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7 Unique Ways to Conquer Your Fear of Flying

Some people have nerves of steel. Unlike the rest of us mere mortals, these superhumans don’t get nervous due to something as silly as airplane turbulence. Fear of flying is a nonentity, and they laugh in the face of danger.

If you are anything like me and have experienced extreme turbulence, you’ve said prayers, promised to go to church and tried to remind God of how much you’ve grown as a person in hopes that he spares you – all within a five-minute timeframe.

Sound familiar?

Fear of flying is real, and many people resort to using medication and/or alcohol to help them get through it.

I don’t drink much, but I’ve tried getting drunk in the airport terminal. I once drank about five beers before a flight and was still as sober as a saint. I stepped it up and went for straight liquor, but my body shrugged that off as well.

On multiple occasions, I’ve taken medicine, and all it did was make me groggy.

So what do you do when conventional wisdom doesn’t work?

Without further ado, here are 7 unique ways to conquer your fear of flying.

Avoid the Window Seat:

Some people feel better when they can see out the window. It’s almost as if they believe everything will be okay because they’re watching. Don’t do that.

It stands to reason that altitude is the main culprit behind your fear of flying, so why would you want a constant reminder? If altitude is what triggers your fear of flying, the last thing you need is a window seat.

There’s also the inconvenience of climbing over people every time you want to use the restroom. Avoid the window seat.

person looking out of airplane window

Watch funny movies:

Laughter is a proven stress reliever, and it releases endorphins that help regulate your mood and emotions.  Those wonderful endorphins chip away at that chunk of fear residing in your head, and before you know it, your fear of flying will cease to exist. At the very least, you’ll forget about it for a while.

I keep at least six funny movies saved on my phone at all times. Harlem Nights is my go-to movie when I need guaranteed laughter. You need to find out what does the trick for you.

If I’m taking a short flight, watching a funny movie usually works. For longer flights, I have to dig into my bag of tricks.

Listen to Upbeat Music:

My next move is to put on some up-tempo music, but you don’t want to get too excited. You’re only trying to allow some positive energy to flow through your body.

You want music that makes you smile and puts you in a good mood without making you want to dance in the aisle. My go-to music is 90’s hip-hop. That’s my favorite era of music, and it always brings back good memories.

Psychology Today has an excellent article about the influence of music on your emotions.

Music is more powerful than you may realize. It can make you anxious, angry, happy, excited, sad, etc. You pick an emotion, and there’s a song for it. We have “mood music” for a reason.

man listening to music

Listen to a Podcast:

I love listening to podcasts, and flights provide the perfect opportunity to do so.

In addition to movies, I always download a few episodes from each of my favorite podcasts before takeoff. At some point during a flight, I’m going to need mental stimulation, and podcasts work wonders for me in that department.

Podcasts are a great way to forget about your surroundings and immerse yourself in an environment of your choosing. I tend to go for funny yet informative pods here like The Brilliant Idiots or Jalen and Jacoby.

Relaxing as you listen to some of your favorite people chop it up – it doesn’t get much better than that.

Brainstorm:

You’d be surprised at how many good ideas come to you when you’re bored.

The Harvard Business Review wrote an informative article about how to brainstorm effectively.

I like to think of blog ideas, business plans, and whatever else comes to mind. If you’re going to be stuck on a plane, you should at least use the time wisely.

Creative Bloq has a nice list of apps that you can use to help organize your thoughts.

Listen to Slow Jams:

Sometimes, I get too wound-up during a flight, and I need to relax. Instead of up-tempo music, I opt for slow jams.

My music library is categorized by mood, so it’s easy for me to find what I need. My relaxation playlist ranges from 60’s soul music to 90’s r & b. Yes, I’m stuck in the ’90s. Best music ever. Prove me wrong.

You don’t need any special apps for this one. The music player on your phone will get the job done. All you have to do is curate a music library and organize your playlists.

be creative

Start Writing:

Writing, in this sense, is a relative of brainstorming. It’s easier if you like to write, but you should give it a try even if you don’t.

Once I’ve exhausted all of my other options, I start writing about whatever comes to mind. Sometimes it’s a story, and sometimes, it’s the beginning of a blog post. That’s what I like, but perhaps you can do something different. The goal is to try to be as creative as possible.

The Writing Cooperative released an article detailing the multiple ways that writing can be therapeutic.

Maybe you can write jokes, memes, business proposals, or about something related to your field. If you have MS Word or a notepad app on your phone, tablet, or laptop, you’re in business.

Be A Productive Passenger

I’m not much of a drinker, and I don’t like taking medicine. I also can’t sleep on planes, so I always look for natural alternatives whenever possible. Besides, who wants to risk side effects from taking medicine?

We get scared when we let our imaginations roam unchecked. If you can find a way to harness that brainpower and direct it toward something specific, you can turn flying into a productive experience.

Do you have any tips on conquering your fear of flying? Share with us in the comment section below.

 

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7 Unique Ways to Conquer Your Fear of Flying airplane wing plane flyingperson throwing a paper airplane

Derek Phifer

Financial freedom fighter. Breaker of molds. Destroyer of misconceptions. My name is Derek, and I'm a jaded 80's baby.

This Post Has 3 Comments
  1. I really appreciate your suggestions as I also freak out every time I fly and can’t sleep on planes. The only thing that has worked to calm me down is alcohol, but I don’t like the risks and how it makes me feel at the end of the flight. I’m going to try writing on our next flight this month. Thank you!!

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