In an episode of the sitcom “The Simpsons”, Marge goes nuts when she gets on a plane. Taken for therapy, it was revealed that she repressed something shocking that she saw her father do when she was young and this led to a fear of flying. What the little Marge witnessed was that her father worked as a ‘stewardess’. Shocking indeed. For some people, past experiences (consider Marge), frustrations or a combination of other phobias, result in the fear of flying. The most potent being the premonition that the plane would crash resulting in death. Before the invention of flight, the desire to fly was considered as abnormal. Now, the fear of flying is considered as an abnormality. This unrealistic fear is due to the anxiety that is based in the inherent knowledge that man was never supposed to fly. It is against the natural instinct of self preservation. Currently, flying is considered as one of the safest mode of public transportation. However, that doesn’t stop people from being afraid of flying. Believe it or not even the rich and famous have fear of flying! Oscar award winner Kate Winslet and her director husband Sam Mendes are so afraid of dying in a plane crash that they never ever fly together. Similarly, Jennifer Aniston and Whoopi Goldberg have a fear of flying too. Fear, scary experiences, and tragic flight accidents of the past create psychological pressure, which makes flying a misery! Do you have the same fear as Jennifer Aniston? Are you one of those many passengers, who sit in cabin worrying, praying to god for safe landing? Here are some tips, which will help you to get rid of fear of flying.
How To Overcome Fear Of Flying
- It is the fear of unknown, which makes people suffer from aerophobia or fear of flying. They are frightened of unknown happenings like being hijacked, plane crashing, or being injured in plane accident. Your first step is to understand that flying is as safe as driving or travelling in trains. A simple Google search will make you learn how safe is air travel, how airplanes fly, how pilots are trained and other aspects of air travel. This first step of educating youself on air travel will surely help ypo in overcoming your irrational behavior and thus diminishing your fear.
- Days before the trip, visualize a safe flying experience. It’s important to relax, close your eyes and visualize boarding the flight, take-off, enjoying the flight by reading a book or watching in-flight movie. All you need is to picture yourself calm, cool, and composed. This visualization exercise will keep you relaxed and prepare you for actual flight experience.
- In advance, research some meditation and breathing techniques. Once on the plane, practice these techniques to relax. It is a good idea to carry with you the things that can distract you. Carry books, magazines, ipod etc to entertain you and to keep you busy during the flight.
- Try to strike up a conversation with co travelers. Talking with passengers around you will make the environment feel relaxed. Ask your doubts from flight attendants. They will be more than happy to help. This will make you feel at ease, as you will realize that you are in safe hands.
- It is essential to create a positive mental state before and during the trip. Focus on: What is so good about the flying experience? How exciting it will be to watch floating clouds from the window? How glad you will be to see your relatives for whom you are taking this flight? You can also catch up on your sleep and relax for a while. Think of whatever makes you happy in relation to your trip.
- Fear of flying is common. It will be a bad idea to cope with it by consuming alcohol or drugs. Alcohol will not help you to get rid of your fear rather will leave you dehydrated.
- If you are undertaking a long distance journey by air, then try to avoid connecting flights. This way you can avoid hassles of boarding, and take –off again and again.
- Fear of flying might be a serious problem for some people. For those, it’s good to seek assistance. There are books, training courses, therapy classes, and DVD’s to help them overcome the fear of flying.