-“Fear of flying, you said?”
-“Yes, but it’s okay, don’t panic just yet.”
Whether it’s you or a beloved one (even a stranger next to you), it’s massively important to know what to do in an impromptu situation like this. When the brain enters this downward spiral, it seems like there’s nothing you can do to find some relief.
However, there are many ways these days to fight and improve the fear of flying, such as comfort and company, natural tranquillisers, anxiety treatments and even specialised psychotherapy treatments for more severe conditions.
Here are 6 tips to begin with:
1. Make sure the person is not hyperventilating (fast-breathing). In case they are, ask them to follow you as you breath, slowly deep in and out. This will prevent hyperventilation symptoms such as dizziness or numbness, which could turn generalised and increasing anxiety about something going really wrong in the body, like a stroke, which is only a fake stroke-like symptom.
2. If the anxiety attack is mild, ask them confidently what’s the best way for you to help them right now. An anxiety situation is different for every single person, as are their individual needs. Sometimes comfort words, silence or holding hands will help. Some other times it’ll take more to try and control the crisis.
3. Be prepared. If you know the person, their medical history and allergies, it might be handy to offer anxiety pills to prevent the attack from escalating. If it’s a known condition, ask your doctor in advance so you can get the right treatment to take with you at all times. If it’s a stranger, ask for help to flight/airport staff immediately.
4. In moderate and severe cases it might be difficult to be able to help or talk to the affected person, in which case it’d be important to call for medical help right away.
5. If you’re on the aircraft, let the flight attendants know so they can be aware in case the situation becomes moderate. They have experience and are trained to deal with situations like these.
6. Anxiety attacks tend to make the person affected feel a bit ashamed afterwards. It’s important to be soft and discrete at all times and never judgemental.The brain works in mysterious, and sometimes unexpected ways, and it’s totally normal. They’ll be forever thankful.
In any case, whether you’ve gone through this or not, might be handy to take note and carry it with you. You never know when an emergency situation can happen. If you’re doubtful and would like professional guidance, feel free to visit my consultation services.
If you or a beloved one has experienced fear of flying, and would love to add some suggestions to this post, please leave them on a comment or send them privately. Your personal experience means a lot and will help so many others reading this!
Happy Travels 🙂