How I Deal with Flight Anxiety
I am now living alone, and almost every one of my family members and friends do not live close to me anymore. For that reason, I am used to doing almost everything by myself, because I have no other choice. But being alone by necessity has made me forget that just being in the presence of another person can be a great source of anxiety relief, and helping with flight anxiety is but part of the story.
How Other People Have Helped Me with Flight Anxiety
A recent example from my own experience will suffice to explain what I’m talking about. Very recently I had to travel to visit family – because I don’t live near them anymore, it has become necessary for me to fly to them if I want to visit. I’ve gone into detail before about how much I hate flying and the stress it causes, and this most recent trip was no exception.
I realized, before this trip, that the vast majority of the flying I’ve done in the past has been with other people, usually another family member. In those instances, if something stressful were to happen that’s beyond anyone’s control (which is always a risk when flying), I had someone there to reassure me that things would turn out alright. I’m the kind of person who needs that sort of reassurance. Them being there didn’t necessarily make the anxiety go away entirely, but it did help me recontextualize it so that I felt like I could better manage it. If they weren’t there, it would just be me, and my thoughts would almost certainly remain entirely negative.
Now, because I have to fly alone, I can’t do that. But I’ve developed a strategy that seems to help – I text message my family constantly until I’m on the plane and everyone has to put their phones in airplane mode. My thinking is that even if they can’t be there in person, if I am constantly text messaging them, it can still seem like they’re physically with me. I’d have to fly with someone again in order to truly know how different it is, but what I can say is that my texting strategy does seem to be helpful – not only are my thoughts directed somewhere else aside from the stress, I can be guaranteed that if something stressful does happen I’ll still have someone to reassure me.
Always Have Other People Handy
I feel that everybody has at least one thing that makes them profoundly uncomfortable when alone. For me, it’s flying, but it could be anything else – whatever it may be, there should be no shame involved. It’s important to recognize what that thing is for you and to be kind and accepting of it.
Once you have done that, if you can, get someone who can come with you when you do that thing. If you can’t, do like what I did and always have them on hand via your cell phone. Technology can cause a lot of problems, but in this case, this is an unconditional good – it can make it as though someone is always with you even when they're not. Take advantage of that.
DeSalvo, T. (2021, April 21). How I Deal with Flight Anxiety, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2022, August 10 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/anxiety-schmanxiety/2021/4/how-i-deal-with-flight-anxiety
Author: TJ DeSalvo
I tend to panic when I fly. What are some other resources for me to try?