By using this service and related content, you agree to the use of cookies for analytics, personalised content and ads.
You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Scared of flying? This simple trick will help

Country Living (UK) logo Country Living (UK) 15/07/2017 Anya Meyerowitz
Fear of flying? This simple trick could help © Derek Croucher / Getty Fear of flying? This simple trick could help

Having a fear of flying means that, instead of pre-holiday excitement, we feel nervous and stressed. One in six of us miss out on luxuriating in the inflight entertainment and the peaceful joy of having our phones switched off for a few hours because we are feeling scared.

One in six of us struggle with flying fears but according to US Captain Ron Nielsen, who has spent the past 25 years helping anxious fliers overcome their fears, it doesn't have to be like this.

"Fear of flying is NOT about flying or airplanes. It is, however, uniquely triggered by experiences related to both. The problem lies in the limbic system; the fight, flight or freeze response in the body. Success comes through changing the quality and content of one's thinking about flying," his website Fearless Flight explains.

Stylist.co.uk reports that Captain Nielson recently appeared on the Today Show on NBC to demo the tricks he teaches to his clients for easing tension during take-off and turbulence – the two most common sources of nervousness for flyers.

Take-off technique 

© Provided by Hearst Communications, Inc

As the plane sets off down the runway and that feeling of impending doom begins to grip you, the flying expert recommends tensing every muscle in your body as much as you can.

Hunch your shoulders, ball your fists, cross your legs and clench your jaw. Hold this pose for around 30 seconds. When you relax after this time has elapsed you will naturally release stress chemicals – coristol and adrenaline – and feel slightly calmer and looser.

Your breathing will return to a more even level and this elevate some of the adrenaline, providing a good base for you to get through the rest of the flight, says Nielson.

Coping with turbulence

Turbulence can strike without warning – it can be trickier to navigate than take-off or landing which you are at least expecting.

But Captain Nielson says that all is not lost. He has a specific method for tackling unease during this period: grab a pen and paper, and start writing your name with your wrong hand, over and over again as the plane bounces.

Though this may seem rather unenlightening it actually serves two very important purposes. It works as a distraction as you'll have to really concentrate in order to write your name with your less dominant hand AND it forces another part of your brain into action, disrupting the negative thoughts. 

AdChoices
AdChoices

More from Country Living

Country Living (UK)
Country Living (UK)
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon