The Fear of Flying: Airport Stress

The words stress and change are used synonymously these days, and anyone who has had a flight delayed several times in as many hours, only to learn it’s cancelled at the end of the day knows all too well what airport stress is. Change within the airline industry can be stressful for everyone. While we all know about the extra charges for checked luggage, gone are the days of empty seats, walk in stand-by seats and polite customer service. Weather delays, mechanical difficulties, delayed flights, security breaches, and $5 bottles of water on sale past TSA security are the norm. Simply stated, tension runs high with this most “convenient” way to travel. To quote a stressed passenger last night, “The skies are not as friendly as advertised.” As I write this, I am sitting in Newark’s Airport having gone through all of the above changes. When faced with change such as airport and airline stress, one has to realize that practically everything is out of your control—save your attitude. Losing one’s temper doesn’t solve anything, and in fact, will make things worse in a place where everyone is on edge to begin with. Adaptation is the key; learning to adapt to the change that we are confronted with is essential. Creative problem solving comes in handing too, as does a sense of humor. It doesn’t hurt to pray either!

• Stress Tip For The Day: When flying to a distant city, have on hand the airline’s reservation number. This can prevent waiting in extremely longs lines at the customer service center. Taking the first flight out in the morning also ensures less hassle later in the day. It’s also a good idea to have on hand the name and phone number of a respectable hotel should you end up spending the night. (I got the last room at a hotel who’s name will go unmentioned, but it was startling to see the reception desk and hotel manager behind two inches of Plexiglas). Boarded up adjacent buildings, police sirens, woman walking in stiletto heals and spandex and an a occasional gunshot were not uncommon either (no exaggeration, it was a rough night). With the epidemic of bed bugs nationwide, good advice to follow is this: Place your luggage in the bathtub while sleeping to avoid bringing home any unwanted guests.

• Links/Books/Movies Worth Noting:Many movies come to mind for some comic relief (which will surly come in handy), but Planes, Trains and Automobiles is a good start. Enjoy!

• Quote for the Day:Everything can be taken from a man or a woman but one thing: the last of human freedoms to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”Victor Frankl

• Photo of the Day:A peaceful sight at Newark’s gate A-12, quite calm… hours after all the people who thought they were boarding a flight here learned their gate had changed to another terminal.

Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D. is an internationally renowned expert in the fields of stress management, mind-body-spirit healing and stress and human spirituality. He is the author of over 10 books including the bestsellers, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water, Stressed Is Desserts Spelled Backward, The Art of Calm, Quiet Mind, Fearless Heart and Managing Stress (6E). He can be reached through his

© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.

Brian Luke Seaward

Author Brian Luke Seaward

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