Take a deep breath at 23,000 feet, and breath out turbulence.
Or at least your fear of turbulence.
That’s the goal of Virgin Australia, which is introducing meditation as part of its focus on well-being for travelers who are stressed out by flying.
“Integrating mindfulness into our everyday lives is just as important as eating well and exercising regularly, and I am so excited to see Virgin Australia deeply embedding mindfulness into the workplace and onboard flights,” said Virgin founder Richard Branson, in a statement earlier this month.
Never mind that passengers can meditate anywhere if they so choose. (Bring a meditation book or download an app.)
Branson hosted what the airline is calling the world’s first dedicated meditation flight on October 11, partnering with Smiling Mind, an Australian well-being and mindfulness meditation company.
On that special fight, guests were treated to hot towel service and hand massages along with a guided meditation led by Smiling Mind.
What if you missed that flight?
Virgin Australia’s inflight entertainment system features meditation programming as well. And starting next year, travelers can identify themselves as anxious travelers. The airline will then send them calming communications before the flight and support them during the filght.
“Mindfulness is a fantastic tool to combat travel-related stress, so Smiling Mind is delighted to be able to provide travellers with access to our guided meditations while in-flight,” said Dr. Addie Wootten, Smiling Mind’s CEO, in a statement.
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Not so into meditation?
“The Artist’s Way” author Julia Cameron has another way to deal with her ongoing fear of flying.
“I wrote out prayers for each step of my journey, asking in particular for freedom from turbulence,” wrote Cameron in a CNN Travel article. “Determined to fly fearlessly, I asked for help. Unlike my neighbors on the flight, I did not order a drink or take a pill. Instead, I prayed. And when I did so, I felt an unfamiliar calm stealing over me.”
It worked so well for her, she wrote a book about it, “Safe Journey: Prayers and Comfort for Frightened Flyers and Other Anxious Souls.”