Panic in the air! 
Fear of flying

by admin

Some practical advice to control your anxiety while traveling by plane

“One can never consent to creep when one feels an impulse to soar”
-Hellen Adams Keller-

The possibility of flying is wonderful. This mode of transport is responsible, in large part, on the ease with which the world has became the global village it is now, in such a short time. It has allowed people all over the world to get to travel to destinations that might have been unimagined before, to keep in touch with loved ones and, in a general way, to enrich the culture of the whole world.

On the other hand, it has been found and there are statistics to back it up, that is one of the safest ways to travel. Despite this, the fear of flying affects millions. This fear is a natural source of anxiety for many. It is a fact that, increasingly, more and more people are facing high levels of anxiety and fears about flying.

The causes of these fears are quite broad, ranging from having had a bad experience flying (for example a very turbulent flight), fear of heights, fear product of what is said by media; to even the fact of being locked in a small cabin, a particular number of hours and afraid to lose control in front of others. For people who suffer from high levels of anxiety and panic attacks, fear lies mainly in the latter.

However, many times, most in fact, flying phobia emerges from a combination of all the above factors. The birth of such fears can be spontaneous, passengers who have enjoyed traveling throughout their lives, can find themselves, suddenly,  wrapped in insecurities and fears with the simple idea of having to catch a plane.

Whatever its source, flying phobia can become a major constraint to the quality of life for many, causing people to miss excellent opportunities, from vacations to good job offers, all out of fear.

To overcome this fear, it is recommended to seek help from a professional that can outline an anxiety treatment plan, maybe by means of cognitive – behavioral therapy, relaxation techniques. The physician might even recommend some drugs or relaxants as part of a broader treatment, because they may help create a balance and give the necessary confidence.

There are also some tips when flying. If you are afraid of flying, it is important to pay attention to your attitude since the moment you are going to schedule the flight. Allow yourself to be excited about this opportunity, because it is always good to be positive. Also, remember to sleep well the night before the flight, having in mind the close relationship between the exhaustion and anxiety. Also, try to be organized and take time to pack, get to the airport and complete all formalities related to the trip, this will save you extra stress.

When boarding, reaffirm yourself that, although anxiety might manifest itself, it is not going to hurt you. Be honest with yourself and board that plane knowing that it is very likely that at some point you are going to feel anxious, but also knowing that you are going to control it. The idea is not to escape the sensations, the idea is to try to accept them.

If you are not close to the person traveling beside you, it is best not to tell anything about your flight anxiety, because that person will feel concerned about you and this might make you feel that there is something to be nervous about, increasing the tension.

As an alternate advice, remember that numbers speak, so read about flying from an objective point of view, looking for statistics, this can help ease these fears. According to IATA (International Air Transport Association), the rate of aviation accidents for the previous year, was the lowest in history.  As of 0.61, which is equal to one accident for every 1.6 million flights.

On the other hand, try to avoid watching news on the subject the days before your flight, as it is well known that the news show only a fragmented part of reality, they show that flight that crashed, leaving aside those other millions of flights that arrived safely to their destinations.

Finally, try to stay positive, remember you are not alone, in the same plane you will find, for sure, many people like you, who understand how you are feeling. Trust yourself and your ability to overcome this, trust even when you think it is impossible to trust, and then, just dive into the experience and try to enjoy your trip.

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