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How flying seriously messes with your mind

https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20170919-how-flying-seriously-messes-with-your-mind

bbc.com

How flying seriously messes with your mind
With the tiny screen bouncing around in front of us, tinny sound quality and frequent interruptions, watching a movie during a flight is hardly an immersive experience. Yet, frequent fliers may have found themselves - or at least witnessed others - welling up at the most innocuous of films while on a long airline journey.

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Flying Changes our Mind and Body

Flying Changes our Mind and Body

Taking a flight creates physical and emotional changes in us, something that is now being more extensively researched. Air travel can change our mood, make us emotionally weak (more crying) or sad, and even change how our senses work.

The factors responsible for this phenomenon are the high altitude, the reduced air pressure, inadequate oxygen going in the brain and overall anxiety associated with flying.

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Flight Effects on Passengers

While we are on a flight, there are plenty of changes that we can experience:

  • Change in brain chemistry and memory due to the deficiency in oxygen.
  • Cognitive deficits in people who are already ill.
  • Increased tiredness and more yawning during the flight.
  • Deterioration in vision, dryness of skin, change in taste of food due to a reduction in the sensitivity of our taste buds and a decrease in the sense of smell.
  • Change in air-pressure makes passengers generally uncomfortable with the sitting.

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    The Anxious Flight Passenger

    Mood swings, along with general anxiety or nervousness are common among flight passengers.

    • Less oxygen can increase the effects of alcohol and the overall anxiety. These factors contribute to emotional changes, which can make people less friendly, more stressed out and lethargic.
    • People are also prone to severe mood swings, like having extreme emotional reactions to movie scenes which would otherwise appear normal to them.

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    Changes in The Immune System

    Lower air pressure causes changes in the immune system of the passengers, which can lead to an increase in inflammations, which is linked to depression. This also makes them vulnerable to infections.

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