Traveling on an airplane can be difficult by itself, but it can be especially hard for those who suffer from anxiety. That being said, having anxiety about traveling on an airplane shouldn’t deter you traveling. There are ways to cope with your anxiety that will allow you to travel more comfortably. If you suffer from anxiety when you fly, here are 4 tips to help you travel on an airplane with ease.
1. Educate Yourself About Airplanes
More often than not, the fears that trigger your anxiety are unrealistic. Small noises throughout the plane or a short moment of turbulence aren’t signals that the plane will lose control. Instead of fearing these moments during a flight, educate yourself about how airplanes are built and how they function. You will find that many of the things you worry about can easily be explained away.
2. Acknowledge Your Anxiety
When a panic attack occurs, your first instinct will be to give into the attack and the feelings of intense dread. Instead of doing this, acknowledge the panic attack and ground yourself in the present moment. Take a deep breath and look around you. Are you in immediate danger? If you aren’t, realize that there is no reason to panic. Your anxiety will slowly subside and, over time, traveling on an airplane will be easier.
3. Breathe and Embrace Distractions
Sometimes, it can be difficult to overcome your flying anxiety. When this happens, find something that you can use to distract yourself. Bring a laptop or an MP3 onto the plane so you will be able to occupy yourself in the event that your anxiety becomes too much to handle. You should also consider talking to your doctor about fast-acting anti-anxiety medications that you can take when you decide to board a flight.
4. Travel with a Safety Dog
If you have severe anxiety issues, you may be able to use a safety dog to ease the symptoms. However, make sure that you contact your airline and the destination that you’re flying to in order to understand the rules and procedures associated with traveling with a safety dog. Call ahead and make sure that they know everything about the situation and everything about the safety dog. When you go to the airport, bring along the proper documentation and attire for your safety dog. Be considerate about other people and let them know that this is a service dog and not a pet. If you follow these guidelines, you should have no problem bringing a service dog onto your flight.
Traveling on an airplane with anxiety can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to prevent you from reaching your destinations. Use the 4 tips above next time you begin to feel anxious about flying.
About the Author
Emma is a freelance writer currently living in Boston, MA. She writes most often on education and business. To register your service dog, Emma recommends USA Service Dogs. To see more from Emma, say hi on Twitter @EmmaSturgis2