Aug 24, 2021

How to Cope with Flying Anxiety

More than 20 million Americans suffer from aerophobia or the fear of flying. Even if flying is considered one of the safest transportation methods out there, it’s not uncommon for many to feel anxious about the idea of boarding an airplane and locked into a small space for hours mid-air. The reality is the likelihood of dying from a plane crash accident is about 1 in 11 million, meaning the risk is extremely minimal. However, despite all of the statistics and numbers that point to the safety of air traveling, it’s very normal for many to find themselves unwell and jittery at the idea of boarding a plane.

Fortunately, there are plenty of options available to cope with the fear of flying and ease some of the difficult symptoms that can come alongside it. Whether you’re looking to alleviate symptoms related to aerophobia, or simply desire to find a way to fall asleep faster during a long plane ride, here are some of the most popular options you can refer to, to help you cope with the fear of flying, and ultimately, enjoy your next trip to the maximum.

Skip Coffee and Wine

It’s not news that coffee is a form of a stimulant. This is why it may be wise to avoid drinking it before a plane ride if you are prone to flying anxiety to help you prevent further agitation and jitteriness. The last thing you need during a stressful situation is to further intensify stimulation of your body; rather, you need to find a way to calm your body down. 

Alcohol can also have the same effect, contributing to more agitation and brain fog. It can also further exacerbate other symptoms you may experience from being at such high altitudes like headaches and nausea. Instead, try taking herbal tea or plain water to keep you stay relaxed and keep hydrated throughout the flight. 

Try a Magnesium Supplement

While more research is needed to fully understand magnesium’s ability to help alleviate symptoms of anxiety, there are many studies that support that taking magnesium can help reduce anxiety. According to a study performed by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, a relationship between magnesium and anxiety is evident in humans, and magnesium supplementation in mice has been demonstrated to reduce anxiety-related behavior.

Fortunately, magnesium is easily accessible and oftentimes has very few side effects. You can try taking some magnesium in a liquid, powder, or tablet form the night before your flight and before boarding time to help you cope with your flight anxiety.

Try Melatonin

Melatonin is also a natural supplement known for its ability to induce sleep by adjusting your circadian rhythm. It works by increasing gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) levels in certain parts of the brain, which produces a calming effect on the body. Try taking melatonin a few days before your trip so your body is able to adapt and feel more relaxed when the day of your flight comes. 

Consider Taking Medication to Treat Your Flying Anxiety

Unfortunately, not everyone can manage their fear of flying without the help of medication. If you consider your anxiety levels typically require something a little stronger than a herbal tea or supplement, you can always talk with your doctor about medications that are available to help you cope. Some of the popular choices out there can vary from over-the-counter medications like Dramamine to prescription medications like Xanax (alprazolam.

Medications like Dramamine can be useful to prevent motion-sickness typically experienced by many during a flight. Its sedative properties can help calm down the brain’s activity, making you feel more relaxed and grounded. It can also help prevent nausea if you have a weak stomach. 

Then there are other medications like Xanax or Ativan, which require a prescription from a healthcare professional. These types of medications act as sedatives and tend to kick in almost immediately. They usually stay in your system for several hours, slowing down the activity of the nervous system and therefore offer a prolonged calming effect. The problem with these types of medications is that they can be highly addictive when used frequently. This is why it is best to keep your consumption of them low and always under the supervision of a medical professional. 

Last but not least, make sure you never consume alcohol while taking any of these medications as this can dangerously increase their potency and potentially lead to life-threatening sedation and irregular breathing.

There Is Help Available

It’s important to point out that not everyone does well on medication or supplements and some may prefer a different route. You can always try different techniques like visualization or grounding, which many find helpful. Or you can seek help from a medical professional who specializes in the treatment of anxiety, and work with him or her to create a customized therapy plan to help you cope with flying anxiety.

Therapy treatments like exposure therapy and cognitive behavior therapy have been successfully used to reduce the fear of flying. These can help you get to the root cause of your fear, providing you with a coping mechanism to help you reprogram negative thinking patterns into more positive and productive ones. You can also look into breathing techniques that are often used by many to help calm down the nervous system. These breathing techniques can help create messages to send to the brain signaling that there is no threat present, and therefore there is no more need to be worried or agitated. 

The bottom line is you don’t have to face your fear of flying alone. Thankfully, there are many available resources that can help you cope with flying anxiety and that don’t require you to cancel your next vacation or business trip. With the right help and resources, you can rest assured that you’ll successfully overcome your fear of flying like many others out there. 

If you are considering going the medication route to help ease your flying anxiety, always first consult with your healthcare provider to help you determine if a certain over-the-counter medication or prescription drug could be right for you. CareCard, a discount card for prescriptions, is passionate about helping make your prescription payments more affordable, saving members up to 85% on prescription drugs and medications. You can search for a Xanax or Dramamine coupon here and learn how CareCard can help make your medication payments more manageable.

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