Dealing With Emotional Turbulence

If you've ever flown, you’ve likely experienced it. It can happen on any flight. Turbulence is the shaking of the plane due to air pressure or weather conditions outside. The aircraft might shake a bit, or rock about in jolts, strong enough to knock a person over.

It can dislodge certainty in a person and can send them into a psychological tailspin of worrisome freefall (yikes, pun intended?). It can even be so unnerving that many refuse to fly because of it.

So what happens when you experience emotional turbulence?

Oftentimes we use turbulence to describe our emotional or psychological distress. It can assist us in giving words to what we feel inside our hearts and minds. And every once and awhile, it can catch you off guard.

I'm not sure about you, but when I experience emotional or flight-related turbulence, the thing I almost always do is hold my breath. Until I had some training on grounding techniques, I figured holding my breath in anxiety-provoking circumstances would help me feel better. Turns out, NOPE. Your brain needs free-flowing oxygen both to make decisions and calm yourself. So once I learned some simple breathing and grounding exercises, I realized turbulence isn't so bad.

Below is one such grounding exercise (I've used this exact one in the air AND on the ground). You can always check out "breathing exercises" or "grounding for anxiety", to find a method that works for you.

Happy breathing!