Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Travel Tips Part 3: How to keep calm if you're a nervous flyer

Keep calm and fly on

There are so many people that hate flying, myself included, and for many people it's a real phobia. Lucky for me, I don't have a phobia of flying, but I do get really stressed out when I have to fly and have even had my share of panic attacks on planes. I usually freak out most after sitting down in my seat for the first time and the airplane is filling up and the air-con isn't on yet so it gets all stuffy and I feel like I can't breathe. Every time I go to sit in one of those seats I'm astounded at the tiny space and the seats feel like they're getting smaller every time I board a plane. So here are some things you can try to help you stay sane for the duration of your flight:

  • Medicate yourself - I use herbal medication to see me through, but obviously if you feel you need something stronger, speak to your doctor. I find that Bach's Rescue Remedy or Tissue Salts works for me

  • Try herbal tea - chamomile and lavender teas work for me, but there are also many herbal blends of tea that promote a feeling of calm. Drink some before you leave the house and take some tea bags with you, as you can just ask an air hostess for some hot water when they offer tea and coffee

  • Wear a calming fragrance such as lavender scented perfume or body lotion. Essential oils can be surprisingly effective in altering your mood

  • Distract yourself - listen to music, read a book, do a crossword puzzle; whatever it takes to get your mind occupied and calm

  • Try hypnosis - when I'm feeling anxious, I listen to the app, Deep Relax with Andrew Johnson on my iPhone or iPad. He uses the power of suggestion to help you to relax. There are similar hypnosis recordings that you can get as an MP3 or on a CD if you don't have a tablet or smart phone

  • Close your eyes and listen to soothing nature sounds such as rain or ocean waves on your smartphone, tablet, MP3 player or CD player

  • Avoid sugar and caffeine - it can make you feel more anxious and jittery

  • Have a glass of wine with your meal - a little bit of wine can really help to relax you. Just make sure it's safe to have alcohol if you're taking any medication

  • Do breathing exercises - breathe in for a count of 3 seconds, breathe out for a count of 6 and hold for a count of 3 before breathing in again. Breathing out deeply helps to decompress your nervous system so you feel calmer

Aaaand RELAAAX :)

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