If you are a nervous flyer, it is likely you will always have anxiety around traveling. Understanding that anxiety is a feeling, not a reality, allows you to acknowledge it and let it float by.
Is flying any safer than driving? According to USA Today, data generated by The National Safety Council found that the odds of dying in a plane crash over a lifetime were 1 in 7,178. The odds of dying in a car accident were 1 in 98. Therefore, it is statistically safer to travel by plane than by car.
While statistics may not cure flight anxiety at the moment, knowing them helps keep things in perspective.
Chocolate for AnxietyDark chocolate is a superfood with many researched health benefits. Healthline lists dark chocolate as a food to combat anxiety due to its flavonols (epicatechin and catechin), which have “neuroprotective effects”. Carefree Chocolate utilizes a combination of herbs, botanicals and clinically tested Pharma Gaba®, Suntheanine®, and L-Theanine to promote an alert sense of calm and wellbeing. Nibbling on this brain healthy treat pre-flight boosts your zen and appeases your taste buds at the same time.
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Fly Worry Free Without Medication
With nearly half of travelers falling into the same category, it is not uncommon to be an anxious traveler. Whether it’s laughter or visualizing a beautiful beach, there are many natural remedies that ease your fear of flying. Breath easy and arm yourself with these remedies before your next flight. Pack some Carefree Chocolate and a funny book in your carry-on for good measure. Bon voyage!
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