This relaxation is for panic attacks when flying. Most people experience at least some anxiety in airports or on planes, but for some, flying causes panic attacks. This relaxation script will help to decrease the stress associated with flying and stop the anxiety experienced on air planes and in airports.
You can use this relaxation script while at the airport, when flying, or in preparation for flying to help visualize flying calmly. You can use this script to get rid of panic attacks when flying.
Before you begin this panic attacks when flying script, start by finding a place to sit or stand and making yourself as comfortable as possible. If you cannot find a place to be still, pause this audio, and resume when you can sit down or stand near a wall. This is to make sure that you are safe. Relaxation occupies your attention, and it can be unsafe to listen to relaxation audio when you are trying to walk. Do not listen to this audio while driving or during any other activity that requires your attention.
Now that you have found a place to sit or stand, let’s begin to decrease panic attacks when flying. Get as comfortable as you can. You are going to be feeling better soon. Let’s start by relaxing your body. You will find that as your muscles start to relax, you feel mentally calmer as well.
Find one spot to focus your gaze. You might want to hold a newspaper, and focus on that, or you may want to look at a spot on the wall. Perhaps you would like to close your eyes. Do whatever feels comfortable, either focusing on one spot, or closing your eyes.
Move your shoulders up toward your ears, close your hands into fists, and tighten the muscles of your arms. Now let that tension go, lowering your shoulders, and opening your hands as you relax. Let the tension leave your neck, shoulders and arms.
Take a deep breath in…and now breathe out slowly.
Breathe in…and out…
Keep breathing slowly like this. Your deep, calm breaths can relax you.
Focus all of your attention on these words…allowing your concentration to deepen…focused…concentrating…
Think about your feet. Focus completely on your feet…noticing how your feet feel right now.
Notice that as you concentrate on your feet, they are becoming warmer…and feeling a bit more relaxed…without you doing anything at all. Feel your feet relaxing…becoming so relaxed…all on their own…
Even your ankles are starting to relax…
Concentrate on your lower legs…noticing how your lower legs feel. Don’t try to change anything…just think about your lower legs.
Notice that the warmth is spreading from your feet and ankles…up to your lower legs.
Your legs and feet are starting to feel heavy…and the muscles feel so loose…the more you focus…the more limp the muscles become…so very relaxed and still…very heavy…relaxed…
Concentrate on your knees. Just think about how your knees feel. Your knees, too, start to feel a little different as you focus on them. The more you think about your knees, the more you notice how heavy they are…feeling warm…pleasantly relaxed…
Focus on your upper legs. How do your upper legs feel? Think about your upper legs…and notice the muscles becoming softer…more relaxed…with no effort from you. All on their own, your legs are relaxing…feeling so heavy…
Your legs feel like they are made of liquid lead…so heavy…yet so fluid…no tension…warm and relaxed.
Concentrate on your hips. Feel your hips becoming relaxed…naturally…automatically…
Think about your stomach and lower back…focus all your attention on this region of your body…feel the warmth at your core…so warm…and so relaxed…radiating warmth and relaxation…all the muscles are relaxing and becoming loose…the relaxation happens all on its own…you are just an observer…
Focus on your chest, sides, and upper back. Feel your calm, gentle breaths moving your entire upper body in and out…gently…calmly…such a relaxed feeling…
Feel the muscles of your chest relaxing…and the muscles of your sides becoming relaxed…the muscles of your back are becoming so relaxed…as you think about this area of your body, it becomes filled with relaxation and warmth…
Think about your hands…feel your hands getting warm…very warm…and very heavy…loose and open…naturally and easily becoming relaxed…
Focus on your wrists…feel the warmth continue to your wrists.
Concentrate on your lower arms and elbows…just think about your arms. Notice your arms becoming heavy…like liquid lead…soft and relaxed…heavy…sinking…
Think about your upper arms…notice that your upper arms are starting to feel different…you are simply observing, without doing anything at all.
Notice the relaxation here…your upper arms are feeling very heavy…and warm…
Focus on your shoulders. As you think about your shoulders, you can feel them sinking…ever so slowly sinking downward…feeling so heavy…so soft and relaxed…liquid…
Think about your neck…feel the muscles here relaxing…becoming loose….
Focus on your face…feel your face softening…all on it’s own…relaxing…
Think about your head…notice how your head is relaxing…letting go of the tension in your scalp…
Notice your whole body…feel the warmth and relaxation coursing through your body…so heavy…just like liquid lead…
Just enjoy this relaxed feeling…observing passively…just observing what it is like to be relaxed….
You can become relaxed whenever you need to, just by noticing your body and allowing the relaxation to occur naturally.
Now that you are feeling more relaxed, I would like to talk to you about panic attacks when flying. As I talk, you may find that you become even more relaxed…that the feeling of relaxation deepens…as you become more and more deeply relaxed….
You are safe right now…whether you are in the airport, in a plane, or thinking about an upcoming trip. You are going to be okay. Worrying is not going to help you be any safer than you already are…in fact, worrying will serve no purpose besides to make you feel anxious. Worrying leads to panic attacks when flying.
When the anxiety comes up, just notice how it feels, and allow it to pass. Don’t try to fight the anxiety or make it go away…it will go away all on it’s own. Panic attacks when flying will go away without any input from you.
The thing you can control the most right now is your thinking. When people feel anxious or experience panic attacks when flying, they often have upsetting images or thoughts go through their minds.
If you are feeling anxious right now or have panic attacks when flying, you probably have many scary thoughts. It’s okay to acknowledge those thoughts. Let’s do that right now. Thoughts that lead to panic attacks when flying include thoughts like these:
Maybe you think the plane will crash.
Perhaps you feel crowded and think you aren’t getting enough air.
Maybe you think people are going to notice how scared you are.
Perhaps you think people are thinking bad things about you.
Maybe you think the plane is going to explode.
You may think a terrorist is going to hijack the plane.
Maybe you think the wings of the plane will fall off.
You might think the plane will fall out of the sky.
You may think the plane will catch on fire.
Maybe you think the plane will crash as it lands.
You might have other scary thoughts, too.
It’s normal to have some negative thoughts like these go through your mind once in a while, but these things are not going to happen. Don’t try to fight the way you feel when these thoughts come up. It is normal to feel anxious when thinking about scary things. Panic attacks when flying can be caused by these scary thoughts.
You can control what you choose to focus on. You don’t need to worry about controlling what thoughts come up, but you do need to choose what to focus your attention on.
When a negative thought comes up, such as “the plane is going to crash,” simply allow it to pass, and focus your mind on something else. Let’s practice that now.
Focus on these words, concentrating as much as you can on what I am saying.
You are safe. You are going to be okay.
Focus on your muscles…noticing which ones have become tense. Focus on one tense area…and feel the tension decreasing…little by little…until that spot is relaxed. Keep concentrating on areas of tension, one by one…and allowing each one to become relaxed…
Concentrate now on creating a positive image in your mind. Think of a safe, peaceful place…let’s imagine a cabin by a calm lake. The cabin is close to the water…a small path leads from the cabin door to a dock. A rowboat floats next to the dock.
The lakeside is made up of soft sand…a small, clean beach. At each end of the beach are round pebbles and large, smooth rocks. Imagine standing on the beach. Next to you on one side is the lake…and on the other side is grass and the cabin…and behind the cabin large, beautiful trees.
Imagine all the details of this place…a place of complete safety and serenity.
Any time you feel afraid, you can focus on this safe place and feel calm again. While you imagine your safe place, I would like to talk to you about flying…and about panic attacks when flying.
Your plane is going to take off safely.
You are going to have a safe flight.
There may be turbulence, but it will not hurt you.
You will have a safe landing.
You are going to get off the plane perfectly safe.
No one notices if you feel anxious, because the anxiety is inside and not something anyone can see by looking at you. Other people may feel anxious too. The people around you are not focused on you.
You will be able to congratulate yourself for getting through the flight calmly.
If you experience panic attacks when flying, you have probably become so accustomed to picturing scary things, flying seems terrifying. You can replace these frightening images with positive ones…and make the positive images so familiar that they become automatic.
Imagine that you are getting ready for a trip that involves air travel. See yourself packing your things and thinking about the trip, feeling calm.
Picture the journey to the airport. Imagine all the details of this trip, and imagine being completely calm as you travel to the airport.
See yourself arriving at the airport, still calm…in control…feeling good.
Imagine the things that you would do at the airport…checking in…getting your boarding pass…checking your bags…going through security…see yourself calmly completing each step…feeling at ease…feeling confident…unhurried…easily completing each step…
Imagine getting ready to board a plane, feeling completely calm. Imagine what it would be like to be perfectly calm while boarding a plane.
Picture getting on the plane, and finding your seat, still calm and serene.
Imagine settling into your seat, and feeling comfortable…even if the space is small, you feel relaxed, comfortable, and calm.
See in your mind, the plane taking off…taxiing down the runway…lifting smoothly into the air…getting further up into the sky…
Flying is such an amazing thing to do…up with the clouds…flying in the sky…imagine flying in the plane, so calm and relaxed…enjoying the flight. Imagine what this would be like. See yourself flying and enjoying yourself.
Imagine encountering some turbulence. Imagine the bumps you will feel…and imagine feeling calm, knowing that this is normal and safe.
See yourself flying in the plane…maybe looking out the window…maybe reading…maybe sleeping…you may even be a little bored. All the while you are calm.
Imagine arriving at your destination. See the plane gliding down toward the airport, getting closer to the ground…and eventually touching down on the runway…slowing to a stop.
Picture getting off the plane, still feeling calm. Imagine congratulating yourself for getting through this so calmly. Imagine how you would feel…so happy…triumphant.
You can run through this visualization over and over again, until you automatically picture calmly, safely flying whenever you think about airplanes.
For the remainder of this relaxation for panic attacks when flying exercise, I will just talk you through whatever you are experiencing right now. Whether you are thinking about flying, you have an upcoming trip, are in an airport, or on a plane, I’ll be here to talk you through it for the next few minutes.
You are safe right now.
You are getting all the air you need. Your body knows how much air it needs. There is plenty of oxygen available, and you are getting enough air in your lungs.
You are getting through this.
The plane is safe…it is going to take off, fly, and land perfectly safely.
The flight is going to go well. You will arrive safely at your destination.
It’s okay to be anxious…anxiety will not last forever. Soon you will be feeling very calm.
Allow yourself to feel however you are feeling right now, without fighting or resisting. Just observe how you are feeling…notice how you feel physically…and mentally…without trying to change anything.
You can relax your muscles any time you need to. Notice your muscles now. Find that when you concentrate on an area, it automatically becomes more relaxed. I’ll name some areas to concentrate on. Focus completely on each one.
Notice your shoulders. Focus completely on your shoulders.
Your upper body.
Your lower body.
Your whole body.
Now just let your mind drift. You don’t need to focus on anything at all.
You are safe…protected…everything is fine.
You are okay…you are getting through this…you are doing well…
You are able to fly without panic attacks…experiencing no more panic attacks when flying…no more panic attacks when flying or in airports or when thinking about flying…just calm…feeling confident…no more panic attacks when flying…no more panic attacks when flying…no more panic attacks when flying…no more panic attacks when flying…finished with panic attacks when flying…overcoming panic attacks when flying…
You can go to the airport and get on a plane and fly and feel calm throughout the process…you can get through it with ease…you are so much stronger than the panic you have experienced in the past…
The panic attacks have no control over you. Panic attacks cannot hurt you. You are free from panic attacks when flying…free because you know that even if you experience panic, you will get through it. The panic will go away. It will not last long. It is no big deal. Since you know that anxiety is no big deal, you have no fear of becoming anxious…you are not even worried about facing your former fears because you know you can do it.
You are getting through this, right now. You’re here…and you’re okay…even if you feel anxious…even if you feel afraid…you are here. You are coping. You are getting through this experience, and you are going to be just fine. You will feel so good and be so proud of yourself when this is over, because you can look back and know that you got through this.
You are doing well.
Whenever you need a mental vacation…or need to take a break…think back to your imaginary safe place…the cabin by the lake…and picture the details there. Imagine that you are there…relaxing…maybe sitting in a lawn chair on the beach…maybe floating in the rowboat and gazing up at clouds drifting by…see yourself relaxing at this beautiful place.
Imagine this peaceful place for as long as you like.
You have completed this relaxation for panic attacks when flying exercise. Keep a feeling of relaxation with you as you continue with your day. You may choose to return to full alertness now, or to drift off to sleep. I will count from ten to one. If you decide to reawaken, become more alert and awake with each number. If you decide to sleep, drift deeper into sleep with each number. Whether you become awake or fall asleep, continue to feel calm, confident, and relaxed.