Long-haul flights can be tiring enough at the best of times, but for someone who has a fear of flying, it can easily turn into a downright nightmare.
But according to one experienced pilot, it doesn’t have to be that way.
For many, two of the most disconcerting parts about being in the air are the take-off and any dreaded turbulence.
Luckily, Captain Ron Nielsen from Air Hollywood – a centre that helps anxious fliers overcome their fears – has all the right know-how to help you get through both.
Speaking to the crew from the Today Show in the US, he explained a nifty trick for getting through those awful jolts of turbulence.
All you need is a pen, paper and a little concentration. Basically, he explains that you should write your name over and over again on the paper, but do it with the hand you don’t normally write with.
“It causes you to focus really hard on what you’re doing because you don’t normally write with your other hand,” he says.
“It’s actually crossing over you motor function in your brain, using the other side of your brain from what you would normally do and we’re disrupting the thinking (sic).”
If you’re anxiety is more severe and you’re at risk of hyperventilating – which only makes things worse for you unfortunately – then Captain Ron says you should try breathing in and out through a straw.
This restricts your air intake and can stop you from hyperventilating.
When it comes to take-off meanwhile, Captain Ron recommends clenching and tensing your body as the plane starts to pick up speed on the runway, and then relaxing and releasing as you move into the air.
“You’re releasing all those chemicals; the adrenaline, the cortisol, and notice how you feel calm during this part,” he says.
So there you have it, a couple of hot tips for the next time you’re feeling uneasy in the air!