In Flight Wellness

Insight Air NZIt is certainly interesting to observe others while sitting on an aeroplane.  Some fidget and can’t sit still, others settle right into a book or go to sleep and then there is always those who want to change their seat or can’t fit their ‘excess’ hand luggage into the overhead.  Inevitably everyone has no choice but to settle in before take off.  That doesn’t mean they are calm and relaxed though and often hands are clenched onto the seat rests and breaths become shallow for the anxious and worried.  If this is you, here are some tips that can help.


1.  Drink lots of water, especially if you are worried or anxious.  The element of water is cleansing and really helps the nervous system.

2.  Bring some calming music to listen to so you can create your own space.

3.  Bring a book you have already started and are enjoying.  This will give you more incentive to read if you are feeling restless.

 4.  Have a scarf or hat to put on your head.  This helps you to feel contained and also stops the draft from the overhead air vent coming on your head.  Wear layered clothing as the cabin temperature often changes during the flight.

 5.  Breathe.  You can change your energy through your breath.  Close your eyes and observe your breath and feel its rhythm.  Breathing fewer than 8 breaths per minute always calms you.  This is a great time to practice the 1 minute breath.  Start inhaling very slowly at first to a count of 5 seconds, hold the breath for 5 seconds and exhale to a count of 5.  Then gradually increase to 10 counts on the inhale, 10 hold and 10 on the exhale.  You can continue for 3 minutes.  This will be a 1/2 minute breath and if you are really comfortable you can work up to the 1 minute breath which would be 20 counts on the inhale, hold for 20 and exhale for 20.  The breath should not be gasping.

 Or, if you are particularly nervous try Left Nostril Breathing which helps to make you calm and integrates unwanted negative emotions and stress.  Block off the right nostril with your right thumb and keep the other fingers straight up like antennae.  Take 26 long, deep and complete breaths through the left nostril.  

6. Refrain from drinking too much alcohol on board, it de-hydrates you and because you are at a high altitude the effects are magnified and the amount of oxygen that gets to the brain is reduced.  Bring some healthy snacks to eat in between meals. 

7.  Bring some Peppermint or Ginger Tea Bags with you.  They both have a calming effect on the stomach and help with nausea.  For travel nerves put a few drops of Lavender Oil on a tissue and put it in a ziploc bag and keep handy.  Take a deep sniff when you need to relax.  I sometimes use the homeopathic remedy  No Jet Lag for long flights if I want to sleep and or want to reduce jet lag.  

8.  Think about where you want to sit on the aircraft – you can go to for help.  I like to get an aisle seat so I can move around when I want.  The disadvantage with the aisle however, is that you get bumped a lot as people walk by so if you want to sleep you might like a window better. 

9.   Exercise and move around during the flight – take a walk to an area where you can stand and lift one knee up to your chest and hold for a few moments, and then switch knees.  Next, stand tall and bring your hands on your hips and move the upper body to the right, then left, forward and back a few times.  Follow with interlacing your hands behind your back and stretch the shoulders back bringing your arms out behind you. 

10.  Meditation to Tranquilize the Mind, click here for instructions