Health and wellness

Sleep Expert Chris Advansun Explains How Meditation Can Help Nervous Flyers

Meditate your way to a more relaxed flight with these tips from Chris Advansun, Head of Sleep Stories at Calm

What is meditation?

Meditation can be as simple as using stillness and quiet to become aware of our experience, whatever it is, and learn to accept it. The heart of meditation practice is breathwork. Anyone who breathes deeply for one minute – whether they call it meditation or not – will realise that they feel quite a lot better.

How can meditation lead to a better flight?

On a flight you have limited movement and you’re trying to maximise your comfort. So why not try to create comfort in the mind first? It’s profoundly helpful to meditate even for short periods.

Calm Meditation Sleep Stories

Can meditation help nervous fliers?

Absolutely. I can get a little nervous and anxious on flights. But with meditation, it’s a question of connecting with my breath and being aware of it. Then, instead of not realising I’m in an anxious state, I come into an awareness of these feelings, accept them and let myself be aware of the sensations.

What makes Calm content suitable for the inflight experience?

The Sleep Stories in particular allow you to focus inward and tune out a lot of the stimulation that’s part of the flying experience: the busy flight attendants, noise or turbulence. Calm’s Sleep Stories and guided meditation are a way to cope with that by having an immersive experience that takes you outside of unwanted disruptions.

Find Calm’s Sleep Stories on the entertainment system in Audio (Podcasts)

Tips for a Relaxed Flight

1. Breathe

‘Breathwork is key to meditation. Our “Breathe Bubble” is a great place for beginners. It’s a guided auditory graphic animation that people can breathe along to. It’s very soothing.’

2. Add Music

‘Combining your experience with music might not feel specifically like a meditation practice, but it helps you turn your attention to something and allow that to lead the way.’

3. Be Aware

‘There are so many sensations in the inflight experience. Instead of trying to ignore them, try tuning into them and being aware of them.’

Cathay Travell Book


Discovery online brings together all the inspirational travel writing from our two inflight magazines, Discovery and Silkroad. Be sure to look out for the print editions when you next fly with Cathay Pacific or Cathay Dragon.
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