The best way to calm nerves before flying

With some helpful tips and new strategies, you can calm flying nerves and enjoy your trip

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Knowing what to do and, equally importantly, what not to do can help you calm your fear of flying worries before and during your next flight.

Tips on how to calm nerves before flying

Flying can be stressful for many people, but there are several strategies you can use to help calm your nerves before a flight.

Here are ten tips to calm flying anxiety and help you enjoy your flight rather than fear it.

  1. Prepare ahead of time

Research your flight so that you know your flight details, complete any pre-flight information in advance, have your passport/ID, and know the airport layout.

Familiarity is an important factor in knowing how to calm anxiety about flying.

There are some great checklists for holiday packing or business trip packing on the internet.

  1. Pack in advance

Ensure you have everything you need and avoid last-minute packing to reduce stress.

Knowing what size and weight of baggage you can check into the hold and carry onto the plane will avoid any last-minute panics at the check-in desk and ensure you stay calm rather than having to know how to calm down before flying.

  1. Practice deep breathing

Deep breathing exercises and mindfulness can help calm your nervous system.

It’s a useful tool for everyday life let alone something you feel you have to learn just to know how to calm anxiety before flying.

The simplest of breathing exercises can help, for example, try inhaling deeply for four seconds, holding your breath for seven seconds, and exhaling slowly for eight seconds (it’s called the 4-7-8 technique).

  1. Stay hydrated and eat well

Dehydration and hunger can exacerbate anxiety.

Before you fly, drink plenty of water and have a light, healthy meal.

It’s a good idea to limit caffeine and alcohol as caffeine can increase anxiety, and alcohol can lead to dehydration and worsen anxiety.

  1. Listen to music or a podcast

Create a playlist of your favourite calming music or download some interesting podcasts.

Focusing on something enjoyable helps you avoid worrying about how to calm fear of flying.

  1. Use relaxation apps

There are lots of apps designed to help with relaxation and anxiety, such as Calm, Headspace, or MyNoise.

These can provide guided meditations or calming sounds.

Again, these are not just useful resources for knowing how to calm anxiety when flying but are great for use in everyday life and situations which might cause you to feel stressed.

  1. Be comfortable

Wearing comfortable clothing can provide a fabulous sense of security rather than feeling uptight.

Keeping your travel documents and paperwork to hand in a comfortable piece of hand luggage will also help you stay cool rather than getting anxious about flying as you approach the airport.

  1. Arrive early

Give yourself plenty of time to get through security and to your gate without rushing. This reduces the stress of feeling pressed for time.

  1. Stay positive

Focus on the positive aspects of your trip, such as the destination or the purpose of your travel.

Visualise a smooth flight and a successful trip.

Enjoy the kindness and courtesy of the cabin crew.

If you let them know that you’re a nervous flyer – they’ll be sure to give you extra special attention.

  1. Consider professional help

If your fear of flying is severe, you might benefit from some specialist help.

Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) has been shown to be effective in treating fear of flying and Allen Carr’s Easyway to Enjoy Flying has helped many thousands of people over many years to do just that.

Implementing the above tips can help you feel more in control and reduce anxiety, making your flying experience much more pleasant.

There are some more top tips for how to get over fear of flying and you can discover more about a cure for fear of flying too.