Panic attacks are sudden. For most people boarding an airplane and flying several times in a month is no big deal; for some, it could be nerve-wracking like hell — those who have the phobia of flying.
While low-grade first-time flying anxiety at the time of takeoff and landing, is pretty normal and often goes away as you fly more, but if you think flying-related anxiety could trigger a panic attack, then it is something you need to worry about.
What if you have a panic attack mid-flight? Here’s what you can do to calm things down:-
#1. Distract Yourself
The most effective way to avoid a panic attack and come out quickly is to distract yourself. Even chewing gum could be a big distraction. Read a murder mystery book to keep your mind off the flying anxiety. Talk to the passenger next seat, discuss politics & sports, and anything that mutually develops interest.
#2. Try Deep Breathing
Hyperventilating is a major symptom of a panic attack that further fuel fears; deep breathing can lower this symptom during a panic attack.
If you can have command over your breathing, you’re less likely to hyperventilate and show other symptoms.
Have your focus on taking deep breaths, in and out via your mouth. You should let the air feel your chest and slowly allow it to leave. Breathe in the air for a count of four, hold it for not more than one second, and breathe out for a count of four.
#3. Muscle Relaxation
Just like deep breathing, muscle relaxation helps combat a panic attack by controlling the body’s response greatly.
Relax one muscle at a time, starting with your fingers, and move your way up and down for complete relaxation.
Musical relaxation techniques are way more effective when you practice them for a longer duration.
#4. Repeat a Mantra
Repeating a mantra in your mind could be reassuring and relaxing, and it gives you the confidence that you can manage a panic attack.
The mantra can be religious or as simple as “This Shall Will Pass.” You should repeat it in a loop in your head till your panic attack starts to subside.
#5. Take Benzodiazepines
If you have a history of panic attacks while flying or think you might have because of your hyper-anxiety, then you must keep Benzodiazepines handy. It helps to treat panic attacks as soon as you feel them coming. Since benzodiazepine is a prescription medicine, you’re likely to carry your panic disorder diagnosis report to keep this medication on hand.
You need to note that such a mediation could be highly addictive, and the body may adjust to it over time. Therefore, it is highly advisable to use it sparingly and in the most extreme conditions.
#6. Keep Lavender on Hand
Lavender is known for its stress-relieving and soothing effect. It has the uncanny ability to relax your mind. If you’re prone to having panic attacks when flying, then you should keep a lavender essential oil, apply it on your forearms when you’re having an attack. You should breathe on the screen slowly. You can even try drinking chamomile or lavender tea. Make sure you don’t combine lavender with benzodiazepines, as it could lead to intense drowsiness.
What Is The Best Solution to Your Phobia of Flying?
The best therapy for your fear of flying is educating yourself. Why is there a fear of air travelling? Probably, because of your lack of knowledge, you might think air turbulence can burst your aeroplane into pieces, and if someone keeps his/her cell phone on during the takeoff, your plane will crash. All of such myths can also be busted by veteran pilots and crew members ready to clear all your doubts. That’s why we suggest you must enrol for a professional flying program.