Do you run horrific crash scenarios through your mind while you’re sitting on a runway? You’re not alone. If you’re more worried about flying these days than you used to be, it’s understandable.
Research has shown that the repetitive nature of the news cycle amplifies garden-variety nervousness and gives passengers a skewed impression of relative danger. Luckily, the facts remain the same. Commercial flight is safer now than ever in history and your odds of being in an airplane crash are extremely small. If you’re a nervous flyer, you’ll want to remind yourself that the most dangerous part of your travel day is the drive to the airport. Your chance of being in an air disaster is approximately one in three million. You would need to fly once a day for more than 8,200 years to accumulate three million flights. While you should avoid disaster news, it might not be a bad idea to read up on some basic facts and figures about what a typical flight will feel and sound like. There are reasonable explanations for many seemingly distressing noises on a plane.
One of the best ways to get through a flight is to distract yourself. If you know you are going to be anxious, surround yourself with familiar pleasures from home. Load up the iPad with some of your favorite movies. Listen to a few of your relaxing albums. Start a great book before you leave and pick it up mid-read during the flight.
Don’t forget about fidget things like hand spinners or fidget cubes. They will help relax, keep your mind occupied, and deflect your focus from flight anxiety. Don’t depend on the airline to provide you with a distraction that will work for you. Their in-flight programming might not be the medicine you require. The key is to keep these distractions to what you are already accustomed to. Think of it as comfort food for your mind.