Vacation season is upon us and we’re pretty sure those who’ve got travels planned just can’t wait any longer to board that plane. With that said, jet-setting off to other destinations isn’t always easy for some people.

Fear of flying a.k.a. aviophobia is not uncommon. It’s usually caused by other disorders such as claustrophobia (fear of being unable to escape), acrophobia (fear of heights) and agoraphobia (anxiety). So, how do we fight this?

Photo: Critical legal Thinking
Photo: Critical legal Thinking

1. Breathe, girl

It’s no secret that the most effective stress rule is to calm down and take deep breaths. Think happy thoughts, pleasant images, or better yet, dream about the things on your wishlist (that lippie from Jeffree Star, Coldplay‘s concert in Singapore and perhaps, your future in 5 years?).

Photo: Carolyn Rodgers
Photo: Carolyn Rodgers

2. Embrace your anxiety

Acknowledge it! Trying to run from your anxiety only makes it worse. Like breakups, if you don’t accept it, you will forever be stuck in the doomed phase of being in denial. Embrace your fear on a serious level, note that you will and have to get through it even when it’s the hardest thing to do and your stress will be dissolved gradually.

Photo: Infinite Legroom
Photo: Infinite Legroom

3. Drink responsibly

Yes, drinking might combat your fears but remember, alcohol has the reverse effect of water, in which it’s dehydrating and will make you feel nauseated even faster. Drink water or juice instead! Keep your bladder levels in check though.

Photo: Infinite Legroom
Photo: Infinite Legroom

4. Distract yourself

Load your handheld devices with games and movies beforehand. Watching movies on the plane is the best way to distract yourself and before you know it, you would have already arrived at your destination! You could even get some work done as completing tasks while you’re on board will help to take your mind off your anxiety, and it’s time-consuming too.

Photo: Insider
Photo: Insider

5. A little confession

Alert the flight attendant of your anxiety. Although this might not make much of a difference (no, you won’t be transferred to First Class right away), but if you’re nice enough, they’ll be sure to attend to your needs and make you feel as comfortable as possible.

Photo: Etihad
Photo: Etihad

6. Human therapy

Ever heard of therapy dogs? In this case, you’ll need the human version ’cause obviously you can’t bring animals on airplanes. It’s best to travel with friends as they can help to calm you down when you hyperventilate. You can also try befriending your neighbour (the friendly ones) if you’re travelling alone, and talk about anything. It will make you overthink lesser.

Photo: Etihad
Photo: Etihad

7. Sleep

Just sleep. You won’t be able to think about anything when your brain is taking a rest. Remember to pack your travel pillow and a comfy jacket to help you sleep better, as well as your anxiety or prescribed sleeping pills just in case you need some on hand.

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