Fear of Flying; Here’s How to Cope
If the idea of cashing in those flight vouchers is causing sleepless nights, heart palpitations, and the sudden desire to order five stiff drinks – you know that traveling can be tricky. Fear of flying is a multifaceted phobia – but also a very common one. Even the safety stats don’t help those with deep imbedded fear.
From turbulence grips to take off sweats; sitting rigid in your seat is far from a fun way to start your trip. Fortunately, there are ways to make flying – if not enjoyable, at least tolerable for those who struggle. Here are five ways to cope with flying – because you really do deserve that trip to Thailand….
Understand Your Fear
There are many fears that come under the umbrella of fear of flying; the best way to start to process your fear is to understand what you are afraid of. Maybe the thought of great heights makes you dizzy or perhaps it’s the idea of handing over control. Once you have unraveled what is making you afraid, it is much easier to hone your attention on solving that problem as opposed to tackling a great sprawling fear.
Over Educate Yourself
The age-old utterance that flying is the safest form of transport is true. Sometimes fear can come from not understanding something and education can be part of the cure. The more you understand about the art of flying, the more comfortable you will feel in the air. Familiarize yourself with the process, understand every single noise, and read all you can about turbulence. Knowledge is the key to being able to calmly explain things to yourself when you panic about that clunking noise or hit turbulence.
All those who fear turbulence should be sure to download the SOAR app. Along with handy hints and tips from former pilot and licensed therapist Tom Bunn, it also has a handy G Force meter. Even though turbulence can feel like you are dipping dramatically in the sky, odds are you moving barely an inch at a time. This app will tell you exactly how much G force the airplane is experiencing – seeing how little you are moving up and down stops the imagination running wild and is a visual reminder that everything is fine.
Avoid the Drugs
It may seem like a good idea to dose up on tranquilizers or fill your boots with booze, but this can deliver a false level of comfort. By turning to drugs and alcohol to get you through the flight, you are reinforcing to your body and your brain that there is something to fear. Alcohol especially can also add to anxiety and leave you dehydrated at high altitude, which won’t make you feel healthy. Avoid the drugs and alcohol and instead arrive ready, well rested, armed with education and a willingness to be present and aware and practice mindful breathing.
Stop the Movie
One of the most important things you need to learn about anxiety and flying is to be on the flight you are on, and not the flight you think you are on. Nervous flyers have wild and untamed imaginations and are able to conjure every tragic flight scene from every story, newspaper and movie they have seen. Learn to stop the movie in your head and bring yourself back to your reality – the reality that your flight is safe and you will get to your destination unharmed.
Top Tip; Know someone scared of flying? Gift them our Flight Gift Card and encourage them to take a short haul trip someplace splendid. Facing the fear is the first step…