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Our tips for handling fear of flying

woman with her baby in plane

The night before you leave on holiday, you may be one of those whose excitement turns to apprehension as you think about the trip. For those who experience fear of flying, a flight can be a major ordeal, manifesting itself as anxiety or trouble sleeping. What can you do to fight a fear of flying? Here are a few helpful solutions.

Prepare for your flight

Can’t find your passport at the airport? Clothes too tight? Bad seat choice in the plane? Properly preparing your trip can prevent last minute stress and improve the flight experience.

5 good habits before a flight:

  • When you book your ticket, ask for a seat at the front of the aircraft to reduce the chances of feeling any turbulence
  • Get a good night’s sleep before the flight to board in a relaxed state
  • Organize your travel documents in a special pouch to avoid stress at the airport
  • Wear roomy clothes in order to be comfortable during the flight
  • Take reading material, music or games to occupy your mind during the voyage

Limit stress during the flight

Like all anxiety, fear of flying can reveal itself in different ways – a feeling of suffocation, nervousness, nausea or tense muscles to name a few. Some good habits and natural solutions can help ease these signs of stress.

7 in-flight ideas for a more relaxed trip:

  • Let the cabin crew know about your fear
  • Avoid drinking alcohol during the flight – contrary to popular belief, it won’t help relax you but only magnify your fear
  • Avoid coffee and tea, both stimulants encourage nervousness
  • Get up and walk around – keep the blood, and positive thoughts, flowing
  • Practice breathing exercises to reduce the sensation of suffocation, calm the mind and relax the muscles
  • Drink lots of water to prevent dehydration due to dry cabin air
  • Look to natural plant-based solutions like Valerian for a helping hand

Get advice from your pharmacist

Identify the root causes of your fear of flying in order to tackle it

Those who experience a genuine fear of flying can have difficulty speaking about their fear, often viewed as an irrational one. However, identifying and understanding the origins of the fear can help fight it. Safety, confinement, letting go, heights, crowds…here are a few keys to unlocking this fear.

Some causes behind fear of flying:

  • Fears linked to the safety of the aircraft: the passenger imagines the worst scenarios taken from our collective imagination
  • Fear due to the total loss of control: the passenger worries about entrusting his life to an unknown pilot
  • Claustrophobia: he feels anxiety because of the confined space of the aircraft
  • Acrophobia: he has a fear of heights

Agoraphobia: the passenger feels anxious about being in a crowd

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