I asked the most popular therapists on Twitter for quick and proven tips to reduce your anxiety.
And they’ve come through with some priceless wisdom.
As you read through the list, remember that each tip is one part of the overall solution to beating your fear.
Here’s what the therapists have to say:
1. Dr Earl Henslin
“Usually, these fears go away when people lower their baseline anxiety. To learn how, contact a brain friendly therapist. Meanwhile, you should:
- Lower anxiety by eliminating caffeine, energy drinks and other stimulants 72 hours before you fly.
- Load your phone/MP3 player with relaxation or meditation tracks. Practice using these long before you take a flight. That way, you’ll be practiced at slipping into a meditative state quickly.
- If it is a long flight, take a walk every half hour. Take your time… focus on breathing deeply with each step.”
2. Dr Keely Kolmes
“One tip is to lower the window shade (so you are not distracted by the scenery rushing by). Then do deep, diaphragmatic breathing. As most flights won’t allow you to listen to an audio recording during takeoff and landing, print a relaxation exercise. Then practice it during take-off.”
3. Dr Melanie Greenberg
“Take a deep belly breath for the count of four. Then slowly release it for the count of six. Like you’re blowing out a candle. That will trigger your parasympathetic nervous system. In turn, this will calm the anxiety.”
4. Dr Marion Ross
“A simple tip which is great to reduce anxiety is the Over Energy Correction. Cross the left ankle over the right, extend arms with the back of your hands facing each other, bring your right hand over your left, clasp your fingers together, fold arms and hands inward and rest on your chest just under the chin; rest your tongue on the roof of your mouth behind your front teeth and breathe deeply for 1 or 2 minutes. This exercise is very calming for acute anxiety and assists in promoting sleep.”
5. Dr Dan Siegel
“Focus on reducing your background anxiety by practicing mindfulness meditation daily – even if it’s just for 5 minutes.”
6. Dr Lee Keyes
“Desensitization of fear is a natural process; it is already available to us in our make-up. All we have to do is tap into it and be persistent, and it will do its work for us. The main thing that prevents it from working is our failure to take advantage of it.”
7. Dr Elisha Goldstein
“All modes of suffering – including anxiety – arise from the brain’s very simple strategy of trying to get away from here. If we can learn how to be OK with being here, a lot of suffering will cease.”
8. Dr Art Markman
“Take a lesson from exposure therapy: face your fear and don’t engage in lots of behaviors designed to make you feel safe. The plane ride will be no fun. And every bit of turbulence will put your heart into your throat. But that is the long-term recipe to overcome your fear. Over time, your anxiety will decrease, because the mechanisms in your brain will learn that the airplane does not actually signal danger.”
9. Mel Schwartz
“The fear of flying often correlates to control issues. When you can release control to another – in this case the pilot – the fear tends to recede.”
10. Dr Linda Miles
“A good tip is to use headphones before the flight and practice self-hypnosis and relaxation. It is best to practice numerous times before the flight so that there is a practice effect.”
Over to you…
What’s your tip for easing anxiety? Leave something in the comments.