HOW TO COPE WITH TURBULENT FLIGHTS

Oct 24, 2014 | Fashion

Wouldn’t it be quite convenient to pull a ghost moment at your will, and appear wherever and whenever,as the need arises… Now that would be quite a convenient special power .. Oh well, special powers are still a myth, and the closest we can get to “ghost-mode” is flying to our destination.

Regardless of how seldom/frequently we fly , the chances are : At least once in our lifetime, we would encounter a slightly bumpy flight or for the really lucky ones…a really bumpy flight…Right up till fairly recently, I found turbulent flights very unsettling,, Okay, scratch that.. I LIVED IN MORBID FEAR OF TURBULENCE.. What started off as a slight dread, incubated and hatched.. An abject terror of flying was borne.. I would literally almost become a blubbering mess at bumpy flights..

How many of us have been here????:

1.At each jarring encounter or  bump, we hold on tightly to our arm rests and exclaim loudly to our maker  repeatedly..
2.We peer anxiously  through the windows at the elements and feel our heartbeats slamming at the rate of..err..$$$$… and close our eyes anxiously when we see the plane is about to inveigle its way through the angry clouds..
3.Peer anxiously at the faces of the Air hostess/es and imagine all sorts of panicked reactions fleeting through their faces.
4.Grip a stranger (your neighbours hands) tightly and just generally carry on in a state of acute panic
5. …and in the most extreme cases..the scariest shakiest moments: WE WET OUR PANTS

Now the list above is merely a broad/slightly humorous roundup of some of my experiences during bumpy flights..This leads to the bigger question.. Why do we get anxious at bumpy flights?

I am going to speak for myself …

a. It is actually very disconcerting and quite uncomfortable.

b. I felt I was going to die any minute….

c.I don’t want to die in a plane crash..

d. I feel like it would be quite a painful way to go..and the thought scares me..

e. I hate the sight and sounds of alarm and distress of the passengers..

 

This leads to the even bigger question.. Why do flights get bumpy in the first place.?? ..

In lay man terms, turbulence is the irregular fluctuations of wind due to change in the weather. Flights get bumpy due to turbulence.. There are various types of turbulence and reasons for bumpy flights.. It may be worth equipping ourselves with a better knowledge of it.. I found this a super great
read:http://www.cntraveler.com/stories/2014-02-19/united-airlines-mid-air-scare-prevent-turbulence-related-injuries

I noted these 2 points:

a.Crashes hardly happen as a result of turbulence, the plane is equipped to handle much more ..
b. Prior to the flight, the airline is well aware of the weather conditions and what to expect.They would not fly if they felt it dangerous..Trust the pilot..

I have only recently started reaching a semblance of peace or almost tranquility at flights.. Here’s my coping mechanism..

Phase 1: Firstly, I realise that exclaiming and being in a general state of panic aggravates and worsens the experience of a severely turbulent flight. What I find helpful is sitting still..breathing in and out deeply and keeping my eyes closed.While I am in this position, I meditate on different words..repeat them in my head and I feel the stress dissipating greatly.. At my last flight, I kept repeating. ‘Be Still and Know that I am God”..IT REALLY HELPED..

Phase 2:Secondly, I also think of the really unlikely case of my demise as a result of the plane crashing.. If this is to be my fate.. No amount of screaming would change it.. Why not be calm and dignified, whilst making peace with your maker and making sure you are headed in the right direction, if indeed it is time..This thought actually keeps me focused and in check..rather than waste my breath screaming, hyperventilating or imagining all sorts.. I say a heartfelt prayer and leave everything in God’s hands..

Phase3:After going through phase 1 and 2 of my calming process.. I start my positive confessions and general upbeat behaviour.. I think of all my loved ones.. Family, friends, work colleagues and generally everyone in my life.. I start confessing positively about them..Say for example..my mind goes to my darling niece Yore, my thoughts would be as follows “Yore is such a great girl, she would grow up to be special..She will succeed in life, be a source of pride and joy….and on I go.. CONJURING HER VIVIDLY IN MY MIND AND WISHING HER PEACE, GOODLUCK AND BEST WISHES..iT MAY SOUND CRAZY BUT THIS TOTALLY WORKS FOR ME.. I AM SO IMMERSED IN THOUGHTS OF PEOPLE, WHAT THEY MAY BE FACING, PROFESSING POSITIVE THOUGHTS TO THEM AND THEIR LIVES THAT IT SORT OF NEGATES THE IMPACT OF THE TURBULENT FLIGHT..I am transported somewhere else in my mind.. The deep positive thoughts  enfold me with waves of love and joy .. It is a very intense feeling and takes up all my attention..

Yore and I

Yore and I

Yes, I still feel the impact of the bumpy flights, but they are not soo scary anymore.. I am focused/busy on other thoughts..happier thoughts..

This is my coping mechanism.. What is yours??

 

Stay calm at the face of everything and you can process things more logically with a level head..

 

Sincerely,

Ezinne Chinkata

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