Life Hacks | Did You Know

This Trick Could Calm Your Nerves While Flying

Does the idea of boarding a plane and coasting tens of thousands of feet in the air make your palms sweaty and give you a knot in your stomach?

Many people find airline travel to be unnerving especially when turbulence kicks in.

More than 20 million people suffer from aviophobia, which is a fear of flying.

From take off to landing, and turbulence along of the way, a bumpy ride doesn't help those fearful flyers.

While airplane turbulence is a perfectly normal and is very rarely dangerous, it can be hard to ignore that sinking feeling when your plane drops while thousands of feet in the air.

Apparently there is one method that could calm your fears when soaring high in the sky.

Continue to the next page to find out what it is.

Turbulence can happen at any time with wind, storms, jet streams and objects near the plane causing the aircraft to drop or suddenly change altitude.

In a recent study, bumps and drops are about to take a turn for the worse thanks to climate change. It is projected that this year of an increase of 149% in heavy turbulence, 94% in moderate turbulence and 59% in light turbulence.

"However, even the most seasoned frequent flyers may be alarmed at the prospect of a 149% increase in severe turbulence, which frequently hospitalizes air travelers and flight attendants around the world," said Dr. Paul Williams in a press release.

The Today Show on NBC News trialed one trick that was supposed to distract your brain from perceived danger.

Captain Ron Nielson, a pilot who has been flying for 40 years, told the show that the trick is to write your name over and over using your non-dominant hand.

So if you're right-handed, use your left hand. If you're left-handed, use your right hand to write.


Why does this trick work?

He said it does two things. First, it gets you to focus on something specific instead of the turbulence. It also crosses over motor function in your brain, using a different side of it from usual which disrupts your thinking.

So does it work?

The show's producer, Jovanna Billington, who is terrified of flying went into a turbulence simulator to test the theory out.

While she was skeptical, it did in fact pull her attention away from the turbulence completely.

What if it doesn't work?

"Here's what you do," said Capt. Nielsen. "You grab a drinking straw. Start breathing through it." This restricts your air flow, preventing you from hyperventilating "” which could make you feel even worse when you're already anxious.

Next time you're flying, give it a try and see if it works for you too!

Do you get nervous when you fly? Share your tricks with us in the comments.