We recently asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to tell us how they deal with their fear of flying. Here's what they said:
Please note that these aren't medical recommendations. Be sure to check with your doctor before trying any kind of medication or treatment. And when it comes to dealing with any kind of anxiety or phobia, seeking care from a mental health professional is your best bet.
1. Focus on the destination. Remember: The flight is one tiny part of the trip.
2. Get to know the flight crew.
3. Practice deep breathing.
Don't look at the clock, and bring plenty of things to pass the time. When we hit turbulence I do a bit of diaphragmatic breathing.
— Jade Moniz, Facebook
4. Bring along a good luck charm.
5. Bring something that will take the entire length of the flight to do, even if it's work.
6. Set up a bunch of 10-minute countdowns to make the time pass.
7. Focus on the stars or the clouds.
8. Pack a coloring book and colored pencils (and your prescription meds).
9. Get some Buddhist prayer beads and count all 108 beads anytime you get nervous.
10. During takeoff listen to "Free Bird."
11. Two words: Treat yourself.
12. Look at a flight attendant. If they're calm, all's well.
If I’m nervous, I look at the flight attendants. If they’re calm, I know it’s not going to be a disaster because they fly an awful lot so they know what’s dangerous weather.
13. Learn how airplanes actually fly.
14. Listen to or read self-help materials.
I bought an audio CD on Amazon.com for $12 called How to Overcome Your Fear of Flying. I had absolutely no hope whatsoever that this would help me in the least. But after I got it, I followed the instructions and listened to it several times before my flight. It absolutely cured me of my fear of flying. It’s a hypnotherapy CD that was less than $20 and actually became priceless to me.
15. Remember that the pilots want to land safely just as much as you do.
16. In bad turbulence pretend you're on a roller coaster.
17. Or pretend you're driving and turbulence is just potholes.
When I’m flying, I pretend as if every bump in the air is a bump on a street. Where I’m from (Atlanta) doesn’t have the most well-paved roads, so I use this technique while driving and think, Take note of this feeling, this is how it’ll feel in the air.”
18. Or maybe imagine you're in a submarine. This submarine!
19. Download the SOAR app.
I will never again fly without the SOAR app. It helped me to have a successful flight from Baltimore to Costa Rica. Knowledge is power, and with this app, I knew what was happening with the plane from takeoff to landing. This helped to calm any fears I had about turbulence or weather.