Once you understand the mechanics of flight, it starts to feel less alien. But there are other ways to psychologically prepare yourself for a smooth flight. Goeury from Air France’s Anti-Stress Center, teaches some basic tenets of keeping calm, such as:
– Make everything as slow as possible: Going to the airport, checking in, boarding. The trick is not to allow the alarm reaction to kick in, by making sure the approach to the plane is without stress.
– Never forget the real purpose of the flight, because taking a flight is not a goal in itself. Is it for vacation? Spending good times with friends or family? Keep your eye on the goal, as the flight is usually a means to a happy one.
– Be occupied instead of preoccupied. Try to write down your impressions, do some art therapy, play games (Candy Crush or puzzles occupy the mind nicely) or chat with (willing) neighbors.
Gouery recalls one client who took the Air France workshop: “Thanks to it, she was able to visit her relatives in Chile for the first time in 25 years. She’d always wanted to do so, but had been scared to fly.”
While I’m not sure Candy Crush would be my opiate of choice, distracting yourself and filling your headspace so you don’t worry, is sound advice. The main point is the flight is a means to an end—and that end is (usually) a happy one. Focus on what the flight allows you to do. Perhaps you’re off to Venezuela to jump off Angel Falls wearing only a wingsuit. As for me, I’ll be drinking something warm on top of a mountain in Austria. And not skiing.