This is your brain on FLYING!

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brain on flying
Many of your will remember the anti-narcotics campaign launched in the late 1980s (If you haven’t seen it, click this link – it’s a classic).

This popular ad really reminds me of how my brain seems to change when I’m under the influence of flying.

Not sure how this happens, but when I fly there is a tangible shift in the gray matter. I get much more focused and all of life’s silly stresses just melt away. Also my senses seem to sharpen; my ability to take in information and process it just gets better.

Sorry folks, no real science here, but I will offer up a couple of commonsense conclusions on what may be causing this altered-state in my melon.

So this whole thing maybe the result of “going on stage.” Flying is serious stuff and although I’m all about having fun, there is built-in playback-loop in my head that says, “Hey dummy, you’re in an airplane, don’t be an idiot!”

Perhaps it’s just the pure excitement, I’ll call it “a kid-like state of euphoria” from knowing I am doing something super-fun. 

I have noticed it more in my older age, which makes sense as I fly a lot less and so each flight is more thrilling and I’m not as bullet-proof in an airplane as I was in my 20s.

It’s not anxiety or nervous tension, but rather the cerebral equivalent of a tightened muscle, ready to spring into action at any moment.

I can’t say every flight is this way. Many of my professional flights are very sedate. I guess that’s a good sign, at least for the passengers.

So whatever it is that makes my brain focus like a one-armed alligator wrestler, it actually feels good at the same time; a kind of “good stress” that doesn’t leave me drained, but rather elated.

I’m sure there are other endeavors that create this same mental sensation, but flying is my drug of choice.

Just say ‘YES’ to flying!

by Brent Owens and the Partnership for Getting Your Butt in an Airplane

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