"Fly high, fear less”: How breathing exercises can help with aerophobia
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"Fly high, fear less”: How breathing exercises can help with aerophobia

January 30th, 2023,

5 min read

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Aerophobia is a specific phobia. People with aerophobia experience a strong fear or anxiety when thinking about flying, or when they are in an airplane or airport. This fear can be so severe that it interferes with their ability to travel by air, and can have a significant impact on their daily life and overall well-being. Common symptoms of aerophobia include: feelings of panic, shortness of breath, sweating and a rapid heartbeat. However, with the right tools, it is possible to manage and overcome aerophobia.

Breathing exercises are a helpful tool for individuals who suffer from aerophobia. They can help to reduce anxiety and promote relaxation, both of which are essential for managing the symptoms of this phobia. This is because when we are stressed, our breathing becomes shallow and rapid, which can contribute to feelings of panic or claustrophobia. Not only do these exercises help calm the mind and relax the body, but they also improve oxygen flow to the brain, which can also help combat feelings of fatigue and jet lag.

By practicing breathing exercises, you can learn to slow down your breathing and take in more oxygen, which can help to calm the mind and reduce feelings of anxiety. Here are four breathing exercises that you can try while on a plane to help you feel more relaxed and refreshed:

  1. The first breathing exercise is called “diaphragmatic breathing”, which involves breathing deeply into the diaphragm, rather than shallowly into the chest. This type of breathing can help to slow down the heart rate and decrease feelings of anxiety.
  2. Another useful breathing exercise is the “4-7-8” breathing technique. This technique involves inhaling for a count of four seconds, holding the breath for a count of seven seconds and exhaling for a count of eight seconds. This exercise can help to slow down the breath and promote feelings of calm and relaxation.
  3. “Box breathing” is a breathing technique that helps to regulate the breath and bring a sense of calm to the body. To practice box breathing, sit comfortably in your seat and close your eyes. Inhale deeply for four seconds, hold your breath for four seconds, exhale for four seconds and hold again for four seconds. Repeat this process for several minutes.
  4. A last breathing exercise is “alternate nostril breathing”. This is a breathing technique that helps to balance the energy flows in the body and reduces stress. Sit comfortably and again close your eyes. Hold your right thumb over your right nostril and inhale deeply through your left nostril. Close both nostrils and hold your breath for a few seconds. Release your right thumb and exhale through your right nostril. Inhale through your right nostril and then exhale through your left nostril. Repeat this process for several minutes.

It is important to note that breathing exercises alone may not be the solution for everyone, and some may need to seek professional help such as therapy or medication. But incorporating breathing exercises as a part of the treatment plan can be a helpful tool in managing aerophobia.

In conclusion, breathing exercises can be a powerful tool for managing anxiety and stress during a flight. By practicing these exercises regularly, you can help manage your symptoms, improve your overall sense of well-being and enjoy a more comfortable and relaxed flight experience.

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