what happens to your body during plane turbulence: How to reduce the discomfort it causes


Plane turbulence can be a nerve-wracking experience for many passengers. The sudden jolts and shakes can cause discomfort and anxiety. Understanding what happens to your body during turbulence and learning effective ways to reduce the discomfort can help make your flight a more pleasant experience.

Effects of Plane Turbulence on the Body

During turbulence, your body experiences various physiological changes. These include:

  • Increased Heart Rate: Turbulence triggers the body’s stress response, leading to an increased heart rate. This can make you feel more anxious and uneasy.
  • Muscle Tension: The sudden movements of the plane can cause your muscles to tense up, leading to discomfort and potential muscle strains.
  • Changes in Blood Pressure: Turbulence can cause temporary changes in blood pressure, which may result in dizziness or lightheadedness.
  • Stomach Discomfort: The up-and-down movements of the plane can affect your digestive system, leading to feelings of nausea or an upset stomach.

Reducing Turbulence Discomfort

While turbulence is a normal part of flying, there are several strategies you can employ to reduce the discomfort it causes:

1. Choose the Right Seat

Opt for a seat over the wings, as this area experiences the least amount of movement during turbulence. Additionally, selecting a seat near the front of the plane can also help minimize the effects of turbulence.

2. Stay Calm and Relaxed

Keeping a calm and relaxed mindset can help alleviate anxiety during turbulence. Practice deep breathing exercises or listen to calming music to help you stay composed.

3. Use Distractions

Engage in activities that distract you from the turbulence, such as reading a book, watching a movie, or listening to a podcast. Focusing on something enjoyable can help take your mind off the discomfort.

4. Follow Crew Instructions

Listen to the instructions provided by the flight crew and follow their guidance. They are trained to handle turbulence and can provide reassurance and support during the flight.

5. Wear Comfortable Clothing

Wearing loose and comfortable clothing can help reduce any additional discomfort caused by turbulence. Avoid tight-fitting clothes that may restrict your movement or add pressure to your body.

6. Stay Hydrated

Drink plenty of water before and during the flight to stay hydrated. Dehydration can exacerbate the effects of turbulence and make you feel more uncomfortable.

7. Seek Professional Help

If you have a fear of flying or experience severe anxiety during turbulence, consider seeking professional help. Therapists specializing in anxiety disorders can provide effective techniques to manage your fear and make flying more enjoyable.


Understanding the effects of plane turbulence on the body and implementing strategies to reduce discomfort can significantly improve your flying experience. By choosing the right seat, staying calm, using distractions, following crew instructions, wearing comfortable clothing, staying hydrated, and seeking professional help if needed, you can minimize the discomfort caused by turbulence and enjoy a smoother flight.