How Not To Panic On A Plane

Feeling panic on a plane is one of the worst feelings imaginable. There is literally nowhere to escape when you want to flee for your life. I think I am pretty safe to say that flying does not come naturally to most of us and at times it can be a completely overwhelming experience.

If you have ever experienced panic when the plane dips even just a few feet then please, read on!

I used to be a pretty relaxed flyer until one day I started to overthink the whole thing and completely lost the plot. The more I pondered on the thought of how unnatural it is to be up in the sky the more intense my fear became. I started to worry not only about the fact we were so high up in the sky in a plastic machine but that anything could happen…

Like dashing into the ocean or any kind of mechanical failure. Maybe even a terrorist attack or, the fact I could have a panic attack at any moment and need medical help and there was no one there to save me.

Have you ever experienced any of these thoughts? If so I sympathise with you immensely!

I confess…

One time I worked myself up so much I convinced myself the plane was hijacked and the pilot was taking us into outer space… It’s probably fair to say I was going mad! But, this seemed completely real and was a horrible few minutes of panic I would not wish this upon anyone.

When you start to panic up there it’s extremely hard to calm yourself down especially, when there is continued turbulence.

It takes a great deal of mental energy to be anxious all the time and when you finally get off the plane you need a good days rest to feel semi-sane again.

To be honest, I still get extremely anxious on planes, but I have decided not to let this fear stop me from chasing my travel dreams. Because hey, I would rather sit in a plane than sit at home thinking ‘what if’.

If you have ever experienced panic from flying and have learnt how to overcome or deal with your fear then I would love to hear some of your tactics! But, for now let me share a few tips and tricks with you that I have learnt over the years to enable me to get on the plane and keep going back for more!

Hopefully, these tips will serve as some use to you!  

Number 1: Use an anti anxiety essential oil:

  • I can highly recommend using an essential oil to help ease your anxiety while flying. It not only smells amazing but instantly helps to ease the effects of panic you are experiencing. While it may not make your panic go away completely, it will definitely help to bring about a sense of calm.
  • I would recommend using an oil that you think smells delicious before you get on the plane and to use it in other situations in which you feel panic. This way when you panic on the plane you will be greeted by a familiar scent which, in itself is a little calming.


Number 2: Use a stress ball:

  • While panicked on a plane I bet you tense up without even realising. Maybe it’s worse when the turbulence hits? Instead of sitting there in an uncomfortable and tense position I recommend taking out your anxiety on a stress ball. Focusing your energy on something else other than the plane will help you when you are in the middle of a freak out.

Number 3: Suck on lollies:

  • There is nothing more soothing when your ears are popping than to be sucking on a lolly. They are a taste good distraction if nothing else but, hopefully they will help to take your mind off the plane for even just a minute or two. I find chewing gum on take off and landing also takes my focus off of the plane and the unnatural experience of being in the air.

Number 4: Notice certain colours in the plane:

  • What colours can you see? Limit it to inside the plane only. I would recommend shutting the blind if you can so you don’t get overwhelmed with the height.
  • What coloured top is the person in front of you wearing? What patterns can you see on their clothes or shoes? Mentally note down 5 different colours and patterns when you are feeling overwhelmed with panic. Hopefully you will feel a little distracted and be able to breathe a little easier.

Number 5: Distract yourself as best as you can:

  • Read a book or watch a movie. I know this won’t help completely but, hopefully you will notice yourself forgetting about how anxious you are for even a moment or two. If you can head onto the plane sleepy or take a sleeping pill while up there. Being sleepy helps you to avoid the effects of panic but… it is not a good long-term solution.

Number 6: Make a relaxing playlist:

  • I notice having a playlist to listen to on the plane helps me to feel slightly relaxed. I recommend getting a playlist sorted before you jump on the plane that you use to calm you down when you are feeling panicked or anxious. This way you will be familiar with the sounds and they will be of comfort to you.
  • If you can listen to the playlist every time you fly you will become more and more familiar with it and become relaxed when you hear it. If it doesn’t work after a couple of times, well at least you tried!
  • Tip: One song that I always listen to when taking off and landing is Unravelling by Lisa Mitchell. The song automatically brings me to a place of calm, maybe you will find it soothing too!

Number 7: Understand the mechanics of a plane:

  • This is probably my most important tip. Understand that it is normal to feel turbulence when a plane is travelling through weather in the sky. Imagine if you were heading through a cloud? Surely, you would be pushed around a little in the pressure.
  • Planes are designed to withstand the weather.
  • I know this may not help you to feel much better but, travelling in a plane is a whole lot safer than travelling in a car. Obviously, cars don’t feel as scary because you travel in them all the time whereas, planes you likely travel in less frequently which, automatically makes it more scary as it is less familiar.
  •  Planes are incredibly made and if you can take a few minutes to appreciate how awesome they are then maybe you will feel a little less anxious!

I really hope the tips mentioned above serve as some use to you. Please know these tips alone will not help to stop the panic you may be experiencing completely, but will hopefully help to ease the pressure. It will be nice one day not to have to worry about flying and to actually enjoy the journey. But until then, these tips will have to do!

Until next time,
Lee X

Let me know in the comments if you have anything you would like to share and hopefully we can help others in a similar boat (or plane, haha).

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