I recently took a flight and, as the wheels went up, I began thinking about the relationship between flying and daily life.
How To Make Your Day More Meaningful
Begin with a Positive Affirmation
For those who are nervous flyers, it’s important to begin your flight on a positive note. Tell yourself it will be an excellent flight, and everything will be okay. We should do the same when we wake up in the morning. Push negative thoughts aside, tell yourself how fabulous you look, what a fantastic day this will be, and that you are a terrific individual.
Look Forward to the Adventure
Like each flight to a new destination, each day is a brand new start. Be excited about the possibilities ahead.
Be Prepared for Delays
Unfortunately, delays are a part of life. Whether in the sky or on the road, delays are out of our control, so we might as well take a few deep breaths, and find a way to enjoy the downtime. Put on an audiobook or listen to some favorite tunes.
Wear Your Seatbelt
Don’t take unnecessary risks.
Speeding or swerving in and out of traffic to save a few minutes isn’t worth putting you or other people around you in danger. The same goes for unhealthy behaviors, such as smoking, overeating, drinking excessively, or using drugs.
Life is precious, so proceed with caution; you never know when you are going to hit some nasty turbulence.
Let’s face it–like flying, life is out of our control. We can only control our reaction to life events. My good friend who is a flight attendant reminds us that the pilots are highly qualified and don’t want to die either. There are days when we have to give up control and put our faith and trust in others.
Deal with Flying Coach
You don’t always get the upgrade. Sometimes, we don’t get what we want, and that can seem unfair. Maybe we deserved the promotion, the new account, or an “A” on a paper. Remind yourself that there will be days when things don’t go your way, and that’s okay because there will be plenty of days that do.
Use Good Manners
A friend of mine was assigned a very grumpy flight attendant who was rude and abrasive. It would naturally be easy to respond in a similar manner. Instead, he told the passenger next to him that the attendant’s dog had died the night before. His seatmate looked at him perplexed. He explained, whenever someone is rude to him, he tells himself their dog just died. We don’t know a person’s backstory, so why make assumptions that they are a terrible individual, as we’ve all had bad days. By taking this approach, my friend takes the high road and shields himself from others’ negative energy. And, by responding with a smile, he might have turned the cranky flight attendant’s day around. During the course of a day, we will encounter many individuals. Don’t let one negative confrontation steal your good vibe. Just tell yourself their dog died.
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Order the Drink
If you want a glass of wine or a Coke, order it. It’s easy to deprive ourselves of what we really want to do in lieu of laundry or dishes. The chores will be there tomorrow, so enjoy today. If the plane went down, you’d wish you’d ordered that drink.
Take a Nap
After a busy vacation, I look forward to a nap on the plane. We allow ourselves to doze off on a flight, but fight the urge to nap when we really need it. If your body is telling you to rest, go home from school or work and rest.
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On a recent flight, my friend and I were seated a few aisles from a shrieking baby. The unhappy screamer cried for the majority of the flight. Sandwiched between us was a kind, young man. Instead of complaining about the baby, my friend and I expressed empathy for the parents and their miserable child. I’m glad we did, because upon landing, we discovered the crying child was the young man’s little sister. Whether it’s a toddler kicking the seat or a passenger who forgot to wear deodorant, irritations are a part of flying and a part of daily life.
Suggested Read: Empathy Versus Sympathy: What Do We Need?
Meet Someone New
I’ve met the most interesting people on a plane. The young man with the crying sister was a competitive powerlifter whose goal is to qualify for the Olympics. I crossed off skydiving from my bucket list because of a fellow passenger. I told him I wanted to jump out of a plane for my 50th birthday, but I was terrified. He encouraged me to embrace the opportunity. He was turning 40 and shared the same objective. We promised each other we would both skydive in honor of our milestone birthdays. Skydiving turned out to be one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. Make it a goal to have a conversation with somebody new each day even if it’s only small talk. You never know who you might meet or how they might inspire you.
Enjoy the View
Open the shade and look down at the incredible landscape. Appreciate the crops that nourish us, the mountains that enamor us, and the oceans that mystify us. Notice the clouds and their magical formations. Seeing how minute we are keeps life in perspective.
Suggested Read: Finding Gratitude In Life’s Ordinary Moments
Fly Through the Storm
The other day, we were told to expect heavy turbulence. Regardless of the flying altitude, there was no way the pilot could avoid it. There will be days that are a storm of difficult emotions. Instead of navigating around anger, sadness, or disappointment, walk through the pain. The emotions, like the turbulence, are temporary.
Suggested Read: How to Build Your Resilience In Your Most Vulnerable Times
Be Grateful for a Smooth Flight
I’m always thankful for a smooth, uneventful flight just like I’m grateful for a smooth, uneventful day. At the end of the flight, thank the pilot and flight attendants for a safe trip. At the end of the day, thank those individuals who made your day a little bit brighter.
Appreciate a Reassuring Voice
During a bumpy flight, I always feel better when the pilot puts uneasy passengers’ minds at ease. On days when we are feeling anxious, alone, or afraid, be grateful for those people who lift us up with a reassuring voice that says, “It will all be okay.”
Embrace the Value Airliners
A few hours of minimalism is good for the brain. Instead of plugging in, do nothing. Boredom is the birthplace of creativity. Sitting quietly on a plane could give you inspiration for a new marketing campaign, innovation, or article to write. Each day, block out time to sit quietly. Focusing on your breath will quiet your thoughts and open you up to new and fresh ideas.
Suggested Read: How To Let Go And Live Mindfully
Make the Best of a Long Flight
On those neverending flights, take time to stretch, take a walk down the aisle, or start a conversation with a stranger. During an extra-long day at work, do the same. Stretch, go for a quick walk, or take a moment to converse with a coworker. Taking a short break can reinvigorate our bodies and minds.
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Return Home with a Smile
Smile at the friend or loved one who took time out of their day to pick you up from the airport. Similarly, after a long day at work, show your loved ones you are happy to see them by putting a smile on your face and giving each family member a big hug. After all, you’ve arrived home safely and a new adventure awaits you tomorrow.
Suggested Read: Why A Hug Is Important For Your Wellbeing
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