How to Overcome Your Fear of Air Travel

How to Overcome Your Fear of Air Travel

Nervous flier? Try out these tips to make your next flight stress-free.

As Erica Jong, author of the 1973 feminist novel Fear of Flying, wrote, way down deep almost everyone has a fear of letting go. But air travel is incredibly safe, and a fear of flying is disproportionate to the actual danger.

If you’re part of the 30 percent of folks who are nervous fliers, here’s the trick to overcoming your anxieties: A meta-study of available research shows that many folks with this fear spend time in the days or even weeks before a scheduled flight worrying about potential crashes and stirring up anxiety. Learning to control cascading fears by recognizing your catastrophizing thoughts and using mindful meditation to clear them away is powerfully helpful. Phobias tend to diminish or go away when you acknowledge them instead of fight them, and then slowly expose yourself to the imagined risk. Check out more ways to stay calm on your next flight at, and track your stress levels with the Sharecare app for iOS and Android.

Medically reviewed in March 2020.

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