Today, flying is both the fastest and easiest mode of transport between countries. But many of us are terrorized by the mere thought of boarding a plane. Why is that, and how do we deal with this anxiety?
For the majority of us, air travel has become a necessity; we jet between countries to study, work, go on holiday, and meet new people.
Although somewhere around 10,000 planes are airborne and safely carrying their passengers to destinations across the world right now, many of us feel sick just thinking about stepping onto a plane.
This fear can range from having the jitters when boarding the flight to a full-blown panic attack that puts you off from booking any flights, With that in mind, here are some ways to cope with your fear of flying before and during a flight that I have found helpful.
In 2017, a study by Stanford University School of Medicine found that slow breathing induces tranquility. Researchers identified that there are “a handful of nerve cells in the brainstem that connect breathing to states of mind.” Breathe quicker and you’ll find yourself in a more aroused or frantic state, whereas breathing slow can make your state more meditative. This is why medical practitioners often prescribe breathing-control exercises for people suffering form stress disorders.
To ease stress while flying, following breathing-control exercises is proven to induce relaxation.
5-6-7 exercise is simple. it’s a six-round exercise to ease your nerves. I suggest you do it once before you take off and then do it once you are ready to take off or after take off. There is no hard and fast rule on how many times you can do it. This is just a relaxation technique to help you ease your nerves. Do it as many you can or just do three rounds.
I would prefer you sit somewhere but you can do it standing also. remember not to exert any excess pressure on your lungs or yourself while doing this exercise. Easiness is right while practicing this technique.
This technique consists of deep abdominal breathing in thru nose and mouth.
- first Inhale slowly to the count of 5 thru the nose. do it slowly. here count is not necessarily a second, it is just a count of 5, the key is to do as slow as you can
- Once you inhale stop for a count of 1 and then exhale slowly thru the mouth to the count of 5.
- Similarly, do two more rounds, this time inhaling and exhaling thru nose and mouth respectively to the count of 6 and 7. second round is 6 breaths and third-round 7 breaths.
- once you finish your three rounds, just breathe easy and slow however you want.
- The next three rounds of 5,6,7 breaths consist of breathing only thru the nose. The first 3 rounds had inhaling thru nose and mouth whereas the second three rounds just focus on nose breathing.
- start the second round by inhaling slowly to the count of 5 thru the nose. then exhale again as slow as possible to the count of 5 only from the nose.
- Do two more rounds, of nose breathing this way covering 6 and 7 breaths during the second and third round respectively
- relax…shake your hands, legs and move your body while breathing easily. Smile…it is a magical cure to anxiety!
This exercise can be used while traveling on the train or in many situations where you feel anxiety. Conscious and deep breathing almost always relaxes you and eases your nerves.
Take care ….have a nice flight!