Jan 03, 2018
Posted by: Daniel Walker

Effective advice for coping with turbulence and a fear of flying

A fear of flying is perfectly normal and something you should not be ashamed of. I didn’t get on my first flight until I was 20 years old and I was extremely nervous. But as an Australian, it is pretty much a necessity to travel long distances by plane to get anywhere in the world. In this article, I really wanted to detail some tips and effective advice for coping with turbulence and a fear of flying. Your fear of flying should not stop you from walking on the Great Wall of China or seeing the Pyramids of Giza. Everyone deserves the opportunity to explore the world whether they have a fear of flying or not. 

How to cope with turbulence and a fear of flying

Sit near the front

During turbulence, the place that tends to be least bumpy is the front of the plane. Sitting at the front of the plane means that you may not feel the turbulence as much. It also means you will be able to get off the plane quicker. 

Travel with someone

Travelling with someone like a friend or partner who isn’t afraid of flying can help. Being around someone who is calm will automatically help you. The person next to you can distract you from the fear and reassure you throughout the entirety of the flight. They may even be able to hold your hand through take-off, turbulence and the landing. 

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Listen to relaxing music

Get yourself some noise cancelling headphones and download some relaxing music on your phone, tablet or laptop. Listening to soothing music will distract you, calm you and even cut out the weird noises that planes make, especially during take-off, turbulence and landing. 

Learn breathing techniques

With fear comes anxiety and with that a quick breath and heartbeat. Learning some breathing techniques prior to your flight could help in dealing with it. If you can control your breathing, it will slow down your heartbeat and allow your body to relax. There are smartphone apps available which can help you to manage your breathing. 

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Get comfortable and sleep

The best way to kill some time and forget about your fear of flying is to get comfortable and sleep. Change into clothes you would normally wear to bed, take off your shoes, use a travel pillow and eye mask and relax.

RELATED: How to fall asleep on a plane: 5 tips for getting a good night sleep

Keep yourself occupied

If you can’t sleep during your flight then do something else to distract you, the more you distract yourself the less nervous you will be. Start writing in a journal, playing games on your phone, watching movies, reading a book, playing cards, listening to music. Keeping yourself occupied during your flight is the key to keeping calm and killing the nerves.

Eat and drink

Keeping your stomach full and staying hydrated is extremely important. Flying with an empty stomach could contribute to your anxiety and stress levels. Sometimes airline food isn’t great so pack some of your own food. Also, try to avoid alcohol and coffee as they can also increase your anxiety and stress levels.

Fly more

Continue to fly. The more times you fly the more comfortable you will become. After every great flying experience, you will have more faith and feel more at ease about flying and the smaller your fears will seem. 

Thanks for reading our tips and effective advice for coping with turbulence and a fear of flying. Do you have a fear of flying? How do you deal with it? We would love to hear from you.


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Daniel Walker - Author

Daniel Walker is an Australian landscape photographer, blogger, outdoor enthusiast and travel addict originally from western Sydney, now residing in Melbourne, Victoria.

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