Many people have a fear of flying. While it is unclear whether this issue is truly a phobia or simply a reaction to certain events, it can be paralyzing and limiting to the person suffering from it. This article will outline methods to overcome a fear of flying.
Adjust the Mindset
Those who have a fear of flying most likely suffer from generalized anxiety that allows imagined scenarios to become bigger than reality. From a physical standpoint, anxiety increases the body’s production of oxytocin, which floods the amygdala of the brain and produces reactions of phobia and panic. To change this process, a person must learn to think of flying as a non-threatening situation.
There are a number of effective coping strategies that can be used to make flying less stressful. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America recommends taking the following steps on the day of a flight.
Stay focused on the destination. Anxiety is reduced when a person thinks of friends or loved ones waiting for them at the end point.
Meditate or practice yoga before boarding the plane. This provides an opportunity to replace negativity and fear with positive and calming thought patterns.
Avoid caffeine and alcohol. These beverages make anxiety worse. It is best to drink plenty of water and maintain healthy hydration.
Have a sense of humor and be willing to give up control. There is very little in life that is completely under human control, and flying is one of those things. Talking and joking with the flight crew will keep things in perspective.
In the long term, a person who fears flying can address their anxiety by identifying triggers, getting educated about aviation safety and joining groups of other nervous flyers in order to not feel alone. Those who are dealing with PTSD or other more serious psychiatric issues will benefit from talking to a mental health professional who can help them overcome their fear.
Take a Flying Course
Both European and American airports offer courses to assist people in overcoming a fear of flying. Run by airline staff and cabin crews, the courses help people understand how flying works, explain misconceptions and introduce relaxation techniques to deal with turbulence and other in-flight situations.
No one has to be grounded because of a fear of flying. Education and therapy can help to alleviate anxiety and open the door to travel and fun.
By: Miami Helicopter