In this extensive guide, we will explore different items that are of use when dealing with airplane anxiety. To do this, we’ll first explain what airplane anxiety is. Then we will go over a list of several things that can fight airplane anxiety.
What are the Best Things to Take for Airplane Anxiety?
The best things to take for airplane anxiety are items that counter symptoms, induce sleep, and are portable. We’ve curated a list of things that work well for airplane anxiety. These are:
- Fidget Spinners
- Portable Puzzles
- Meditation Headbands
- Weighted Blankets
- Guided Anxiety Programs
- Sleep Aids
- Essential Oils
Things that Help with Airplane Anxiety
In this section, we will first explain what airplane anxiety is. If this description sounds familiar, you can try the following things to help you with it. Our list is broken down into seven categories of items that reduce airplane anxiety.
The categories are Distracting Entertainment, Meditation Headbands, Weighted Blankets, Guided Programs, Sleep Aids, Essential Oils, and Adaptogens.
What is Airplane Anxiety?
Airplane anxiety, as the name suggests, is a fear of flying because of the possibility of a plane crash. This can be an isolated condition or can be a part of a specific anxiety disorder.
Some people have generalised anxiety disorder, which causes them to feel anxious in many different kinds of situations. Others may have a highly specific phobia for flights, germs, or social situations that may manifest in a fear of getting on airplanes.
People with airplane anxiety get uncontrollable thoughts about negative outcomes and are unable to focus on anything else. Symptoms can include irregular breathing, rapid heart beat, stomach problems, frequent urination, tightened muscles, and a general discomfort.
If you frequently experience airplane anxiety, here are some helpful items you can take with you in your next flight:
Dealing with any kind of anxiety by yourself can be hard. Without professional help, it’s difficult to overcome the effects of stress and anxiety. But you can’t take your therapist with you or call them every time you have a flight.
Psychologists and psychiatrists often recommend that their clients find a suitable distraction to get them to stop thinking negative thoughts. These distractions can be of two kinds: a grounding technique utilising your sense organs or engaging forms of entertainment.
You can get trained in grounding through therapy. But entertainment can be found in books, podcasts, videos, games, or absolutely anything.
If you’re looking for entertainment that doesn’t require a screen or device, this hexagon tangram puzzle by Kingzhou is one. Looking at screens for long can strain the eyes and might worsen your mood.
This portable wooden puzzle is a great alternative. It really challenges your cognitive skills, giving you a way to channel all that anxious energy. Compact and lightweight, this can be your travel companion for all your long flights.
Fidget spinners are creative little toys that keep your anxious fingers busy. They can be a lot of fun and almost addictive because they build muscle memory. When we get better and faster at maneuvering these devices, the reward centres of the brain get activated.
A feeling of pleasure instills in the mind and body, making it easier to overcome anxiety. This fidget spinner by Duomishu is different from the classic design and a lot more fun. Relax your anxious thought on your next flight by fidgeting with this spinner.
Experts always recommend pairing meditation with treatment plans for mental health recovery. Meditation is basically a technique used to train attention and awareness. Normally, we are not very mindful about the things that our energy and attention are being used for.
Meditation helps us increase this self awareness and direct it towards things we know will lead to better outcomes. A meditation headband is a wearable device that facilitates the process of meditating.
It makes this ancient practice more approachable for novices. The best thing about these headbands is that even in a noisy environment, they can help us be calmer. The visuals, sounds, and instructions allow users to focus on their safe space.
Muse is a brain-sensing headband meant for EEG-powered sleep tracking and meditation. The band contains receptors that record electroencephalogram waves to monitor your focus, sleep, and recovery.
Muse can give you insights for sleep stage visualisation, sleep position tracking, and a personalised sleep efficiency score. It pairs with the Muse meditation app so you can take sessions and track your progress.
The neurofeedback from your brainwaves helps you keep a check on your anxiety and measure your progress. Muse headbands can be highly useful for airplane anxiety because they are easy to carry when travelling.
MindPlace is a related product used to simulate meditation through audios and visuals. Their unique feature is the light and sound meditation that relaxes the mind and body while inducing sleep.
The GanzFrame light glasses from MindPlace wrap your eyes in a spectrum of color spread evenly across inner space. LED lights and binaural beats create a conducive environment for you to sit back and calm your nerves. MindPlace also offers their customers a wide range of sessions and tutorials that let people optimise their meditation skills.
A weighted blanket is like a regular blanket but heavier so that it can create a deep relaxing pressure. Putting on a weighted blanket can make body parts less restless and calm the person wearing it.
They are typically used by individuals dealing with anxiety and sleep issues. Carrying a weighted blanket with you in a flight might make it easier for you to sleep through it.
It makes more sense to take a throw or shawl-sized blanket instead of a queen size. While the latter might be perfect for anxious nights at home, you’ll have to pay extra for cabin luggage weight.
The Layla Sleep store is a US-based company for mattresses and sleep accessories. Their range of weighted blankets are designed to feel like someone is hugging you. They compare the gentle pressure with the warm embrace of a pile of puppies.
These blankets are filled with glass beads, which are smoother and quieter than other fillings. They come with one side having 300 TC cotton and the other with a plush poly/mink fabric. The soft and cozy effect of Layla weighted blankets might be perfect for a long flight.
Mosaic is another American company but one that exclusively deals in weighted blankets. They offer a variety of categories for these calming blankets including cotton, washable, mink, and kid-friendly.
Their range of ‘Grab Bag Weighted Lap Pads’ are ideal for a flight situation. The large size measures 18″ x 30″ (45cm x 76cm) and the small measures 14” x 22” (35cm x 55cm). These come with fun fabrics and prints for both adults and children. Take a Mosaic lap pad with you to ensure a comfortable journey the next time you have to travel by air. Their weighted blankets are also a good choice.
Another item you can use to quell your airplane anxiety is a guided program that walks you through it. These are content-based products that provide users with a step-by-step process to overcome anxiety.
They work brilliantly for air travel because content doesn’t weigh anything. Simply install the software or set up the program on your electronic device and listen through headphones. Guided programs can be used for meditation, relaxation, or cognitive therapy. Each of these techniques help reduce symptoms of anxiety, stress, or panic.
Hemi Sync is a large online collection of content that helps viewers relax, focus, meditate, sleep, and thrive. The content on this website is categorised based on the desired outcome. They can be guided meditation, ambient music, practical tools, and much more. Each item has a rating given by previous users from more than 50 years of service.
These products are available in numerous European and Asian languages and cost between $10 – $100. There are some useful courses as well that can cost more than that. Browse through their catalogue the next time you have time to kill in an airport. Once you’ve picked something that works for you, have it ready on your device when you board.
Panic Away is a program designed by Barry McDonagh for individuals who want to come out of anxiety. This program is used in over 32 countries worldwide. It is proving to be one of the most successful non- pharmaceutical approaches to ending an anxiety disorder.
It’s famous for the 21-7 Technique which is meant to stop panic or anxiety attacks. It takes up to 21 seconds to stop a panic attack and 7 seconds to stop an anxiety one. This is fantastic for someone with a fear of flights but has a job that requires travelling. It isn’t a quick fix or remedy but an effective cure.
A common strategy used by most people with airplane anxiety is to sleep through the journey. However, this is easier said than done. An airplane is typically full of sounds and motion that make it hard to get some shut eye.
Crying babies, airship sounds, chattering strangers, and busy flight attendants create a kind of commotion around your seat. Having some kind of sleep aid is a solution that is bound to work.
Though sleeping pills or other pharmacotherapy can put someone to sleep, they come with undesirable side effects. They may even lead to a pill addiction. Here, we are going to discuss some safer, non-addictive aids to sleep away the anxiety.
Sleep Support+ by MBG (Mind Body Green) is a non-prescription supplement you can take to induce sleep. It consists of magnesium, which research suggests makes it easier for people to sleep.
These pills use a formula that combines magnesium compounds with GABA and jujube extracts. When put together, the Sleep Support+ formula calms the overactive mind of an anxious person and promotes relaxation. It can help you sleep faster, stay asleep longer, and wake up feeling replenished.
SomniLight Light Therapy uses amber light to make it easier for the eyes to relax and sleep. In the form of glasses, amber light can block up to 99% of blue wavelengths. This in turn preserves your body’s natural levels of melatonin and allows you to sleep peacefully.
SomniLight glasses are easy to wear, fashionable, and convenient for travel. These are available in many different designs and frames so you can pick one that matches your wardrobe. SomniLight glasses can prevent your anxiety attacks on flight by letting you get some much needed sleep.
Essential oils can help with many symptoms of anxiety. These could be uncontrollable thoughts, fear of the worst, nervous tension, worry, panic attacks, sleep issues, and other bodily symptoms.
When it comes to airplane anxiety, essential oils serve as a quick and easy trick to deal with these symptoms. Essential oils can be used by inhaling directly or by applying diluted amounts on the skin.
Instead of carrying entire bottles on a flight (they may not be allowed in cabin luggage), you can use cotton. Sprinkle a few drops on a ball of cotton and you’re good to go. Every time you feel like the worst case scenarios are taking up your head space, take a sniff and feel better.
Artizen Sweet Marjoram Essential Oils
Aromatherapy using sweet marjoram essential oils can lower anxiety and lead to a relaxing sleep. Artizen’s sweet marjoram oil is a hundred percent pure and natural. This therapeutic-grade essential oil comes in a UV-coated glass bottle with a marked dropper.
The UV coating protects the oil from damage through light exposure. Droppers can be very handy when handling essential oils since you only need a few drops of these volatile liquids. All Artizen essential oil products come with a lifetime warranty.
Gya Labs Sweet Orange Essential Oils
Gya Labs is one of the top names in the essential oil industry because its customers are extremely satisfied. The sweet citrus essential oil comes in a well-designed bottle that allows both diffused or topical use.
Nevertheless, you can’t use a diffuser in a flight unless you want to set off the smoke alarms. You can mix some of this in a moisturiser or body product and apply before the flight. In fact, this product is great for skin care as it has moisturising properties. Otherwise, pop a few scented cotton balls in your luggage and take a whiff whenever you need it.
An adaptogen can help people dealing with anxiety by causing certain chemical changes in their bodies to ameliorate symptoms. The compounds taken out of the adaptogen will cause some reaction when our body parts are exposed to them.
This can lead to alterations in neurotransmitter production, reduced stress hormones, relaxed muscles, and an elevated mood. Adaptogens can be used to deal with airplane anxiety. Just add them to recipes for your on-flight snacks and relax in the sky as a calmer you.
Eleuthero is another plant from East Asia and is also referred to as the Siberian ginseng. The root of this plant is highly popular in the use of herbal adaptogens for environmental stress. It is a safe and effective treatment option for anxiety and insomnia.
Gaia Herbs eleuthero root supplements are vegan, GMO-free, nut-free, and gluten-free. These pills are unflavoured and can help you fight your flight anxiety.
Clinicians often prescribe lemon- balm as a mild mood elevator and calming agent for patients who have anxiety. This is a perennial herb that is part of the mint family. Along with anxiety, it is believed to help with stress, insomnia, indigestion, and dementia.
Solaray lemon balm pills are also vegan, GMO-free, nut-free, and gluten-free. They contain no added flavours or preservatives.
Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.
In this extensive guide, we explored different items that are of use when dealing with airplane anxiety. To do this, we first explained what airplane anxiety is. Then we went over a list of several things that can fight airplane anxiety.
Entertainment can be used as a distraction from anxious thoughts. This can be through books, devices, games, and toys. Weighted blankets are great for reducing restlessness. Experts recommend meditation as a way to deal with anxiety.
Meditation on flights is made simpler using meditation headbands or guided programs. In addition to these options, one can use essential oils, adaptogens, or sleep aids to feel better on flight.
FAQs (Best Things to Take for Airplane Anxiety)
Is Airplane Anxiety Normal?
A fear of flying can be due to various reasons like claustrophobia, a phobia of germs, or general anxiety. This fear is definitely very common as a lot of people experience it. It is “normal” as long as it doesn’t cause you any clinically significant level of impairment.
Can I Drink to Deal with Airplane Anxiety?
Doctors do not recommend drinking to calm airplane anxiety. This is because alcohol can leave you dehydrated in a flight causing mood changes. If you do sleep after a drink, you won’t get enough REM sleep and you might wake up with a hangover.
Is Airplane Anxiety Treatable?
Airplane anxiety can be treated using an eclectic approach of many different techniques. Primarily, treatment involves either cognitive therapy or pharmacotherapy. In addition to this, one can try aromatherapy, dietary supplements, and adaptogens.