Flying in a plane can be a source of great fear and anxiety for some people. The fear of flying, also called aviophobia, can be a serious limitation for people who have to travel by air.
However, there are various strategies you can use to overcome this fear and enjoy air travel. In this article, we present some effective ways to overcome the fear of flying
Get knowledge about aviation
First, it's worth understanding how airplanes work and why they are a safe means of transportation. Take advantage of available sources such as books, documentaries, and websites offering information about aviation. The more you know about this topic, the more likely your anxiety will be alleviated.
Read about the safety procedures on board the plane and the advanced technologies that make flying so safe.
The truth is that man instinctively fears the most what is unknown to him. Knowing how an airplane works and what statistics have always made air travel the safest of all will help you stay calm and fight the fear of flying in your head.
When searching for information on the Internet, focus on the positive ones, do not read about disasters or accidents in aviation, they also happen, but since we have already mentioned statistics, remember that more accidents happen in your own home, and yet you are not afraid to stay at home yourself in the living room, right?
Airplane safety has reached record levels in recent years, as confirmed by data presented by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). These statistics indicate that the risk of accidents is extremely low, with just five incidents per 32 million flights.
"The risk of loss of life in passenger traffic decreased to 0.11 from 0.23 in 2021 and 0.13 in the five years 2018-2022 . This means - IATA gives an illustrative example - that you would have to fly every day for 25,214 years to surely die in a crash
Such knowledge can significantly help alleviate fear of flying, ensuring passengers feel safe and comfortable while traveling by plane
Get help from professionals "don't be shy
If the fear is really strong and trying to overcome it on your own does not bring results, it is worth consulting a psychotherapist specializing in the treatment of fear of flying. Behavioral therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, or relaxation techniques can be very effective in reducing anxiety and helping you cope with your emotions.
There are cases in which the anxiety is almost panic-inducing, believe me, if you are even considering flying and reading this article, you are definitely not one of those people who have such great anxiety that you cannot cope with it on your own.
Nevertheless, the help of a psychotherapist, if you can afford it, will always help you overcome your fear of flying faster. It will definitely be easier for you under the supervision of a specialist. But focus on working in your head rather than on a magic pill that you swallow and miraculously stop being afraid.
I would recommend the help of a psychotherapist especially when you are professionally forced to travel frequently by air and despite this experience it still causes great discomfort. Nothing shortens our lives like stress, so it is worth fighting against it. The cost of a good psychotherapist can be staggering, but take my word for it, the costs of treating complications resulting from chronic stress will be much higher.
Talk to people you trust about your fear of flying
Share your concerns with family or friends who can support you and understand your feelings. Perhaps someone close to you has experience in overcoming the fear of flying and will share their methods.
If this is your first plane trip, it is best to go with someone you trust and are close to. Last but not least, carefully choose the person who will help you. It is better that it is not a person who is afraid of flying, but rather one who is already an experienced traveler, it would be worth it to be an authority for you.
Learn relaxation breathing techniques
Breathing exercises can help you calm your nerves and relax before or during a flight. Focus on calm and deep breathing, which will help reduce tension and stress. Sign up for a few yoga sessions before you fly, and I'm serious here.
In Poland, yoga is not as popular as in the West, especially among men, and it is a very underestimated way to deal with stress.
Yoga will teach you basic techniques for dealing with stress, focusing on breathing will distract you from all other thoughts. It's a meditation like this, only a little less advanced.
Choose a short flight to start the fight against fear
If the anxiety is great, try to overcome it over a shorter distance, such as within the country or on a short trip. The shorter distance may be less scary and will allow you to gradually become more comfortable with flying.
Sometimes imagining situations in which you experience anxiety can help prepare you for the actual journey. For example, you can watch videos or photos of airplanes flying to get your mind used to these situations.
Find entertainment on board
While flying, try to occupy your attention so that you do not focus on fear. Take your favorite book, headphones with music or movies that will absorb your attention and take your mind off anxiety.
Just please, don't download the entire sky crash season to your phone, a light comedy that would definitely be a better idea. There is no better medicine than natural endorphins.
Remember to support the cabin crew
The flight staff are professionally prepared for various situations and can help you deal with your fear of flying. If you feel the need, talk to them about your concerns - their support can be very valuable.
The fear of flying is a common problem, but it should not limit our travels and opportunities. Overcoming this fear may take time and effort, but it is achievable with appropriate strategies, support from loved ones and professional help.
Gaining knowledge about aviation, using relaxation techniques and recreating aviation situations in your imagination are just some of the ways that will help you overcome your fear and enjoy air travel without unnecessary worries.
You may have noticed that I have almost completely omitted pharmaceutical methods of dealing with the fear of flying. The truth is that you can always take a pill, but even the strongest pill won't help you if you have a monster in your head that is stronger.