For someone who travels a lot – both for pleasure and for work as Citizen Femme’s beauty editor – you might imagine that flying is second nature to me. Unfortunately, I’m definitely a nervous flyer.
From feelings of nausea when actually on the plane to generalised anxiety in the lead-up to flights, the number of people who reportedly struggle with a fear of flying is said to be one in ten in the UK, and I’m one of them. For a long time there wasn’t much help out there – aside from avoiding planes (which isn’t practical), trying hypnotherapy (which is expensive), or hoping sleeping pills would take effect (even if they left us groggy on the other end).
Luckily though, wellness tech innovations are slowly making a difference for mild to moderate anxiety, with devices and technology that can help calm heightened nerves and soothe busy minds both before and during your flight. Here are five of the best tech solutions if you are a nervous flyer.
Therabody Smart Goggles
With the combined effect of facial massage, heat, vibration, and linked meditation exercises, Therabody’s goggles have the ability to transform your mindset, especially before long-haul flights. Made from soft leather and with an easily adjustable strap, this cross between an AI headset, facial massager and a traditional light-reducing mask has three settings: Focus, Sleep and SmartRelax, which last 15 minutes each. The customisable levels of kneading pressure and warmth around your temples are an incredibly effective way to soothe anxiety-induced headaches and the device also uses SmartSense technology to slow down your heart rate by encouraging it to mimic the massage rhythm. I can confirm that my smartwatch recorded the difference. The final piece of the puzzle is the ability to connect to the TheraMind app, which provides access to calming sound therapy exercises that are particularly helpful for pre-flight jitters. The tech may be bulkier than a fabric mask in your hand luggage, despite being foldable, but if you’re going to pack one thing (aside from your passport) make it this.
Dyson Zone Headphones
First Dyson made light work of cleaning our homes, then it revolutionised our haircare routines. Now, the tech engineering giants have set their sights on the wellness industry, with the launch of Dyson Zone. Noise cancelling headphones are a must for nervous flyers on flights, helping you block out the outside world to help encourage a more peaceful slumber. This set provides an almost surround-sound effect that allows you to cocoon yourself in calming music or your favourite podcast to distract yourself from the hectic, uncomfortable plane environment. Plus, the impressive battery life means one less thing to worry about. The tech also comes with a removable air purifier attachment that does make everything a little more sci-fi, but if you worry about catching colds and other illnesses on flights due to the recycled air, then it could also soothe those fears.
Calm Meditation App
The number one app for sleep, meditation and relaxation, Calm is the perfect flying companion especially as, being phone-based, it doesn’t take up space in your carry-on. With over 100 million downloads and over 1.5 million five star reviews, there’s a reason it’s so trusted by professional women flying for business (many of whom use it before big presentations as well to calm unsteady nerves). The hours and hours of audio content, available in seven languages, allow you to practice breathing, sound therapy and meditative techniques in a format that suits you – and you don’t have to worry that you are stuck with just one practitioner’s voice who might irritate you. Whether you want to tackle your stress levels, achieve better sleep or soothe your emotions, there’s something for everyone. For me, it’s helped stop restlessness in the nights leading up to a flight, as well as being something to reach for when I feel agitated on the plane.
Apple Air Tag
If your anxiety about flying extends to stress-induced dreams about losing your luggage, and with it all your favourite outfits, this might be the best £29 you’ve ever spent. I bought one after a stressful experience during the British airport delays last summer and haven’t looked back – even buying some for friends and family at Christmas. The size of a chocolate button, the discreet tag can be popped into your luggage and, using the Find My feature on your phone, you can track your bag once it’s checked in. As you might expect, you need an Apple device to use one, and it can sometimes take a while to update as it needs to send out a Bluetooth signal to be detected, but it’s a simple way to give yourself slightly more peace of mind. You’ll certainly be a little less nervous at the baggage carousel.
Any nervous flyer has probably tried a vast array of aromatherapy tinctures to quieten their minds and help them doze off mid-flight. What Calmigo does is supercharge that process. The drug-free, patented technology-based device gets to work on managing stress and anxiety in just three minutes (so less time than it takes to get your liquids out at security). Supported by an impressive eight independent clinical studies, the technology combines three proven techniques to activate the ‘calming’ parasympathetic nervous system. Breathing into the device is specifically designed to regulate your breath pattern, slowing down your heart rate. This is then paired with sense activation to distract your mind from panic, with the combination of the lights, gentle vibration in your hand and, of course, the calming scent of pure aromatherapy oils, making it so much easier to switch-off before you fly.
Lead image: Therabody
We may earn a commission if you buy something from any affiliate links on our site.