Air travel can be a source of anxiety for many people, despite statistics showing that it is the safest mode of transportation. From the claustrophobia of the cabin to the underlying anxiety of being far away from home, there are many factors that contribute to a fear of flying. But there are some ways to overcome this fear and make flying a more comfortable experience.
One effective strategy is exposure-based techniques. Facing our fears head-on is a concept that has been around for ages and for good reason. It’s a powerful tool that can help us overcome our phobias. When we come face to face with our fears, we can learn that our worst fears are unlikely to come true and exposure-based techniques come in as a way to gradually expose ourselves to the situations that trigger our negative emotions.
Exposure-based techniques are not something we can do alone, it requires guidance from a trained therapist. They introduce techniques that help to reduce anxiety before a flight and after a few sessions, the therapist may even accompany the client on a flight or flight simulator. This approach allows the client to build confidence and learn how to cope with their fears in a safe and controlled environment.
Another option available due to the advancement of technology, people can now wear VR headsets to mimic onboard conditions. This is a much cheaper option, but it is still very effective. The VR headset allows the person to experience the sensations of flying without actually being on a plane. This way, they can learn to manage their anxiety and learn how to cope with their fears in a safe and controlled environment.
Meditation and deep breathing are other powerful tools that can help us reduce anxiety and stress. When combined with deep breathing techniques, meditation can be as simple as repeating a positive word or affirmation such as “Calm” or “I am safe” for a minute or two before you board the plane. It’s important to note that meditation doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming, you don’t have to sit cross-legged and chant in a dark room.
One way to meditate is by focusing on your breath. Start by breathing in deeply through your nose, feeling your abdomen expand instead of your chest. Then, breathe out slowly, emptying all the air from your lungs. Repeat this process 5 or 6 times and then let your breathing return to normal. This simple technique can help you feel more relaxed and centered before a flight.
It’s also worth noting that you don’t have to close your eyes or say your affirmations aloud to meditate. You can simply speak the words in your head as you wait in the departure lounge or at the gate. This way, you can keep your mind occupied and reduce any panicky feelings before boarding the plane. And if you find yourself getting anxious once you’ve boarded, keep repeating the technique. This can help you stay calm and focused during the flight.
Voicing our fears is an important step in overcoming them. When it comes to the fear of flying, it’s important to let your traveling companions know how you’re feeling. Bottling up anxieties only lends them more power. By talking about your fears, you can take some of the power away from them.
When booking your air ticket, you can request a “fear of flying” note on your booking, this way the cabin crew will know to look out for you. This can help you feel more at ease, knowing that the flight attendants are aware of your concerns and will be there to support you throughout the flight.
Another option is to have a quiet word with the flight attendants as you board the aircraft. This can be a good way to get your fears out in the open, and you can ask any questions you might have about the flight. Flight attendants are trained to help and support passengers and they may have some useful tips and tricks that can help you feel more comfortable during the flight.
Sometimes, just voicing our fears and knowing that people are sympathetic can be enough to keep panic at bay. It’s important to remember that you’re not alone in your fears, and that there is help available and by expressing your concerns, you can take the first step in overcoming them.
What about entertainment? Distraction can be a powerful tool when it comes to reducing stress and anxiety and one effective way to distract yourself during a flight is by downloading your favorite podcasts or playlists ahead of time. Not all airlines have onboard Wi-Fi, so it’s important to plan ahead. Listening to your favorite music or podcasts can help keep your mind occupied and take your focus away from any anxious thoughts.
Puzzles and crosswords are another great way to distract yourself during a flight. They can help keep your mind occupied and take your focus away from any anxious thoughts. Comfortable TV shows can also be a good option, they can help you relax and feel more at ease during the flight.
It’s important to note, however, that you should not ignore the onboard safety demonstration. In the extremely unlikely event of an accident, it’s important to know the correct procedures. By watching the demonstration, you can feel more prepared and confident in case of an emergency. And after watching the demonstration, you should feel more, not less safe.
Finally, medication can be used as a last resort, but should always be discussed with a doctor before taking any. By using a combination of these strategies, you can reduce the fear associated with flying and make your next flight a more comfortable experience.
In summary, facing your fears, meditation and deep breathing, voicing your fears, distracting yourself, and medication can all help reduce the fear associated with flying. It’s important to remember that flying is a safe mode of transportation, and that there are ways to make it a more comfortable experience. If you have any concerns or fears, it’s always a good idea to talk to a professional to help you through it.
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