Fear of flying. Yes, you can beat it.
Many of us feel an inexplicable fear of flying on an airplane. Some people can help themselves to relax with a shot of brandy, but for many people it doesn’t help, besides, drinking is really not a solution to a problem and will definitely not eliminate your fear of flying.
As a rule, people are not afraid of flying as it is, but rather of take-off and landing. Fear of death is a real cause of fear of flying, that’s why our knees and hands tremble involuntarily, and throat becomes dry. However, according to statistics aircraft is much less dangerous than train or car.
In addition, aerophobia is quite natural. People are not birds, and our bodies were not designed for flight. By the way, women and men suffer from aerophobia differently. If women are afraid of the accident as it is,of plane being hijacking by terrorists or crash, men are afraid of the flight, because they have no control over the “gizmo” that lifts them into the air.
How to overcome fear of flying?
Here are some tips from psychologists for those who are afraid to fly on an airplane:
- The first thing you need to remember well is this simple fact: “The plane, just as a bus, makes many flights per day.” So, it must be reliable, right?
- Breathing is important. Breathe calmer and less deeply, at the same time try to use diaphragmatic breathing.
- You may think about the things that calm you, like sea, sun, or a foam bath, etc.
- Do not forget to eat before the flight, of course you should not abuse greasy and sweet foods, but believe me, a full stomach will distract your brain from fear of flying.
- Come for registration in time, as being late only increases anxiety.
- Do not drink coffee or other drinks containing caffeine – it enhances the feeling of anxiety.
- When in airplane, put your feet on the floor, in order to feel better support, and if you have shoes with heels, remove them.
- Do not try to control the flight and do not listen to the engines noice, do not anxiously look out the windows. You have no idea about all the details of the flight, so there is no need to worry about things you know nothing about.
If you look at the problem from a professional point of view, fear of flying is a psychological problem that may be aggravated by stress, fatigue or depression, and such people may tend to express panic reactions.
Despite the various reasons that make us feel fear of flying, including not only actual “flight-related fears”, but also a variety of claustrophobia (fear of enclosed spaces), and any other human phobia, people need to fly and in many cases flying is the only way to get from point A to point B. Often it saves us both time and money.
Contemporary Psychotherapy offers us many possible ways to solve a problem of phobias, however, there is no magic pill. The success of treatment of fear of flying directly depends on each person and causes of the problem.
But some general recommendations for those who are experiencing aerophobia, can still be given.
More tips on how to overcome fear of flying
We gave some tips above, but here are some more:
- If you are afraid of heights – do not sit near the window.
- If you experience fear during turbulence – do not sit in the back of the plane.
- If you suffer from claustrophobia – sit near emergency exit.
- Help yourself to distract from the process of flight — read some book, listen to some music or watch a movie.
- It may help you to overcome your fear of flying if you flirt with a nice man sitting next to you.
- Knitting is an excellent way to distract yourself from fear.
- Make contact with a person sitting next to you, by the way, alcohol may help with this, but of course, use moderation.
- It will not hurt if you have “something to chew on,” be it a regular chewing gum or some food, it is scientifically proven fact that increase in blood sugar levels helps to reduce anxiety.
- Think also that a pilot who is controlling your aircraft, is responsible not only for your life, but he is a human too, and he wants to live as much as you do, so for sure he will not do anything stupid or dangerous.
And good luck taking off, flying and landing!