How to use your breath to cure your fear of flying.
When I say breathing exercises, people often visualize breathing rapidly in and out into a brown paper bag. Don’t worry, these exercises to not require any additional equipment or props. I think breathing should be kept very simple and when used correctly can help to calm your fear of flying.
When you are about to board, take off or land, you may find yourself in a panic. Don’t worry, we are here to help you calm yourself down!
Here are a few simple breathing exercises to help you calm your fear of flying before, during and even after a flight.
Exercise #1: In…2..3…4 Out…2..3…4
If you are worried about being able to remember how to complete a breathing exercise or if it will be too complicated, this is the exercise for you. It couldn’t be easier, and the effects are very real.
Step 1: Breathe in through your nose for 4 seconds.
Step 2: Breathe out through your nose for 4 seconds.
Optional Step 3: Take yourself to your happy place. This can be on vacation you truly enjoyed, at home on your couch in your pjs or up to your nose in a bubble bath.
This exercise will help to calm you down, to regulate your breathing and to reduce your stress. This can be done for the entirety of the flight if necessary to put you in a calmer state of less stress.
Exercise #2: Pick, Smell & Blow
One of my favorite tips came from a friend of mine who is a preschool teacher. Children will often get flustered during class and do not yet have the skills they need to calm themselves down.
Put your pride aside, channel your inner child and follow these simple steps for relaxed breathing to calm your fear of flying.
Step 1: Pick the Flowers. When you hand motion picking flowers, you are automatically slowing your breathing. Focusing on the miming action of picking flowers will slow your rapid breath. Acting out the motion can also help take your mind of the fact that you are indeed completing a breathing exercise.
Step 2: Smell the flowers. Breathe in deeply through your nose and now smell the fake flowers you picked. Breathing in through your nose, as lifespa.com explains, activates “all five lobes of the lungs are used to breathe rather than just the upper two.” This can help to calm/ you down quickly.
Step 3: Blow out the birthday candles. Blowing out through your mouth and releasing your breath will aid in your relaxation process.
Step 4: Repeat. Repeat & Repeat. I have often had to repeat this breathing exercise several times to find the optimal results.
Exercise #3: Hold, Tense & Release
If you’re finding you need to focus on something in order to relieve your fear of flying, this could be the perfect exercise for you. If you focus hard enough, you can can transform your breath and your state of mind.
Step 1: Breathe in through your nose and hold it for 3-5 seconds and then release your breath slowly through your mouth. Holding your breath will help slow your breathing and help to calm you down.
Step 2: As you complete your breaths, close your eyes and think about pulsing and tensing each of your muscle groups. Start from your toes and work your way up slowly. Focusing on the tensing of muscles will take your mind off of your panic around the flight.
Step3: Repeat as many times as necessary.