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MeditationFear of Flying

Fear of Flying

No amount of rational argument or logic can change how we feel...but this exercise is intended to offer room to breathe and find calm. Designed to be done prior to boarding the plane, this exercise focuses attention on a part of the body, to root you in the present moment and interrupt the loop of anxiety before take-off.

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Hi, and welcome to the Headspace Fear of Flying Exercise. So over the next few minutes, I'm gonna take you through a short exercise which will allow you to step out of the thoughts in your mind, to be a bit more present in the body. So normally when we feel very anxious, the mind gets very busy. As a consequence, we start to experience those feelings, those thoughts in our body as well. So the body gets very tense. That feeds back to the mind, and we get into a really difficult cycle where it feels almost inescapable. But with this particular technique, as I say, it allows us to step out of the thoughts. And when we're more present in the body, we almost short-circuit that loop of anxiety. And as a result, both the body and the mind feel calmer and clearer. So no matter whether you're just about to fly or whether you're already on the plane, just take a moment to get as comfortable as you can, preferably sitting upright. And just take a couple of nice, big, deep breaths. So breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth. So no matter what thoughts are around, no matter what's going on, just take a couple of nice, big, deep breaths, breathing deeply through the nose, exhale through the mouth. Just one more time, and this time, as you exhale, gently closing the eyes. And just feeling the weight of your body pressing down into the seat beneath you, supported by the seat beneath you. Feeling the contact of your feet resting on the floor, supported by the floor beneath you. And the feeling of the hands and the arms just resting on the legs. Again, their weight supported by the legs. And you can just allow the breath to return to its natural rhythm, to knowing that it's perfectly normal for these thoughts of worry, anxiety, or fear to arise in the mind. Not trying to get rid of them, not trying to shut them up. Just allowing them to arise, allowing them to come and go. We're gonna give the mind all the space it needs to think. And we're gonna focus our attention on the body. So again, allow thoughts to come and go, but just begin to notice how the body feels, whether there are any areas that feel particularly relaxed, or perhaps areas that feel particularly tense in some way. And we're not thinking about the feeling. We're just noticing how the body feels. If there's a particular area that stands out, then just bringing the attention to that area, just gently resting the focus on that area. Noticing whether the area feels heavy or light. Whether there's a sense of space, or perhaps constriction. And also noticing whether it feels as though there's a sense of movement in that area. Or if it feels you're stuck in some way. And just gently resting the attention on that feeling,...


Duration3-10 min

About your teachers

  • A former Buddhist monk, Andy has guided people in meditation and mindfulness for 20 years. In his mission to make these practices accessible to all, he co-created the Headspace app in 2010.

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  • Eve is a mindfulness teacher, overseeing Headspace’s meditation curriculum. She is passionate about sharing meditation to help others feel less stressed and experience more compassion in their lives.

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  • As a meditation teacher, Dora encourages others to live, breathe, and be with the fullness of their experiences. She loves meditation’s power to create community and bring clarity to people’s minds.

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  • Kessonga has been an acupuncturists, therapist, and meditation teacher, working to bring mindfulness to the diverse populations of the world.

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  • Rosie Acosta has studied yoga and mindfulness for more than 20 years and taught for over a decade. Rosie’s mission is to help others overcome adversity and experience radical love.

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