5 Ways to Stay Relaxed at the Airport and During Embarkation


Air travel can be exciting, but it can also be stressful, especially whilst waiting at the airport and the hustle and bustle of boarding. You can turn this time into an opportunity to relax and experience serenity practicing what´s known as “mindfulness“. Here we’ll explore how it can be a powerful tool to reduce stress and improve the experience of air travel from the moment you arrive at the airport to the moment you get on the plane. It boils down to five basic steps:

Connect with Your Breathing

One of the simplest but most effective ways to practice mindfulness is to focus on your breathing. When you arrive at the airport, take a few minutes to find a quiet and comfortable place. Close your eyes and direct your attention to the intake and outflow of air through your nostrils. Feel it enter and leave your lungs. Notice how your chest rises and falls with each breath. Allowing yourself to simply be aware of your breathing can help calm the mind and reduce anxiety.

Observe with Your Senses

While you wait for your flight, take the opportunity to practice observing with your senses. Take a moment to notice what’s around you: the sounds of the airport, the colors and shapes of the architecture, the aromas of the nearby shops and restaurants. By focussing on the sensory details of the present moment, you can shift your mind away from anxious thoughts about flying and be more present in the here and now.

Walk Consciously

The airport can be a bustling and busy place, but it can also be a space to practice “conscious walking”. Meaning that as you move through the airport, pay attention to every step you take. Feel the contact of your feet with the ground, the feeling of your muscles in movement and the posture of your body. Walking consciously allows you to anchor yourself in the present moment and find serenity in the middle of apparent chaos.

Practise Acceptance and Non-judgment

It’s natural for thoughts and emotions to arise as you wait for your flight and prepare to board. Instead of fighting these thoughts or judging your emotions, accept and don´t judge them. Recognise that it is normal to feel nervous or anxious before you fly, but remember that your thoughts and emotions do not define you. Allow them to pass without becoming attached to them and return your attention to the present moment.

Try Some Quick Meditation

During boarding, you can take advantage of the waiting time on the jet bridge or just after taking your seat to practice short meditation sessions. Close your eyes and direct your attention to your breathing or any physical sensation present in your body. Even a few minutes of meditation can help reduce anxiety and prepare for the flight.


Happy – and fearless – flying!

David Lanzas is a psychologist specialising in anxiety and trauma, and founder of the Lanzas Institute.