Arming yourself with the facts is one way to deal with a fear of flying, but if it hasn’t helped, you’re boarding your flight or sitting in your seat and you feel that familiar anxiety rising in your chest, try this meditative breathing exercise to relax a bit.
Image from j_regan.
This control technique helps you relax through focused, deep breathing. When you’re in the boarding area, or in your seat on the plane, close your eyes and breathe in for four counts and out for eight counts. Focus on expanding your lungs and stomach to feel the full effects of deep breathing. If you have headphones or earbuds, it helps to listen to white noise or nature sounds to help block out the passengers around you or the ambient noise of the plane to make it easier to focus on your breathing.
It’s a quick, simple and hopefully useful exercise that can soothe your nerves in a stressful situation. Go back to this exercise whenever you start feeling anxious during your flight.
Relaxation Techniques: Breath Control Helps Quell Errant Stress Response [Harvard Medical School]