How Can You Get Over Fear Of Flying?

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Fear of Flying? How to Overcome Flight Anxiety

Diving in Egypt, shopping in New York, on safari in South Africa or sunbathing on the Turkish Riviera—it can be hard to choose when booking a holiday. But this is an easy decision for some because they will never visit any of these places. After all, they have one thing in common: They can best be reached by plane. Those who suffer from fear of flying will have to rule out these destinations with a heavy heart.

Every person has certain fears. In some cases, however, these fears develop into phobias. Some people are deathly afraid of spiders, while others are terrified of riding in elevators. Bad experiences can often trigger these phobias.

Fear of flying is contingent upon various factors. On the one hand, it can occur in combination with other fears, like acrophobia, or a fear of heights. On the other hand, the loss of control is hard for many, because during the flight they are completely at the mercy of the pilot. But a lack of information about flying and airplanes can also trigger this phobia, especially if one is not aware of how a plane moves in flight or what it has been designed to withstand. Even people who have never had problems with flying can develop a phobia after threatening personal experiences like strong turbulence.

 

What are the symptoms of fear of flying?

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The symptoms can range from mild discomfort to panic. Feelings of fear are generally exhibited on three levels: the mind, body, and behavior. The first level, we begin to imagine everything that could possibly happen in flight. Many actually convince themselves that the plane is going to crash. On this mental level, even the “buckle up” sign that alights during turbulence can be perceived as a threat. The second stage is characterized by physical discomforts, such as perspiration, trembling, nausea, unease, and shortness of breath. In short: the body begins to overreact. To prevent these symptoms from occurring, we alter instead our behavior, either by fleeing before the flight begins or by actively avoiding plane travel altogether. Another alternative is to numb feelings of angst with alcohol or mild medication. However, these three components can escalate so intensively that the anxiety can no longer be controlled.

Can You Get Over Fear Of Flying?

Fear of flying can be treated like any other anxiety through therapy. One learns in therapy to confront his or her fears as well as useful ways for overcoming them. Fear is, after all, a very important protective mechanism in the human body. It deters us from acting reckless and causes us to act prudently. Fear can also have positive effects, like motivating us to achieve higher performance. The goal of therapy is to reduce our fear to a manageable level so that we can control it and thus avoid panic attacks. The sequence of steps in therapy for overcoming fear may vary. It is fundamental, however, to address all three levels of fear. Many find it helpful to learn the fundamentals of flying and aviation security measures. This information removes the fundamental basis of our fear, and flying no longer seems so forbidding. Positive thinking can also forestall feelings of fear, such as visualizing your vacation destination and how much fun you will have. Relaxation and meditation exercises are also helpful for dispelling fear and panic. Simply a tensing and releasing of muscles in the body can reduce tension as it occurs. Or: try inhaling and exhaling slowly to relax your body. We recommend breathing in two beats—breathe in on one, then slowly breathe out on two. These relaxation exercises can also help you combat stress in day-to-day situations.

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The most effective way to conquer the fear of flight is to fly more often. This is the only way to gather positive experiences, which will diminish your fear of flying considerably.

After all, don’t we all long for finally booking that dream vacation which cannot be reached by bus, train or car?

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