For those who travel by air often for work or personal reasons, flying can become a major source of stress and anxiety over time if not properly managed. Between long lines, delays, crowded cabins and financial pressures, every aspect of air travel seems designed to cause discomfort. However, there are proactive steps frequent flyers can take to keep mental health in a good place despite spending so much time above the clouds.
Proper preparation reduces uncertainty, a key trigger for travel anxiety. Thoroughly researching flights, ensuring all documents are in order and packing well in advance avoids last minute scrambles. Having backup contingency plans for inevitable issues provides reassurance. Downloading electronic tickets and boarding passes to phones keeps paperwork organized.
At the airport, building in extra time for security lines and unforeseen holdups prevents rushing stresses. Checking in baggage avoids lugging heavy items through terminals. Boarding early allows choosing good seats away from noisy areas or lavatories. Noise-cancelling headphones provide relaxation during wait times.
Once airborne, deep breathing exercises, meditation apps or relaxing music ease tension. Regular breathing retrains the body's parasympathetic nervous system response away from "fight or flight." Stretching and mild exercise like ankle rotations improves circulation in confined spaces.
Staying hydrated and fed with healthy snacks maintains stable blood sugar and mood. Avoiding caffeine, nicotine and alcohol which dehydrate and disrupt sleep. Asking flight attendants about anxiety protocols if needing reassurance also helps.
Most importantly, cultivating a growth mindset views flying as an adventure rather than dreaded obligation. Using transit time productively through hobbies, work or enjoying spectacular views from above boosts perspective. Frequent travelers find relaxation where they can, accepting aspects outside personal control.
With consistent stress management techniques, air travel need not cause undue distress for busy global citizens on the move. An optimistic, prepared approach keeps flying experiences mostly positive despite inherent uncertainties. Empowering the mind wins out over mental health setbacks from life in transit.