When we panic or feel anxious, our breathing gets shallow and fast. The sensation of this alone can cause us to feel even more panicked. There are various different breathing exercises that you can try, to find which one helps to reduce your panic. Being familiar with one of these, so that you can use it if you begin to feel uncomfortable, is one of the easiest ways of calming yourself down as you wait for your flight, or become nervous in the air. Try them out, and pick one that fits well with you. Then take time to practice it for a few moments each day so that if you need to use the pattern, it will come naturally to you.
Here you exhale fully, then breathe in all the way down to the bottom of your tummy while counting up to 7. Now exhale long and slow, while counting at the same pace but this time to eleven. This forces your exhale to be extended longer than your inhale, mimicking the natural relaxed breathing rate that we do when we are calm and comfortable. Repeat.
Exhale fully to the count of four as you imagine drawing a line up one side of a square. Inhale fully to the count of four as you imagine drawing the line across the top of the square. Exhale fully to the count of four as you imagine drawing the line down the other side of the square. Inhale fully to the count of four as you imagine drawing the fourth line to complete the bottom of the square. Repeat.
Inhale fully and deeply. Now imagine that you are gently breathing out over a candle flame. Not enough to make it go out, but just enough to make it dance around. Picturing the candle flame will help to distract you from the panic.
Alternatives to deep breathing for fear of flying anxiety
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