What do you know about flying anxiety? Have you experienced it first-hand?
The fear of flying, also known as aviophobia, is more common than you may think. It affects up to 5% of the entire population. That’s hundreds of thousands of people struggling with crippling anxiety at the thought of boarding a plane.
Interestingly, many people who live with this fear claim they perfectly understand that flying is a safe way of transportation. However, they still get chills when it comes to hopping on an airplane due to the link their minds have created between the act of flying and the fear itself.
But aviophobia is not the only fear passengers may experience when being miles away from the ground. For instance, some have a severe fear of heights, while others suffer from claustrophobia, making them feel trapped when being in an enclosed area for too long.
Whatever is triggering your anxiety, there are ways you can overpower it.
Here are 5 crucial steps to help you overcome your flying anxiety:
1. Do your research.
Before entering an airplane, take your time to research all the information you need about the process of flying. Get to know the measures taken for keeping the passengers safe, from stepping their foot on the plane to landing at the destination of their choice. Being aware of the possible dangers and knowing exactly what to do to protect yourself will give you a sense of security when it is time for you to hop on your next flight.
2. Study what went wrong in plane crashes.
Watching a plane crash documentary while struggling with flying anxiety probably sounds petrifying. But just for a moment, consider observing how the industry has developed through the years to avoid such harrowing accidents. Maybe what you need to overcome your fear is an exact explanation of what could go wrong and how it can be managed successfully.
3. Learn why turbulence occurs.
Air turbulence is probably the biggest concern of travelers. But maybe, if you are aware of what causes it, you might be less worried when boarding a plane.
National Geographic describes turbulence as chaotic and capricious eddies of air, disturbed from a calmer state by various forces. It could occur everywhere, from ground level to far above cruising altitude. If you fear turbulence, Heather Poole, a flight attendant for 21 years, advises you to fly early in the day and sit as far forward in the plane as you can.
4. Talk to the flight attendants.
It is part of the flight attendants’ job to assist passengers and answer questions related to the flight. So, you might as well take advantage of that and engage in a conversation with them if you experience flying anxiety. Besides, they have endured specialized training to deal with perplexing situations on the job, which means they would almost always know how to react or comfort you if something unexpected happens.
5. Seek professional help if needed.
Sometimes facing your fears on your own is far too challenging. When you feel like you just cannot deal with your flying anxiety alone, don’t be afraid to ask for assistance. A professional mental health provider can help you find out what had triggered your fear, understand its essence, and, eventually, overcome it.
Do you struggle with flying anxiety? Do you know someone else who does? In your opinion, what is the best way to overcome this fear? Let us know in the comment section!