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Fear Of Flying Phobia – Overcome Fear of Flying

 Fear of Flying Phobia

Fear Of Flying Phobia

Have you ever dealt with the hassle of check in, baggage rules, airport security, and delays only to board your flight and feel faint? It’s no surprise we find flying so nerve-wracking- with cramped cabins, changing pressure, loss of control, large crowds, and heights involved, even the best flight gets old fast. With news and media outlets seemingly reporting in air incidents every other week and the frequency of cabin-quaking turbulence, it’s no surprise that up to 25% of Americans suffer from a fear of flying. If your fear doesn’t stop at a few anxious thoughts, though, you’re not alone- 1 in 6 American adults deal with the more extreme version, a fear of flying phobia.

Also known as aerophobia, it can be a devastating condition to deal with for frequent flyers and first timers alike. Common symptoms include stomach upset, tremors, hyperventilation, dizziness, and heart palpitations for more severe cases, making it an unpleasant experience all around. Some sufferers may have panic attacks, which are typically difficulty breathing accompanied by a sense of doom and a pressure or “weight” on the chest. The cause of a flying phobia varies from person to person but is typically rooted in being in a related accident, preexisting similar phobias, or trepidation from recent life events. Claustrophobia, fear of germs, or fear of crowds can complicate symptoms, as can the onset of motion sickness.

Fear of flying

Fearful flyers need not worry- up to 35% of Airline staff, including flight attendants and pilots, actually have some form of fear of flying. Even the worst phobias can be treated or managed with therapy and medical care. Your best bet is to find a qualified mental health professional. They may suggest talk therapy to discuss management techniques and tricks, use hypnotherapy to access the source of your anxieties, or try exposure therapy through virtual reality programs. Individuals with more extreme cases may have anti-anxiety medications prescribed to reduce the stress of flying and let them travel comfortably. This is generally done only as an in between measure, however.

If you have a flight coming up right away, there are a few ways to make your flight more tolerable beforehand. Reading up on safety records can inspire a little extra confidence in your airline, as is keeping in mind that airplanes are actually much safer than cars. It may be tempting to read up on the dark details of severe crashes, but resist this as much as you can- why would hearing about disaster be helpful? For physical comfort, select the biggest plane available and request seats as close to the cockpit as possible to minimize the sensations of turbulence. Additionally, it’s a good idea to try to get a short flight to decrease the time in the air and a direct flight to try to reduce the anxiety associated with anticipating flying.

In-flight, a fear of flying phobia is best controlled by distractions like books or puzzles and deep breathing methods such as yoga breathing for a few minutes until a sense of calm or comfort is re-established. Keep your thoughts in check- is it reasonable to think a mechanical failure is likely, considering how carefully each plane is inspected after landing and before takeoff every time? Chances are that most of your anxieties are a little silly, and it helps to laugh at yourself.

If your phobic symptoms get severe, it’s a good idea to gently secure your lap belt and call over a flight attendant to help you calm down. They’ve flown hundreds of times and have no doubt seen plenty of anxious passengers, so at the very least they can tell you how skilled your pilot is as well as how the maintenance and safety procedures are strictly followed to make sure the plane is extremely safe and exceeding the stringent regulations set by the Federal Aviation Administration.

A fear of flying phobia can hold you back from family, vacations, and work opportunities, but there’s no need to let it rule you with all the treatments and preventative measures you can use to prepare yourself. With a little mindfulness and a lot of practice, a terrifying flight can feel like what it is- soaring among the clouds!


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