Ease Fear of Flying with Preparation & Planning


When fear of flying takes hold, it’s crucial not to underestimate the power of preparation. The way you plan your flight on a mental level can make the difference between an anxious and stressful flight experience, and a calmer and more controlled trip. And here I’ll talk about four main points concerning the importance of preparation and planning from a less conventional perspective, with the goal of giving you practical tips and strategies that can help you control your anxiety when getting on a plane.

(But at the same time, don’t forget that beyond merely managing symptoms, to truly treat the phobia itself it’s truly necessary to undergo treatment by a competent therapist. There are no shortcuts when it comes to your mental health.)

Develop a Positive Mindset

You have the power to transform your perception and create a more positive flight experience. Before embarking on your trip, work on the images you generate in your mind about the flight and how you perceive yourself in relation to that trip. Visualise yourself enjoying the flight. For example, picture yourself taking a restful nap or watching the latest episode of your favourite TV show. The flight starts long before you get on the plane. It starts in your head. That’s why it’s important that you take responsibility for the images that you’re going to decide to consciously create in your mind.

Connect with other Passengers

Fear of flying can create a feeling of isolation that is lessened by engaging in conversations with people who share your experience. Sharing stories, concerns, and strategies can be comforting and can remind you that you are not alone in this experience.

Connect with your Cabin Crew

During the boarding process, take time to greet and if possible chat with members of the flight crew. They’re experts in their field and in addition to being there for your safety are trained to give passengers support and reassurance. Establishing a genuine connection with them can help you feel more secure and confident during your flight.

“Visualise” Creatively

Before the flight, closes your eyes and imagine a trip where you feel completely calm and relaxed. Visualise the details of the flight, from takeoff to landing, and imagine yourself handling any fearful emotions with calm and confidence. Believe it or not, this practice can help you create a more positive anticipatory experience and decrease anxiety during the flight.

Conscious and careful preparation can be a powerful tool in addressing a fear of flying. The goal is not to stop feeling afraid, but to feel more empowered to deal with it and with strategies that you can implement. There is nothing like a plan to make any of us feel calm.

Have a good flight!

Founder of the Lanzas InstituteDavid Lanzas is a psychologist specialising in anxiety and trauma.