Flying Meditation: Overcoming the Fear Of Flying
I wish I could go back to when I was about eleven, and tell my mother about flying meditation.
My family comes from the small island of Cyprus in the Mediterranean. Each year we were fortunate enough to fly to the island and visit our family.
I don’t know how he did it, but my younger brother always sat with my dad, and I would always sit with my mother. My mother had a serious case of airplane anxiety. It would usually start the night before our flight.
The house would become a military boot camp of suitcase packing and I was folding t-shirts like Marie Kondo before she had even organized a single closet.
She tried pills (My mother, not Marie Kondo), but she was allergic, so it gave her flight anxiety and flight sickness. So we had to carry on with our flying routine until I was old enough to travel on my own. Luckily, she’s better at flying now. She still gets religious when we hit some turbulence, but at least now she doesn’t live grip marks on the handrest.
So if you’re looking for a way to feel a little better about flying, in this post I’ll talk a little about why you have a fear of flying, what it is, and how mindfulness meditation can help.
Why are some people afraid of flying?
When it comes to the fear of flying, it’s not always easy to pinpoint one specific cause. It can be a mix of things that contribute to the fear, like maybe you inherited a fear of heights, or maybe you saw your parents or friends getting nervous on a flight.
It’s also possible that watching news stories about airplane accidents has played a part. But the most common reason people are afraid to fly is that they feel like they’re not in control and worry about their safety.
It’s important to know that many people feel this way, and there are ways to work through the fear and make flying more comfortable for yourself. Part of treating fear is understanding it, so here are some of the reasons.
Lack of control: Many people feel anxious when they’re not in control of a situation, and flying is no exception. When you’re in an airplane, you’re not in control of the speed, altitude, or direction of the plane, which can be unsettling for some people.
Fear of heights: For some people, the fear of flying is really a fear of heights. They may feel uncomfortable or dizzy when they look out the window and see how high they are.
Previous bad experiences: If someone has had a bad experience on a previous flight, such as turbulence or a delay, they may develop a fear of flying as a result.
Safety concerns: Some people are afraid of flying because they don’t trust that airplanes are safe. This fear may be exacerbated by news stories about airplane accidents or incidents.
Claustrophobia: Being in a small, enclosed space like an airplane cabin can trigger feelings of claustrophobia in some people, leading to anxiety and fear.
General anxiety: For some people, the fear of flying may be part of a larger pattern of anxiety or panic disorder.
What is Flying Meditation?
Flying meditation is a technique that uses mindfulness meditation to help calm your nerves and reduce anxiety during air travel.
You can practice before, during, and after a plane trip.
Does Meditation Help with Flying?
You know how sometimes you’re so focused on something, like a show you’re watching, that you don’t even notice when the water on the stove starts boiling over? That’s because of our ‘scope of awareness’. This is where our minds can only pay attention to so many things at once.
But did you know we can use this to our advantage when it comes to our fear of flying?
By learning to redirect our attention to positive thoughts and distractions during a flight, we can use our mental scope and make the experience more comfortable.
It might take a bit of practice, but with some helpful techniques, we can learn to manage our stress and fear and enjoy the flight.
How to ease flight anxiety with mindfulness
Here are some steps to follow to reduce flight anxiety using meditation:
Find a quiet space
Before your flight, find a quiet place where you can sit comfortably and meditate. You can do this at home, in a park, or in a quiet corner of the airport.
Practice guided meditation
Consider signing up for guided meditation courses or using guided meditation practices available on apps or online.
Use mindfulness techniques wherever you can
Try mindfulness techniques such as deep breathing exercises, mindfulness meditation, and visualization. Try closing your eyes and imagining somewhere pleasant. Imagine yourself enjoying traveling.
Focus on the present moment
Stay present and focus on the sensations of your body, your breath, and the sounds around you.
Repeat calming mantras
Use calming mantras such as “I am safe,” “I am in control,” “I am calm and relaxed.” You can say this silently to yourself.
The benefits of meditation when you fly
Meditation can be a really powerful tool for helping you relax and reduce stress. And the best part is, you don’t need any fancy equipment or expensive classes.
Here are some of the benefits you can expect:
Reducing and maybe overcoming flying phobia
Reducing stress and your nervous system response
Improving focus and attention during the flight on the things you want to
Promoting a sense of calm and relaxation
So why not give it a try on your next flight? All you need is a few minutes of quiet time to focus on your breath and clear your mind. Your mental health will thank you!
Meditation is an effective way to calm anxiety when flying and overcome the fear of flying.
By practicing regular meditation techniques, focusing on the present moment, and using calming mantras, you can reduce stress, promote relaxation, and enjoy air travel with ease.
With a little patience and practice, meditation can help you take charge of your anxiety and have a stress-free flight experience.