travel kits
Courtesy of Travel Kits.

Here’s How You Can Stop Flight Anxiety, According to BrainTap’s Experts

Learn more inside.

Aviophobia is the fear of flying. It’s not the act of being on the airplane that causes people to freeze and become anxious, nervous, and upset but how our brain processes the thoughts of anxiety that cause fear. The brain spirals into a kinetic catastrophe scenario or feels trapped without the ability to make decisions. This causes the brain to shut down and trigger a sympathetic response which causes anxiety and frustration.

We spoke to the experts at BrainTap to give us some pointers for dealing with flight anxiety. It may not affect some of us, but for those of us that it does, it can become a crippling thing to deal with. Keep reading to learn more!

burnt out
Image: iStock

Here’s How You Can Stop Flight Anxiety, According to BrainTap’s Experts

How does anxiety affect the brain?

Anxiety affects the brain in many ways. The main way regarding concern is that when we’re stressed, our blood vessels restrict. Where it restricts most in the brain in the hippocampus. The hippocampus controls how we receive, formulate memories, and decide about future events. So when we’re under stress, it hampers our ability to complete tasks. For example, we’ve all had a situation where we are asked to do something we know how to do.

We’ve practiced the skill on our own and are proficient at it. When we’re asked to perform the same task in front of peers or in a situation where we perceive we’re being judged, the same information is not delivered to our brain, muscles, ligaments, and tendons in the same way. We experience difficulty performing the same task. Under this stress, the brain then escalates the sensation or feeling of the unknown into feelings of anxiety and stress, and even depression. Prolonged exposure to this sensation will cause the brain to shrink. Studies have shown that during COVID, the average brain shrank three-quarters of an inch due to stress.

Next question, how can folks manage anxiety around flying?

My first solution is downloading the BrainTap App and listening to our Fear of Flying audio sessions. We have a series called Blue Sky that works very well. If they don’t have the BrainTap App, which you can download for free at, I recommend changing how they breathe.

Breathing is a key component in regulating heart rate variability. It also works to mitigate the problems that stress causes in the body. I recommend people breathe into the mental count of four and then breathe out to the mental count of eight. They connect the breath as they live in and out, so there’s always an activity to focus on. They’re either breathing in or they’re breathing out. We want them to imagine wherever their destination is and imagine two to three fun things they will do or imagine an enjoyable memory from that place. If they’re on their way home, they can imagine how wonderful it will feel to sleep in their bed or have the comforts of their home around them again. Anything that brings them joy and brings about a sensation or feeling of gratitude to replace the negative emotions of stress and anxiety.

travel outfit ideas
Image: via Blonde Salad

What are some core methods to cope with in flight?

First, I’d recommend practicing the breathing techniques mentioned above. Number two is to make sure you hydrate during the flight. I recommend eight ounces for every hour on the flight. Studies have shown that dehydration can amplify feelings of stress and anxiety. I recommend doubling your water intake the day before travel to avoid dehydration. On a normal day, you should drink half your body weight in ounces of water. For example, weighing 150 pounds, you should drink 75 ounces of water daily. When we get dehydrated because of the atmosphere, then that can cause our physiology to trigger sensations and feelings of anxiety and stress because the body is craving water. Finally,

I would avoid alcohol on the plane. Alcohol is a short-term solution to a long-term problem and can amplify feelings of anxiety, stress, and depression. Focusing on breathing deeply and the positive is key to stopping feelings of stress while in flight. If you can do those two things, you may need to bring a travel pillow on board because you may find yourself relaxing enough to fall asleep and awakening as the plane lands.

What is brain fitness, and why is it important to overall health?

Brain fitness is our capacity to make change happen in our world. Our body can’t be completely fit if our brain isn’t fit. The brain is the control center of our world. When we think about brain fitness, we need to think about how our brain processes our life experiences—what we see, hear, and experience. Some people can handle high-stress levels, which doesn’t bother them. Other people have low levels of stress, and it amplifies anxiety and even depression. This is caused by the brain’s inability to process information. In science, we call our ability to create change in our world neuroplasticity because it’s how our brain reshapes around the situations or circumstances in our lives.

If we don’t practice neuro-plastic change, we don’t have the benefit of brain fitness. Returning to flying and ways to stay comfortable and relaxed, it’s important to only eat a light meal before flying because when you’re at high altitudes, you want blood flow in your brain, not centered in your gut. You are flying at 1000s of feet above the earth and hundreds of miles an hour. Your brain needs to make sense of what’s happening.

Part of the anxiety is your brain wondering what you’re doing. Number two, to keep the brain fit, it’s important to practice movement and
breathwork. I already gave you examples of breathwork, but it’s also important to incorporate things like yoga, dancing, or tai chi. These are simple things to include to keep the body moving and breathing. When stressed, the blood vessels constrict, and the muscles and ligaments tighten. Prolonged exposure to stress causes the brain to think this is our normal state of being, creating the stress response.

Brain fitness in the form of mindfulness meditations, listening to classical music, and brain-tapping are ways to accelerate the brain’s capacity to handle and manage change. The whole idea of brain fitness is to create flexibility in the brain like we make more flexibility when we work out at the gym. Brain fitness building strength, stamina, and the fortitude to meet your day at

Deep Sleep Support

Magnesium Breakthrough

Want to fall asleep faster and all through the night?


3X The Value Of Food


Want to absorb ALL the valuable nutrients from your food?

Improve Your Digestion

Good Bacteria Support


Want to protect your body from bad bacteria that’s causing bloating?


Zeen is a next generation WordPress theme. It’s powerful, beautifully designed and comes with everything you need to engage your visitors and increase conversions.

Top 3 Stories

More Stories
How to Protect Your Health and Energy During the End of Daylight Savings Time