I don’t come off as a nervous flyer. When it comes to air travel, the days leading up to departure fill me with excitement and delight. Getting the window seat is a must when booking, because I’m constantly in awe of the views from above the clouds. Even more so, I’m thrilled by plans to visit new and beautiful places. But, without a doubt, these feelings of exhilaration are always met with repeated bouts of nerves as it’s time to board the plane.
I’m aware of the statistics. Plane crashes occur far less frequently than car crashes, and you’re more likely to meet your end by being struck by lightning. But I still can’t shake preflight jitters and the internal panic that comes with flying.
I’ve seen one too many airplane films go south, which has left me with a constant uneasiness towards flying. Couple that with the feeling of being off the ground — not to mention turbulence — and it adds up to nervous shakes and in-flight rituals. I reach for my boyfriend’s hand at each and every lift-off and touchdown, and letting go is not permitted until we’ve been in the air (or on the ground) for several minutes. I’ve adapted subtle breathing techniques I do after boarding in an attempt to clear my mind. I say the same simple prayer, asking for safety over everyone, before takeoff. It’s a whole thing.
I’ve tried out various other calming methods that seem to work for others, from tailored playlists to CBD oil. While these have momentarily distracted me from my stress, nothing came close to diminishing my nerves or calming my flying anxieties, until I starting using a weighted blanket.
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