4 Days to flight
4 days to go, until the flight and feeling nervously excited. I have again avoided talking too much about the trip up until now, apart from arranging meetings with clients etc. Today I caught up with the team on a few things though and the business trip was a big topic of conversation. Hence the nervous energy. Feeling pretty good though still.
In today’s blog I want to tackle the thought process of any fear or phobia, and hopefully help to bring some basic relief that will help in some situations.
Fight or Flight
Flight of Fright is basically a primitive response to danger that the body has always retained throughout evolution. Anxiety and nerves is a good thing. If you were being chased by a lion, you would want that sudden bolt of Adrenalin that is produced by the scenario, to use as energy to get away fast. The problem is that sometimes the body perceives a danger when one is not actually in danger. And what is danger in this scenario? Danger is simply FEAR!
This danger could occur in any day to day activity that you would normally do, or not as the case maybe. What we have to remember is that this FEAR is simply just a thought. Are you actually in danger? Chances are you are not. There are also times when there maybe real danger about, and this is where the body’s natural reaction will help the situation. Millions of people board a plane each year, as easily as someone getting into their car, or onto a bus or train. For some people though, this is exceptionally difficult and is perceived as a danger. This falsely perception of a danger that isn’t really there makes you feel uneasy and causes a flight of flight response.
Eat and drink normally
I know it can be difficult sometimes, when you are in nervous state. The body doesn’t want to eat, as your stomach is in knots. This comes back to fight or flight again sadly, but some quick relaxation techniques may see your appetite come back. Your blood will move into your muscles and away from your stomach for example, giving your muscles the oxygen they need to act fast. Once we had rid our bodies of the fake FEAR, we should return to normal, even if a little drained.
Try to relax
Think hot bath or shower, lie down with a book. Meditation or yoga, or even the gym. Whatever usually makes you get rid of any pent up stress and anxiety, use this to your advantage. For me its usually a good magazine. Some things can work in the opposite way though also. A games console may make you mores stressed if you can’t complete a difficult level for example. So when it comes to relaxing, chose what works for you.
Get enough sleep
Always try to get a good sleep. If you suffer with lack of sleep the night before a flight like I do, simply try to relax. The lack of sleep for one day may make you tired and miserable, but it won’t kill you (Well at least it shouldn’t). I have found myself so tired prior to a flight, that I have actually managed to sleep on a flight. Not very often, but it has happened. Here is some proof. Flat out asleep on a recent flight to New York with Thomas Cook Airlines. Look how tight that seat belt is on me. Laughable really!
Before the flight
There are many distraction techniques that you can use. Before the flight you could watch your favourite movies, listen to your favourite music, or read a book. You can literally do anything to distract your mind. Ring a friend, do some research for school, college or work. Play on your PS4, if you aren’t at the airport yet. The build up is usually much worse than that actual event, so don’t be afraid.
During the flight
During the flight it is really easy to immerse yourself into on-board entertainment. If you are flying short haul though, take an tablet or mobile phone with you, which has some films and music installed on it. I love the film Independence Day (I know, I know), and I generally put this on as we take off. As its my favourite film, I don’t tend to notice what is going on until we are at cruising altitude. At this point they usually start with the in-flight service, and before I know it we are a couple of hours into the flight. Use some breathing techniques too, and again, don’t be afraid to talk to people. I had an excellent chat with an elderly lady on the way back from New York once, and before I knew it we were about 6 hours into the flight, almost landing time.
Talk to someone
Do Not be afraid to tell someone. It could be a family member, it could be a travelling companion, or even just the crew if travelling alone. I have done this a few times, notifying the crew that I am a nervous flyer, even at 38, and they really do look after you. They are trained to help, and should you fear a panic attack, remember the initial attack is short lived, and the crew are more than capable of dealing with this.
Is it worth going, to find out something you didn’t know, or worth staying to go over what you already know?