How to Overcome the Fear of Flying

How to Overcome the Fear of Flying

The fear of flying is defined as a common psychological disorder among travelers who normally travel by air. This article gives you some helpful tips on how to overcome fear of flying.
PsycholoGenie Staff
The fear of flying, also sometimes referred to as aerophobia, aviatophobia, or aviphobia, is considered as an irrational fear. Had the fear been about road travel, it would have been considered legitimate, as there is a high frequency of road accidents. This is not the case for air travel, as chances of airplane accidents are close to none. However, some people still find it difficult to overcome this fear. Fear may cause panic attacks, nausea, and in some cases, even anticipatory vomiting. The best way to overcome any kind of fear is to face it.
Get Rid of Misconceptions
Misconception has always been a common source of fear. Most people develop the fear of flying, owing to their lack of knowledge regarding the mechanisms and physics behind airplanes. Grab as much knowledge as you can about air travel, and tips regarding the same. Knowledge about an airplane's backup system, security, airline safety measures, pilot training, and all that is related to air travel, helps in reducing the fear. Studies have shown that, traveling by air from New York to Los Angeles, is 261 times safer than traveling by road.
It's Always the Same
Most fears emerge from negative thoughts regarding what is going to happen next. Thoughts like, what would happen once the flight takes off?, why is the airplane shaking so much?, what if the airplane hits turbulent air?, why is there a strange feeling in the ears? and why does the airplane travel so fast while taking off? Usually, the brain gets loaded with assumptions regarding the worst possibilities, when it has to face something it is not used to. What might seem to be utterly strange to you on a flight, are the usual things that happen every time a flight takes off. For example, the feeling of the ears popping out is usual during a flight, and it is due to the change in air pressure. As the flight gradually leaves the Earth's surface, the air pressure starts decreasing. People who have are scared of flights, would normally misinterpret it as a 'bad signal' of something worse to follow. Therefore, having some basic knowledge as to why and how things happen, helps in reducing fear to a great extent.
Meditation Helps
Meditation is one way through which you can lessen your anxiety and calm your nerves. It helps in developing controlled breathing and rejection of negative thoughts. You can refer to different books that have effective meditation techniques, to help you before you go on a flight. Learn to preoccupy your mind by reading books, listening to music, or playing games during a flight. Do not think much about the flight itself, there is nothing strange about it!
Fly More Often
Flying frequently is itself a great way to overcome the fear of flying. If you can become a frequent air traveler, and follow the techniques mentioned above, your flights will no longer seem to be strange, and gradually you will become used to them.
Fear is the result of anticipation, and urge to control the future. However, fear can also be regarded as a great teacher in our lives. It teaches us to learn and conquer things, that seem impossible at the first sight. When fear dwells in our mind, it's an indication that, now it's time that we become strong enough to face the situation. Do not anticipate anything about the future, you will have no questions about it, and you will get rid of the fear that resides in your mind.