Do you start getting anxious as soon as you buy a ticket, when you get to the gate, or not until you fasten your seat belt? Is your fear about being cooped up with strangers or about enduring take-offs and landings? Just learning to notice the anxiety when it starts can help you cope. It’s easier to blow out a match than to put out a forest fire.
If you are afraid of crashes, it’s helpful to educate yourself on how planes work and how safe they are. Flying is not only much safer than driving, it’s also less likely to kill you than dogs, lightning or choking on food.
When you notice your symptoms, tell yourself, ‘It’s OK I’m feeling this way. I expect to be nervous right now. I can handle this’. It’s better to expect and accept your anxiety than to fight and deny it.
When anxiety starts, learn how to control your breathing. Here’s how: Completely exhale, then take a long, deep breath and hold it to the count of three. Then exhale slowly, saying the word “relax,” under your breath. Rest 15 seconds, while letting your muscles go limp. Repeat two more times.
Once you acknowledge your anxiety, try shifting your attention to a low-effort diversion, such as a magazine, or a funny podcast. Be sure to pack some options in your carry-on bag.
While one or two drinks might help some people, too many flyers drink too much, which can actually make you feel more anxious. Some doctors will prescribe a small number of pills, to help anxious flyers through a trip. But those may come with side effects, such as drowsiness and unsteadiness, that may linger after you get off the plane.
As an ex-athlete I’ve always advocated the benefits of keeping in shape physically, but it’s just as important to look after your mental wellbeing. Book a session with Wendy, she’s the person to help you look after your brain just as you would your body.
5 x Olympic Skier and presenter of BBC Ski Sunday.
Dare to dream big and Wendy’s THE person to help get you there.
X Factor winner with a long list of sell out tour successes under her belt.
The most exciting thing in the world is getting a chance to tear it all up and start again. Keep all the things you want and throw out everything you don’t. Wendy will help you do just that!
Beauty, lifestyle and fashion blogging sensation Becky Sheeran (TalkBeckyTalk)
It’s great to have a leading psychotherapist such as Wendy in the Cheshire area, outside of her Harley Street practice. After publicly raising awareness of mental health issues and myself recovering from depression, I know how immensely life-changing expert intervention can be.
Retired ex-professional football who played for Bury, Wigan, Stoke, Preston, Norwich, Leicester and Brighton during a 14 year career. After leaving professional football, Jason battled depression and recovered with the help of therapy and family support.