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How To Relieve Stress Jetlag On Long Flights

Armen Hareyan's picture
Stress Relief in flight

The Stress Management Society have teamed up with British Airways to help the millions of British holiday makers and Beijing bound athletes prepare for summer travel on long haul flights by creating some useful tips to combat stress and jetlag.

Neil Shah, Director of The Stress Management Society, and Dr Sleep, Chris Idzikowski, have collaborated with BA, official airline sponsor of the British Olympic team, to you these tips.

So whether you are off in search of sun or even off to the Beijing Olympics, our techniques will be sure to help you!

Manage you time
-Plan ahead to deal with unexpected circumstances or emergencies. For example, there may be some delays on the way to the airport, so allow plenty of time

Use technology wisely
-Use technology that will save you time, e.g.: using www.ba.com to check in online and avoid check in queues

Mental preparation
-You subconscious cannot differentiate between what is real and what is perceived. You can learn the secrets of mental preparation and use them at any time of the day (see Visualisation)

Keep hydrated
-If you’re feeling stressed, you might reach for nicotine, alcohol, caffeine or chocolate to calm down, they are stimulants and will actually make you more stressed! Try stocking up on healthy snacks instead, like fresh or dried fruit and nuts, and keep topping up your water

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Remain Calm
-When you face something unexpected when travelling abroad, it is very easy to react negatively by arguing endlessly or by fuming silently! It is much better to take a deep breath in, stay calm and accept that there are some things in life you just cannot change.

-Use your time more constructively, for example, play ‘I Spy’ with the children, or even try the Visualisation exercises (below)

Stress Relief Activities:

-Begin by closing your eyes and taking a deep breath. If preparing for a relaxing holiday, imagine yourself surrounded by a beautiful environment. If you are a competitor, imagine competing in your chosen sport.
-The key is to use all al of your five senses. To be able to see it, smell it, hear it, taste and touch it.
-Bring the image into focus and try to ‘stay in the scene’ for at least 5 minutes. Ensure that you visualise the outcome that you desire from the experience, from swimming in a cool blue ocean to winning a gold medal.

-When we get stressed, we tend to breath shallow and fast reducing our oxygen intake which can leave us with a feeling of panic and anxiousness.

-Try breathing into your belly for the count of 4, holding it for 16, breathing out to the count of 8
-This exercise balances the serotonin, the chemical that regulates happiness in you brain!

As they say in Jamaica COOL RUNNINGS!

Visit www.ba.com/wellbeing for more info, or visit UK Stress Management Society

By the way you may want to get one of these Tranquil Sound Oxygen Bar for Your Stress Relief in long haul flights that we reviewed this month.



As a Psychologist in Los Angeles, I deal with many people under stress. One thing I'd add to this list is practicing a bit of mindfulness. This is the practice of intentionally paying attention to a single object of awareness, and putting aside judgments. We can take the breath exercise listed above and instead of counting, simply keeping your breathing company as it breathes in and out. Breathing through the belly can be helpful with anxiety. Feel free to check out my blog on this http://mindful-healing.aliveworld.com/ Thank you, Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D. Psychologist