Tips for Dealing with Pre-Flight Anxiety

Over the last few months, I've learned ways to cope with my anxiety with the help of my therapist. And along the way, I've figured out what helps so I want to share the tips I've been taught with you. I hope this helps you feel a little less anxious when flying or anytime at all.

This right here is by far what I've found to be the most effective. The way I like to slow down my breathing is by taking a deep breath in and holding it in for a count of 4 then slowly releasing and repeating this until I feel my breathing pattern has come to a slow, calm, and steady pace. As I do this breathing exercise I try my absolute best to put all of my focus and attention on my breath. I like to do this by closing my eyes, putting one hand over my chest, and feeling how my chest slowly moves up and down, as I breathe in and out.

If I know I'm traveling someplace I like to do this exercise days, even weeks, before my trip. I've found that practicing this makes it a little easier for me to focus on my breathing when I'm feeling anxious. Think of this exercise as mindfulness, solely focusing on your breathing.

Stop anxious thoughts in their tracks with thoughts of gratitude. I like to start with myself. For example, I'll say things like "I'm grateful for my feet because they help me feel the ground beneath me (then I wiggle my toes). I'm grateful for my legs because they help me move around and get from point A to point B (then I stretch my legs out)." And I move up my body, expressing gratitude for what I have. Then I start to focus on more things I'm grateful for outside of myself.

Smile as you express gratitude, when you smile your brain releases tiny molecules called neuropeptides which help to fight off stress. I know it sounds silly to smile while you're feeling anxious, but trust me, it helps.

Anxiety has the tendency of lying to us with irrational thoughts. The way I like to combat these thoughts are by reassuring myself. When I find myself with a thought or thoughts that are not necessarily true, I like to tell myself things like "I am safe at this moment in time. This feeling will pass and I will be okay." When I tell myself these things I must believe in them otherwise they don't have any power.

I'm not sure what higher power you believe in, but I find that telling myself things like "I am putting my trust into the universe as I know the universe has my back. I am a part of the universe and the universe is a part of me. I am safe." Essentially putting faith over fear.

I use to think that distracting my mind with things that brought me a sense of relaxation was bad, but I've learned it's not a bad thing at all, so long as it's not the only technique I'm using to cope with my anxiety. So I like to bring a journal so I can write or draw in and I like to download music playlists, podcasts, and TV shows/movies on to my phone. I sometimes bring a book to read and games to play. Basically, any on-the-go activity that makes you feel good, do that.

I hope you find these tips helpful. Sending you lots of love and peace.

Until next time friends, take care!

xo, Your Girl Jess

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