Plan out your day and skip that second cup of coffee…
With the prospect of an upcoming flight, most flyers already have enough on their mind. Why subject yourself to anything that could cause even more anxiety or stress? The good news is that there are many things that you can do to avoid any additional stimulation.
Flying can cause varying degrees of anxiety for many flyers. If you recognize that the simple act of riding on a flight is enough to cause you stress, then you definitely do not want partake in anything that could make those feelings worse. Basically, it’s in your best interest to try to limit or reduce anything else that could result in overstimulation. We live in a world that exposes us to a barrage of information and sensations. The airport is no exception. You’ve got enough to worry about, so why not try to limit all the other stressors in your life? A few simple steps and some basic planning can make a big difference in reducing your anxiety level.
Start packing for your trip a day or two in advance, so that you don’t have to stress about everything you have to do at the last minute. Make a list of everything that you will need to bring. This will help make the whole process easier and should even keep you from forgetting anything.
The idea is to mentally prepare yourself for what you need to get done that day and make sure you haven’t overlooked anything.
Try to map or plan out your entire day, leading up to the flight. Build in extra time at each step, in case something doesn’t go as planned or takes longer than anticipated. This means adding extra time for getting to the airport, check-in, going through security, getting food, making a connection to another flight, or any potential flight delays. You may also want to mentally go over the sequence of events and tasks a couple of times before hand. The idea is to mentally prepare yourself for what you need to get done that day and make sure you haven’t overlooked anything. This way, even if something doesn’t go as anticipated, you already have a plan B mapped out.
Additionally, you can also try to book flights that depart earlier in the day. This will limit the number of other tasks or headaches that you might have to tackle before your flight. Morning flights also stand a better chance of avoiding bad weather like thunderstorms, which tend to develop or strengthen later in the day.
Maybe it’s an early morning or it simply was a long week. Regardless, try to limit the amount of coffee or soda that you drink before or during your flight. Caffeine can be a big help when you’re tired, but it can be your enemy when flying. Drink too much and you could become even more anxious or jittery, making stress worse.
Overstimulation could also come from something you are trying to use as a distraction. Movies and music are good outlets to use on the flight, but not if they put you on edge. Try to avoid loud or fast music and action/suspense/horror movies on or before your flight (unless of course, these happen to relax you). Otherwise, they might make your anxiety from flying even worse. This rule applies to the night before your flight as well. You want to be well rested and relaxed before you begin your journey. If possible skip any activity that might cause you to be over-stimulated. This includes any movies or news about flying the day before your flight.
Just like all the people who experience this anxiety, every fear of flying is a bit different. No two fears are exactly the same. The same can be said about the variety of other things that might stimulate your senses or mind. These include all the items or activities that might have the physical or psychological side-effect of creating anxiety or stress. Try to think if there is anything else that could cause you more stress other than the flight itself and prepare accordingly. Essentially, you want to make the process of flying as easy on yourself as possible. The best start is to remove any and all stressors that you can. Once you’ve limited all the external factors, you can more easily focus on overcoming your fear. By planning out your day and avoiding the things mentioned above, you should be able to reduce overstimulation and the stress you experience from flying.