If you have a fear of flying or aviophobia, you know how hard travelling can be. The good news is that you are not alone—aviophobia affects millions of people around the world. The good news is that there are things you can do to lessen your anxiety and make your flight more bearable.
Here are four easy steps on how to overcome the fear of flying:
Identify your triggers.
While nervousness during a flight is common to most passengers, intense anxiety and panic attacks are serious concerns for those who have aviophobia. To avoid these, the first thing you need to do is to identify your triggers. What sets your anxiety off when flying? When you’ve familiarised yourself with your triggers, it will be much easier to control your anxiety.
Stop thinking, “What if?”
Most people who have aviophobia have an irrational obsession with catastrophic “What if?” thoughts. What if the engines fail? What if the plane runs out of gas? What if the plane crashes? While these questions aren’t the only causes of aviophobia, they surely make your anxiety worse. So, before you board your flight, make a promise to yourself that you would stop thinking “What if?” Instead, distract yourself with other thoughts. Think about your destination, for instance. Who are you going to see? What places are you going to visit? What local cuisine do you want to try? Also, taking long, deep breaths will help you relax, so practice mindful breathing before and during your flight.
Choose the most comfortable seat.
All seats in the same section of the plane offer the same level of comfort, but choose the part of the plane where you’re most comfortable. Is it near the front of the plane or the back? (Just FYI, the closer you get to the front of the plane, the less shaky it gets during turbulence.) Do you want an aisle seat where you don’t see the ground? Or maybe you want a window seat where you can see the ground. Meanwhile, the middle seat gives you two armrests to hold onto if you’re feeling scared. No matter where you choose to sit, make sure that it gives you the least amount of stress.
Stick to the facts.
Of all the flights you’ve been on, how many have crashed? You’re still here reading this, so that’s zero, right? When flying, think about the facts: there’s only a one in 1.2 million chance that a plane will crash. As a passenger, that gives you a one in 11 million chances of dying in a plane crash, which actually makes flying the safest mode of transportation in modern civilization. You have more chances of getting in a car accident, so why should you worry about flying?
Aviophobia is common, but it doesn’t have to stop you from seeing more of the world. When flying, remember these tips so that you can be as relaxed and comfortable as you can until you get to your destination.
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