The fear of flying is real, and if you don’t believe there is an actual anxiety disorder known as Agoraphobia that is a complex condition that makes people scared of traveling on public transport. But for a better understanding, the term ‘aerophobia’ is used, which represents an abnormal and persistent fear of flying and some time is also labeled as Aviophobia.
People with this condition avoid flying because any event such as bad weather and turbulence during flight can cause them to experience extreme levels of fear.
According to a recent study by Stratos Jets, from 33% to 40% of all people experience some anxiety when it comes to flying. Around 60% of sufferers go through generalized anxiety during flight, and even before the actual travel takes place.
However, 2.5% and 5% of people experience crippling anxiety which is a genuine fear of flying that can be classified as a clinical phobia. On average people have reported their first-ever fear of flying attack them at 27 years of age.
In light of this information, let’s take a quick look at some of the meditational exercises you can perform to calm your nerves before traveling by airplane.
AT (autogenic training) is a technique that you can use to teach your body to respond to your verbal commands. In a sense, it is much closer to a deep meditative state that can help you to control your breathing and even complex functions such as heartbeat, blood pressure, and body temperatures. The main goal is to accomplish a stress-free and relaxed state.
At Audible, writers Franziska Diesmann and Torsten Abrolat share their technique using autogenic training to combat fear against flying in their audiobook called ‘Stop Aerophobia with 4 Relaxation Exercises’. The summary includes breathing exercises for seven minutes before flight, relaxation music specifically composed at 432 Hz to calm down your thoughts, and relaxing images before takeoff, to name a few.
Breathing techniques can be practiced wherever you are, and whenever you feel the need to calm down your nerves. Here are some tips that can help you to relax before a flight in just a matter of minutes:
- Sit straight and inhale deeply with your nose and exhale slowly through your nose as well, and repeat the process.
- You can also flex your muscles while you are taking deep breaths. This time, however, breathe in through your nose for three to four seconds and exhale through your mouth for five to six seconds.
- You can go with alternate breathing. Simply, hold your thumb on one nostril and inhale till your lungs fill up with the air. Then exhale slowly. Repeat it with the next nostril.
- Use the 4-7-8 technique, where you breathe in through your nose for four seconds, hold your breath for 7 seconds, and exhale through the mouth for eight seconds.
Calming Yourself to Sleep
This is more of a technique that can help you to become drowsy during flight and sleep throughout the journey without worrying about fears and continuous tension build-up. Forget medication and essential oils; here is what you need to do according to Cheryl Fingleson, a Sydney, Australia, sleep coach:
- Utilize deep breathing methods to calm down your nervous system.
- Breathe to fill your lungs completely, pause briefly, and then exhale. Repeat the process until a relaxed state is achieved.
- You can also use Muse meditation app to aid the process.
- Listening to sound gong baths can also help you to activate alpha brainwaves and quickly transfer yourself to a theta state.
- Theta brainwaves, along with gong music, can help you accomplish entering a dreamlike, meditative state.
Exposure & Anxiety Therapy
Exposure therapy is a great way to overcome the fear of flying. Furthermore, cognitive therapy can also help in the reduction of triggers and fears associated with flying. Through exposure therapy alone, the intent is to provide the patient with a more accurate thought process in order to defeat their anxiety system that delivers misinformation about what may happen during a flight.
Plus it can also help people to become more familiar with the concept of flying, and this will slowly become more normalized rather than result in panic attacks.
Listening to Guided Meditations
Guided meditation refers to the process where participants meditate with the help of a trained practitioner that offers them assistance through sound recording or video. Listening to guided meditation media can help practitioners to gain a new perspective on stressful situations. For panic and anxiety attacks related to fear of flying here are some tips:
- Try out the 30 minutes Meditation to Calm Panic with Bob Stahl.
- Similarly, you can also try a 16 minutes Meditation to Create Space with Jessica Morey.
- Guided meditation from Hugh Byrne can also help you to reduce general anxiety.
- Carley Hauck’s 10-minute Meditation for Difficult Emotions can also help you to reduce tension.
This is a type of meditation where the person actually remains present in the movement and trains themselves to become more mindful throughout the day. Through the practice of mindful meditation, people can achieve relief from generalized anxiety. This can help nervous travelers to explore the root causes behind what actually scares them from flying in the first case.
Mindful mediation before a flight, therefore, can help you manage your anxiety by removing negative thoughts and irrational fears. Assignment Assistance highly recommends pupils to practice mindful meditation to increase their concentration levels during class sessions.
Progressive Muscle Relaxation
When it comes to managing your stress, progressive muscle relaxation can help you follow a procedure to reduce anxiety and tension in your body. Through a progressive muscle relaxation technique, you tense a group of muscles as you breathe in and relax them when you breathe out. Practicing progressive muscle relaxation for a few weeks before your actual flight can help you become better over time.
There are various audiobooks available online that can help you during the early sessions to understand the various muscle groups involved in this exercise. Students who request experts to write my essay also practice progressive muscle relaxation to combat their related academic anxieties.
Meditation with mantras is a unique aspect that can boost the overall process a great deal. It is also one of the most powerful ways to calm down various fluctuations in the mind. As such, the mantra is specifically designed to be used as a tool for the mind as it offers awareness of your inner conditions.
Nowadays, with sound technology around us, mantras can be used to have profound effects on our brain waves. The mantra “Chattra Chakkra Vartee” is often recited to assist in the removal of anxiety and phobia. Other examples include “Jai Te Gang” which is used to infuse courage within a person.
Yoga is much more than meditation; it is, in fact, an ancient form and discipline of specific exercises and has ancient roots dating back to the Indus valley civilization around 3000 BCE. There are several airplane mediations for a centered flight that can help in fighting the stress of travel.
This includes Kundalini meditation is one such example where practitioners can use rhythmically tapping the thumbs and fingers of each hand and reciting a mantra “Sa Ta Na Ma”.
Phobias are real and actual conditions where the person suffering feels genuinely the fear and threats associated with their wellbeing and life in general. Instead of making fun of these people, we should reach out and help them to overcome irrational reasons and lack of proper judgment.
Hopefully, this post was able to provide you with some meaningful insights regarding the various ways you can use meditation to reduce your fear of flying.
Author Bio: Claudia Jeffrey currently works as an Assistant Manager for Research & Development at King Essay and Crowd Writer. This is where higher education students can acquire cheap dissertation writing service from professionals specializing in their field of study. During her free time, she likes to indulge herself in popular media like watching movies and listening to songs.