As you tackle your fear of flying, did you know a few simple things can REALLY hold you back?
I’m talking about things that can make you MORE nervous just as you’re trying to relax.
In my experience, 7 things stand out.
That’s why I go out of my way to avoid them each time I fly.
1. Being tired
This is a killer.
Because when you’re zonked, the whole world is a more angst-ridden place.
Which means you’re more likely to feel nervous.
For example, when I’m tired, my muddled brain finds it harder to distinguish between what’s normal and what might pose a threat.
Even worse, when I’m REALLY tired, I sometimes get weird anxiety spikes for no apparent reason.
Coming out of nowhere, they usually last for just a second or two.
Almost like mini panic attacks.
My fogged-up brain randomly firing off the fight or flight response.
2. Flying between 1AM – 6AM
This relates to flying when you’re tired.
After all, your brain is obviously most sleepy in the middle of the night.
Which means the problems you can experience when tired tend to be magnified.
Interestingly, it doesn’t matter what time it is outside.
What counts is your body clock’s time.
For example, if you’re flying across time zones, your body might think it’s 3AM when outside its midday.
That’s a problem I can hit when flying from my home in London to Asia.
For example, if I’m flying from London to Singapore, the flight takes about 12 hours.
If it departs at 7PM London time, it’ll obviously land in Singapore at about 7AM London time.
Which means I’ll have been in the air between 1AM and 6AM London time.
And during (roughly) those five hours, I’ll be feeling far more tired, foggy-brained and anxious than during the rest of the flight.
How do you avoid this problem?
Obviously the trick is to take flights that avoid you being in the air when your body thinks it’s 1AM – 6AM.
If I’m flying from London to Singapore, that’s easy.
I just take a plane departing London at 11AM.
As it’ll arrive in Singapore at about 11PM London time, I’m golden.
As you know, being hungry cranks up your anxiety levels.
That’s why you shouldn’t step on a plane famished.
For some reason, I’m usually starving when I turn up at the airport.
So as soon as I’ve cleared security, I always make a beeline for the food – no matter how bad it looks.
I suggest you do the same.
This is a no-brainer – but worth mentioning anyway: caffeine amps your anxiety levels.
Which obviously means the more of it you drink, the greater your chances of feeling nervous on the plane.
Ditto anything else containing caffeine.
Like energy drinks.
Do you drink to steady your nerves?
While it may seem logical, it turns out that alcohol can cause you more problems than it solves.
Because once the initial calming effect wears off, you can actually start to feel MORE anxious than before you took your first sip.
Avoid it like the plague before and during your flight.
Just as being tired makes your brain jittery, so does a lack of hydration.
In other words, if your body is short on water, you’re more likely to feel anxious.
Don’t consume stuff that causes you to dehydrate in the first place.
Like caffeinated drinks and alcohol.
Meanwhile, drink loads of water before and during your flight.
7. Needing the toilet
It’s hard to focus on staying calm when you’re bursting to go to the bathroom.
Make sure you go at the airport BEFORE you board your flight.
What avoidable thing raises your anxiety levels? Do you avoid it when flying? Let me know in the comments.