4 Steps to Overcome your Fear of Flying
We’ve all heard the statement “You’re more likely to die in a car accident than a plane crash.” While this is true, it’s cold comfort for someone who has a general anxiety about flying. For the most part, people are logically aware that flying is a safe form of travel. The issue is that their body has created a neurological response where flying is associated with anxiety and stress.
Whether you feel a bit anxious before boarding or have full blown aerophobia, here are a few things that can help to lessen your fear and make for a better flying experience.
- Understand your fear. While many share a fear of flying, what triggers their anxiety can be widely varied. Some of the main triggers are the lack of control, fear of heights or confined spaces, fear of turbulence or concern about germs and viruses. Understanding what triggers your flight anxiety can help you better deal with your fear. For example, if you struggle with confined spaces or fear of heights, taking an aisle seat can help. Learning what triggers your fear can make it easier to anticipate and turn it off.
- Educate yourself. Often, diving into the facts can help take the mystery out of what’s causing you stress. If you hate turbulence, do research on it to understand what causes it and how planes are built to handle it. If you stuggle with your lack of control (someone else is in the “flyers” seat), get familiar with the statistics on air travel and the fact that it’s one of the safest forms of
- Change your stress response. The way our bodies are wired to react to stress makes them unable to differentiate between feeling of anxiety and real danger. Our nervous system defaults to the our fight or flight” response, flooding our bodies with hormones including adrenaline and cortisol and making us feel out of control. One way to change your response to your fear is by using TouchPoints. Developed by neuropsychologists, TouchPoints are stress relief devices that use gentle, alternating vibrations on either side of your body to change your stress response, rapidly restoring balance to your nervous system and putting you back in control.
“I got relief from ABSOLUTE Fear of flying! I'm almost 50 and I'm the crazy lady on the plane with tears praying out loud. With my touchpoints on high, I rode the turbulence like a pro! My heart did 'grab' and my tummy didn't drop. Thank you!” - Alicia Fuchs
- Talk to a therapist. If your fear of flying is paralyzing and causing you to avoid air travel all together, talking to a professional can help. Exposure therapy, which is designed to help you systematically face the things that you are afraid of or avoiding, can be very effective in helping to acknowledge and overcome your fears. If you’re interested in something a bit more alternative, you can also try hypnotherapy, which is said to help reprogram your mind so that you are no longer feeling the fear.