Being scared of flying is extremely disabling in a world where air travel is one of the fastest and most common modes of mass transportation in the world. Allowing us to leap from one continent to another in no time is nothing less than mind-blowing, especially when you consider the month-long voyages that explorers of old undertook to clear the way for us. The thought of flying through the air, soaring along with the wind, can be amazing to some, while for others, it’s an absolute nightmare.

For those fearful fliers, the entire journey can be simply torturous. The busy airport induces stress; the rush towards the boarding area, every step. You can label some through their wide-eyes, clenched-fists, travelers who are holding tightly to their bags or sweating profusely. The National Institute of Mental Health has revealed that aviophobia, known to most of us as the intense fear of flying, occurs in 6.5% of the American population. In a county where many states are landlocked, traveling by air can cause real mental anxiety to sufferers.

For some, a part of aviophobia is the fear of crashing; perhaps thanks to many helpful cinematic portrayals. But this fear can also be triggered by a lot of different phobias; it may be claustrophobia. It could also be a fear of heights or triggered by general anxiety. Whatever the cause, this sort of fear can prevent you from truly enjoying a vacation.

If you are scared of flying, remember; there are ways to overcome or help deal with your fears. Just follow these tips:

Scared of Flying? Tip #1
Familiarize yourself with the plane

5 Ways to Cope When You’re Scared Of Flying - Familiarize with the planeKnowledge is power, goes the all-familiar adage, and this is one of the best ways to help conquer your fears. Understanding the basics of occurs in 6.5% will help alleviate your anxiety. During your research (google or a good old-fashioned encyclopedia will do), you’ll learn exactly how planes take off and land – in spite of those disturbing noises which, of course, are really the wind turbines. You will also learn about how aircraft are built to withstand storms and turbulence. And, in the rare case of an emergency, fully trained staff are available to put your needs first. You are always looked after during your flight, so the only thing you have to be nervous about is whether they have your favorite snack in stock.

Scared of Flying? Tip #2
Request an aisle seat

If you think you are suffering from claustrophobia, having a less closed-in seat would definitely make you feel happier. You’d be able to get up, move around and ask the stewards for help whenever necessary. This is also an idea worth trying out for those with fear of heights; this way you don’t have to look out of the window and see the vast, cloudy sky. If you’re scared of bumps and treads, it is recommended that you find a seat close to the front of the plane; this spot is where turbulence is least felt. To snag the best seats, make sure you check in and skim through the available spots as early as possible.

Scared of Flying? Tip #3
Distract yourself

Scared Of Flying - Distract YourselfInstead of concentrating on how to relieve yourself of anxiety, try not to overthink or think of it at all! Some advice recommends you carry a journal and pen. During turbulence, write your name on the pad paper with your less-dominant hand. This directs your focus on what you’re doing. The cross-over motor function disrupts your regular thought process, helping you cope with your fear. Another way to calm down? Sucking on a straw. It may sound silly, but this will help you avoid hyperventilating as the lungs’ flow of air is temporarily restricted. If you need some additional distraction, ease your mind by choosing your favorite film on the list, or by reading a book.

Scared of Flying? Tip #4
Lay off the alcohol

Sleep may be the best way to pacify your nerves, but drinking alcohol won’t help, party since it may incur potential jet lag after the long flight. Worse, if you don’t fall asleep, this will make you feel jittery. The influence of liquor makes it hard to keep your thoughts under control and keep yourself calm. Stick to water if possible. Avoid dehydration by keeping those healthy fluids in. Thinking of coffee? You might want to skip on that too, as it contains other stimulants that may rouse your nerves.

Scared of Flying? Tip #5
Massages are miracles

Acupressure experts state that certain points in the shoulder and neck can be used to relieve you of stressful emotions. If you’re traveling with someone, see if they’re feeling nice enough to help you out on these spots to help you ease your tension. Giving your fellow traveler a heads up may help you through, whether they say yes or no! Hand massages are also recommended; conveniently, you can do them on your own. Create circular motions on the palm using your thumbs and do it slowly, gradually, until you feel calm. To help you feel better, pack on a bottle of your favorite aromatherapy scent – we recommend the calming properties of Lavender or Chamomile – to transform your fearful mood into a calmer, happier state. Dab on some of the oil on your neck and wrists and soak in the gentle fragrance of these botanical scents. Alternatively, check out the airports in question and see if they offer a masseuse once you’re through security.  

Scared of Flying? Bonus Tip
Concentrate on your destination

5 Ways to Cope When You’re Scared Of Flying - Concentrate on Your DestinationMaybe you’re heading out to see your family, or to enjoy a much-needed holiday. Whatever the reason, it’s strong enough for you to brave your fears and go aboard this flight. Bring a picture – or a Pinterest board – of your destination and imagine what fun you’ll have once you get there. List down a to-do list, presents to buy and people to meet. This way, you can reinforce positive thoughts in your brain, even in the middle of a turbulence. If you’re on the way home, concentrate on the time you’ve spent and who’s picking you up at the airport.

Probably the concept of flying is still uncomfortable for you. However, this advice can help you control your fear, so you can enjoy the rest of the world more at ease. Let us know in the comments if you’ve found any other helpful methods to keep your fear of flying in check!

Feeling a little more confident?

Check out the below articles for some inspiration about where to head off to with your newly discovered bravado!


Hiya, I’m Maud. I’m an English girl who's moved to Berlin - because who wouldn’t fall in love with a country which has words like ‘Kummerspeck’ hidden around every corner... I love traveling and finding out the quirks of each country - and what better way to remember them than on a postcard?

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