MILLIONS of Brits are eager to get away this summer, following two years of travel bans and restrictions.

However, for those who are anxious about flying, getting on a flight can be less fun and more fear.

This fear of flying, termed aerophobia, affects up to one in 10 of the population according to Anxiety UK and can result in panic attacks, anxiety, hyperventilating, sweating and dizziness.

Not only this, but the pandemic itself has led to a rise in anxiety over flying.

Transformational wellness coach Aysha Bell has put together a selection of calming techniques, which allows her to travel peacefully, with less fear.

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Slow down your breath

It sounds basic, but breathing can be a game changer when it comes to controlling anxiety.

Aysha recommends diaphragmatic breathing, also known as belly breathing, to help overcome a fear of flying.

She said: “Unfortunately our natural reaction to stress is to hold our breath and take shallow breaths, but if you can work on long slow deep intakes into the belly, you will feel an almost instant
sense of calm.

“The aim is to breathe into the lower part of the lungs, which will fill up the diaphragm."

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Pre-flight movement

Exercise also is something that can help people to relax before a flight.

Aysha explains that it doesn’t need to be an intense workout. Instead, just do "what feels good for you".

She said: “You may be a runner or someone who really enjoys boxing or HIIT, or maybe just take the dog for a walk- it is really up to the individual to choose what they feel they would benefit from.

"Personally, I like to do a hip opening yoga sequence; we store a lot of tension and stress in the hips so opening up these areas can be very calming, plus, if you are sitting in a chair for a longer flight, it will make you more comfortable as well.”

Try a self-massage

Physical touch can be a powerful aid to help people's relaxation and, by finding the right pressure points, stress can be rubbed away.

Aysha said: "There are various pressure points on the body that can quickly start to have calming effects, helping to reduce anxiety and stress.

“There is a point at the top and inside the ear called the heavenly gate point that you can massage. Start on the top inside the ear and apply gentle pressure.

"Work your way down to the ear lobe, massaging for around two minutes. It's extremely effective for calming."

Choose your drinks wisely

A cup of coffee before an early flight is a great way to wake up, but it can send a heart rate rocketing, which when paired with travel fear, is an easy way to increased anxiety.

Caffeine increases adrenaline which will make it harder to relax.
Instead, Aysha recommends sipping cold water.

She said: “Dehydration can affect the body and brain causing anxiety.

"Planes can make you dehydrated, so keeping water levels up on a flight not only makes you feel generally much better, it will help to create a sense of calm for a nervous passenger."

Get organised

The feeling of throwing everything into a case for a holiday is definitely exciting.

But the flying fear certainly isn’t helped by doing things in a frantic rush.

Aysha says that it’s best to be prepared in order to avoid getting yourself into a state of panic on arrival at the airport.

She said: “It is really important to keep everything as calm, relaxed, and simple as possible.

"Arriving nice and early, having forms filled out in advance, liquids already separated, passports and tickets at the ready etc will help you feel more in control – which is one of the biggest trigger factors in people who are scared of flying.”

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