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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Categorized | Featured, Health

Learn to Fly without Fear or, How to Conquer Fear of Flying

Most everyone has experienced moments of fear while flying.  It’s one of modern civilization’s most common phobias, claiming one of every six people.  

Some say it’s an "apples and oranges" comparison – but per mile, air travel is considerably safer than automobile travel.  In fact,  a recent US National Safety Council study shows flying to be 22 times safer than traveling by car. 

Still, fear of flying is a very real problem that can cause more than just  irrational feelings of fright. At worst, white-knuckled fliers  experience panic attacks complete with shortness of breath and accompanying dizziness.  However with mental discipline,  most sufferers can conquer their  fear of flying

 Here are some techniques and strategies:   

Breathe Deeply:  Staying conscious of your breathing distracts you from fear-based thoughts and gives you a sense of control over your physical reactions.  Deep breathing actually slows the rush of adrenaline that worsen a panic attack.

Use visualization and other techniques to banish negative thoughts: Try wearing an elastic band on your wrist as you board the plane.  On take-off and in-flight,  when you catch yourself in a negative  thought pattern, snap the band and dissolve the negative image, replacing it with a positive one.  For example – visualize yourself landing safely at your destination and try to feel the positive emotion. 

Carry  note cards with positive affirmations to help you stay focused.  Just a few words, like “Breathe…you’ll be fine,”  can help.

Pretend you’re on a bus:  Just close your eyes and imagine you’re on a bus ride.  Any turbulence can be experienced as ‘bumps on the road.’

Avoid spreading your fears:  Resist the temptation to have a conversation about your anxiety.   Talking about it might provoke others  to share their  bad travel experiences and that can only stoke your own fears.   

Take Practical Steps:  Pay close attention to safety guidelines and demonstrations.  Try to choose an aisle seat where you’ll have more room; sitting in the middle can add to claustrophobic feelings.  If you can sit on the axis of the plane, over the wing….any turbulence will be less noticeable.  And stay cool by turning up the air nozzle to high so that your face feels refreshed.

Use rituals or prayer:  Feel free to engage in superstitious rituals and prayer as a comforting way to cope with irrational anxiety.  If nothing else, it engages regions of the brain that might otherwise be absorbed with looking out  for danger.  

Knowledge is Power:  Arm yourself with as much knowledge as possible about security measures,   traffic control, safety features and even how much goes in to training a pilot.

Soon you’ll be  flying without fear.

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