Coolture&Style, holidays

How To Handle Your Fear of Flying

Summer season is near! Some of you will be travelling this summer. For some of you, traveling by air is a little bit tricky, if you’re afraid of flying. About eighteen per cent of us are scared of air travel so, you’re not alone! However, the chance of dying in a plane crash is less than being struck by lightning. Still shaking? Learn how to take control of aerophobia.*

1. Learn the basics about passenger jets
Understanding some of the tech on a modern plane will help lower the anxiety level. That’s smoke coming from the cabin ceiling, right? Nope, it’s just cold air from the air conditioner. Do the flickering lights mean an impending electrical failure? No, it’s just a switchover to another power supply. And by the way, most passenger aircraft can glide up to 300 miles without a single working engine.

2. Prepare Yourself
Get a good night’s sleep, eat properly and drink plenty of water in the 24 hours before you fly. Do everything you can to minimize stress beforehand. This will make a huge difference in reducing your anxiety when you’re on the plane.

3. Choose Your Seat
Seats at the front of the plane experience less turbulence; the middle seats don’t feel so much tilting during in-flight maneuvers. You’ll feel the worst effects of turbulence if you’re sitting right at the back of the aircraft, but some experts say it’s also the safest part of the plane in the event of a crash (which, just to reiterate, is highly unlikely to happen).

4. Booze And You Lose
A lot of alcohol will not steady your nerves, it’ll just make you nervous. Movies, music and civilized conversation are the best ways to stay calm.

5. Just Relax
To relieve tension, try progressive muscle relaxation: tense and hold each muscle group for 10-second periods. Yoga-based breathing exercises will also work, or try the Virgin Atlantic “Flying Without Fear” smartphone app, designed for aerophobes, available from iTunes for $4.99

6. If You Panic, Don’t Panic.
Palpitations? Hyperventilation? You may be having a panic attack caused by a huge surge in adrenalin. This is the hormone for “fight or flight” situations. But you’re already on a flight, and there’s no one to fight, except your own fear. You may feel like you’re having a heart attack, but you’re not.

Just Plane Rude
What is the most annoying thing you can do on a plane? An online travel agency conducted a survey on flyers’ worst faults. Where do you rank?
Annoyingly Drunk – 72%
Taking Too Much Space – 70%
Snoring – 39%
Talking Too Loud – 38% (Guilty?)
Applauding After Landing – 27% (Must be Puerto Ricans!)
Playing Music – 24%

*If your fear of flying stems from severe psychological trauma, please seek professional help before boarding a plane. Call INSPIRA at 787-723-9515 (Metro Area) or 1-800-284-9515 (Island).

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