8 Actionable Ways to Combat Fear During a Flight

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When flying long distance, sometimes you need actionable ways to combat fearing during a flight.

However, fighting back negative thoughts can be hard.

The idea of the unthinkable creates fear and anxiety making for a very uncomfortable flight. Here are some ways to fight the feelings of doom.

Ways to Combat Fear During a Long Flight

Challenge the Thought

You may be tempted to ask “what if”. Instead, focus more on “what if not” to combat fear. If you practice this consistently, you will learn to talk yourself out of negative thoughts when on the flight.  

Once on a flight, make an effort to direct your energy toward something else. By teaching yourself to deflect, you will be less worried about things going bumpy while in flight and you will give yourself a leg up to combat fear. 

Pack Well

Not only do you need to know about your thinking and steps that can be taken to combat flight phobia, but going into your next flight completely equipped with the proper flying essentials may just be the trick. 

That is why we have compiled travel essentials for international flights and ideas to get through a long flight in coach.  These are great resources to help you prepare for an extended flight itinerary.

If you, or someone you know, struggle with flight dread, these tips can help you combat fear and ensure that your flight is comfortable and panic-free. From soothing perfumes to essential reading materials, there are several things you can pack for the next flight.

Breathe Deep

There are helpful breathing apps that you can download, like Calm. They are designed to relieve and reduce anxiety and stress, and they can help combat fear while flying.

Using breathing techniques can hopefully provide a bit of added confidence when it comes to managing your flight anxiety. 

Meditate or Pray

Other relaxation techniques can help you to release your anxiety and stay calmer for the rest of the next flight. For instance, taking a deep breath or meditation while taking off, landing, or in turbulence may decrease symptoms of anxiety.  

Philippians 4:6 reads “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Meditate on these verses of scripture.

  • II Thes. 3:3 — But the Lord is faithful, who shall establish you, and keep you from evil.
  • Phil 4:8 — Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
  • II Thes 3:6 — Now the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always by all means. The Lord be with you all.

Make it personal and speak the words softly to yourself. “But the Lord is faithful to me. He establishes me and keeps me from evil. The Lord of peace always gives me peace. Jehovah Shalom, the God of Peace, is with me.”

Seek Medical Help in Advance

If anxieties are at a level that requires medical attention, anti-anxiety medications may give you a rapid respite from the symptoms of a panic attack, providing a tranquilizing effect that may minimize both physical and mental associations with feeling afraid when flying.

You should consult with your primary physician for diagnosis and treatment.

Stay Entertained

Distractions during the flight are a great way to keep your attention from negative thoughts. There are a nice variety of in-flight options — TV shows, movies, podcasts, music concerts, etc. and you can bring books and magazines to feed your literary appetite. 

We have found that one of the best ways to combat fear of flying is by putting as much distraction as possible into the flight, so take this to an extreme and carry all your technology with you in a carry-on.  


This is possibly my favorite and most practiced tip. After meals are served, I get comfortable and go to sleep. The more, the better. Sleep has several benefits and will help you be rested before you land for your next adventure.  

In between the light snoozes, think about all the plans you made, the experiences you will encounter, the people you will meet, and the things you will have the opportunity to learn. A bit of turbulence can be jolting, but more times than not, it’s just a pocket of air.

Turn Off the News

In advance of your trip, avoid the disaster news. It may not be such a bad idea to turn off the TV and stop reading the newspaper. It is rare to see anything uplifting and positive in the media.  

Protect your mind and thought life. Don’t entertain the negativity.  

In conclusion, no matter what your feelings are about flying, it may help to know some of the common techniques that nervous travelers use to soothe their nerves before and during long flights.

In some cases, your doctor may be able to recommend you take a few breaths and do mental exercises to help better cope with the anxiety, and, in some cases, may prescribe anti-anxiety and anti-nausea medications to help overcome your turbulence fears.

Final Thoughts About Fear During a Long Flight

Taking steps to combat fear is important, no matter the circumstances. You may be afraid of long flights, taking solo trips, visiting a foreign country. However, these experiences help you grow and provide opportunities to build resilience.

Fear and anxiety can significantly hinder your travel experience, causing unnecessary stress and discomfort. By actively addressing and managing fear, passengers can ensure a smoother and more enjoyable journey.

Fear can also negatively impact one’s physical well-being, leading to increased tension, elevated heart rate, and potential panic attacks.

Taking proactive steps to combat fear, such as deep breathing exercises or engaging in calming activities, helps promote a sense of relaxation and overall comfort during the flight.

With these tips, you be better armed to combat fear and enjoy your vacation!

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