Are you a nervous flyer? If so, you’re in good company.

It’s estimated that about 20 million Americans feel squeamish about leaving the ground.

It’s not a completely unfounded fear. After all, flying means soaring thousands of miles above the ground on a giant piece of metal at breakneck speed. It’s enough to make anyone question its safety.

However, flying has been proven to be one of the safest travel methods. Succumbing to your anxiety will only prevent you from enjoying your travels.

If you’re feeling some inner turbulence about flying, practice these seven tips before you board your next plane:

1. Discover What’s Making You Nervous

There are myriad things about flying that can make a person nervous. What’s giving you your anxiety?

Whether it’s passing through security, overcoming the landing or something in between, think through what’s behind your nervousness.

Once you pinpoint the problem, you’re better positioned to find stress-coping techniques to quell your fears.

2. Prepare Your Mind

If you’re a nervous flyer, being prepared for a flight can help put your mind at ease.

Knowing you’re going to feel nervous or scared can give your mind a false impression of what’s actually happening.

In addition, remember that the airline’s flight attendants and pilots have all completed flight school. They fly almost every day and know how to do their jobs.

Instead, envision what your fears will look like in reality. It likely won’t be as bad as you think it will be.

3. Don’t Be a Nervous Flyer by Yourself

If you’re a nervous flyer, you’ll benefit from having familiar company with you. They can hold your hand during takeoff or landing, if need be, and help you relax.

Flying alone is sometimes unavoidable. If this is your case, make friends with the flight attendants or your seat neighbor. Talking to someone can help you feel less alone and provide pleasant conversation to distract your anxious mind.

4. Bring Along a Distraction

Block out the fact that you’re flying by bringing a book, music, gaming device, or other distraction to keep you busy.

Keeping your hands and mind occupied means you’ll have less attention to divert to being nervous.

5. Take a Snack

Food can bring comfort like nothing else can.

Take your favorite snack along for the trip to give you something to look forward to while you’re on the plane.

6. Focus on the Rewards

Remember that flying brings great rewards. It may be your only option to visit a prime destination.

Instead of focusing on what could go wrong on your flight, think about what’s going to go right once you reach your destination.

Use your in-air time to make a plan for what to do once you arrive. Most planes have an in-flight magazine of your destination to give you inspiration.

7. Fly Often

The only way to become a better flyer is to fly often. The more you fly, the more comfortable you’ll become.

In Closing

Even seasoned fliers may get a little nervous from time to time. Just keep in mind that not facing your fear could prevent you from experiencing what’s on the other side of the landing strip.

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