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How to deal with flying phobia

Oct 29,2018 - Last updated at Oct 29,2018

It is not a surprise that a fear of flying affects 25 per cent of travellers, causing them to feel stressed and anxious, triggering panic attacks, and in some cases, preventing them from flying altogether. However, you do not have to let your fear hold you back. Take to the skies with confidence with some self-help measures.

Breathing is the best way to calm yourself down if you feel yourself starting to panic or become anxious on a flight. There are various techniques you can use, but the main goal is to slow your breathing down and focus on the exhale rather than the inhale, because as you panic, your breathing gets shallow and fast, prolonging the state of panic.

One trick is to breathe out fully first, before inhaling. Then breathe in deeply, hold it for few seconds and breathe out completely. Keep doing this until the panic goes.

Also, you need to keep your mind busy. Bring a book with you to read. You can bring a guidebook on the place that you are travelling to. This will help you learn everything that you need to know about your destination before you get there. You can also read your favourite book or a book that you have been wanting to read, but have not had the time. When you keep your mind busy, you have less time to dwell on your anxiety.

Moreover, you have to avoid caffeine. If you feeling anxious when you board the flight, drinking coffee will only make it worse. Coffee is a stimulant and will make it impossible for you to relax during your flight.

It is important to stay hydrated while you are in the air, and water is the best way to stay hydrated without making your anxiety worse.

In addition to the previously mentioned ways, you can wear a rubber band around your wrist and snap it when scared, which snaps you back to reality and can serve as a reminder to stop overthinking. Alternatively, try firmly pressing the skin between your thumb and index finger. This pressure point is linked to anxiety and can help you remain calm.


Isa Aljundi


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