Fear of flying is also known as aerophobia, aviatophobia, or aviophobia. It is not uncommon even in this age of globetrotting. There are still many people who suffer different degrees of this type of fear. Some individuals are only anxious about flying while others have a real phobia of riding in an airplane.
The three main reasons why some people are afraid to fly are:
- Fear of crashing
- Fear because they are not in control
- Fear resulting from claustrophobia
If you have a fear of flying, here are some tips in calming your fear:
- Think positive thoughts. Each time your mind wanders into the realm of negative thoughts, catch yourself and think of only positive things. Don’t go into disaster movie scenario each time you think of flying or when you are on a plane. You can distract yourself by listening to calming music, watching an upbeat film, reading a good book, playing a game or indulging in a crossword puzzle. If you are flying with someone, have a nice chat.
- Breathe deeply. Practice good breathing techniques. Breathing too quickly makes your heart beat faster. Take a long deep breath then let the air out slowly until you feel that your lungs are absolutely empty. Do this several times when you feel anxious or nervous. The more you practice this breathing technique, the easier it gets. Soon it will be second nature to you.
- No to caffeine, yes to herbal tea. Stay clear of drinks that are laced with caffeine. Studies have shown that caffeine causes one to be more jittery and nervous. On the other hand, some herbal teas have a calming effect apart from their other health benefits. Chamomile tea is a great relaxant. Other herbal teas that calm the nerves are passion flower tea, peppermint tea, lavender tea and lemon balm. Just steep a tea bag in hot water for 20 minutes before drinking.
- Find out the truth about flying. Educate yourself about the benefits and risks of flying. Planes are designed and built to fly over long distances. They have to pass strict safety laws in order to be air-worthy. Pilots have undergone rigorous training and know exactly what to do when an emergency happens. Air traffic controllers are on the ground to assist the pilots before takeoff, during the flight and in landing the plane. Turbulence is a normal occurrence. It may be uncomfortable at times but it doesn’t mean that the plane is about to fall out of the sky. Millions upon millions of people fly all over the globe 24/7. Flying is a routine. The accidents that happened in the past were just flukes and not the norm.
- Undergo hypnosis. Explore the option of hypnosis to calm your fear of flying. Different people react differently to hypnosis. Some are cured of their fear while others become only less anxious of flying compared to before. See a hypnotherapist. You may just be one of the lucky ones who lose their fear of riding an airplane.
Fear of flying is not something to be ashamed off. Many people who suffer from this condition have their own reasons for not exactly being ecstatic over riding an airplane, helicopter or any other aerial means of transportation. If you suffer from this condition, you can conquer your fear. There are calming techniques that you can do on your own. Or, you can seek help from professionals who can assist you in conquering the fear of traveling through the friendly blue skies.