Flying

Conquering the Fear of Flying; How Do You Do It?

TrueToHerself - fear of flyingWhat may seem to many to be an irrational fear of flying can be debilitating for a person who suffers from this. A fear of flying can be the result of a multitude of things, some of which may or may not be immediately apparent.

We don’t want this to be something that stops you from chasing after your adventure, so we are going to have a look at some different aspects surrounding the fear of flying.

One of the most common causes behind a fear of flying is having previously encountered a traumatic experience while flying or being in a high place. However, these are not the only times when experiences result in a fear. For some, their fear of flying is the result of various forms of anxiety.

When you next find that wave of fear is building, try some of the following tips to help you conquer your fear of flying.

Before we dive into these tips in this series, we first need to understand a couple of key things. You may not see positive results in extreme cases, as your fear of flying may be based on a previous traumatic experience. If this is the case, do not lose heart if you find that these tips do not work.

This is why it is key to understand how this type of fear can emanate from various anxieties. Some of these other causes which you need to know about as you learn how to overcome your fear of flying are as follows.

Not Having Control

TrueToHerself - fear of flyingSome anxieties coming from a lack of control are acutely felt by the person suffering from then. Knowing that the plane is completely under the control of the pilots, no matter how qualified, is still scary. You don’t personally know how good they are at what they do, you most likely don’t know them at all. And thus your anxiety finds enough ground to begin the worry.

Some people find flying extremely stressful as they do not understand all of the little pings and beeps heard in the cabin. The grinding and clunking sounds outside don’t seem normal (but in this ill-informed situation, what is?), and they don’t really know what those little flashing lights mean (these are normal, and the plane is safe to fly, trust me, you’ll be OK).

As a very frequent flyer, I often encounter people who struggle with their fear of flying. For them, not having control of the situation can be all that it takes to bring on anxiety. This may cause them to doubt the capability or the competence of the crew and the pilots to do their job effectively.

A telltale sign that you need to work on conquering your fear of flying can be seen in this particular trigger. When you start thinking that can do a better job of flying the plane than the professional pilots who have been flying for decades, the following tips may help you.

Should I be consumed by fears of terrorism?

TrueToHerself - fear of flyingThe chances of you personally having a direct experience with terrorism is extremely low. This does not mean that these types of stories won’t have an effect on you. The media is at times flooded with headlines screaming fear and dread, yet every day there are thousands upon thousands of flights, big planes right through to tiny planes, that encounter no interference.

The sad reality is that the news of a smooth flight, perfect in-flight meal service, no delays or lost luggage will never make the news. And these are the vast majority of flights I have had.

Yes, my bags have missed connecting flights before, and there have been meals that were not great. I’ve never seen anything remotely close to a terrorist act at an airport or on a plane in more than 30 years of flying on at least a monthly rate.

With how you may perceive flying in general, these concerns, although valid in your mind, are not true, nor are they serving you.

If the fear of flying you experience is brought on by this form of anxiety, then there are some steps I would suggest you apply in order to conquer your fear of flying. You will find that by shifting your focus to the robust strengths and proven steps taken by airport security staff and their systems that any such fears now look unrealistic. Airport security staff are highly trained and they keep millions of people safe every week.

Turbulence

TrueToHerself - fear of flyingYour first few encounters with mild turbulence can be unsettling. Bad turbulence isn’t much fun either, but it will not result in your flight becoming unsafe.

Forbes published an article in June 2013 about turbulence. It was the story of a man who burst out crying during a particularly rough patch of turbulence encountered on a Singapore Airlines flight.

According to the article, this specific bout of turbulence was sufficiently strong that it resulted in injury to some of the crew onboard who attempted to pacify the man in his state. Turbulence is not a thing to be ignored as a passenger, however, if you follow the instructions of the captain and the crew you’ll be safe.

The fight can get bumpy and meal service is normally stopped, this is to avoid any injuries to passengers from hot food and drink spillages, or losing balance while unseated. Keeping your seatbelt on will protect you from even the most worrying turbulence. It’s a lot like driving on a bumpy road; it will end and smooth flying will resume.

Claustrophobia; enclosed spaces

TrueToHerself - fear of flyingClaustrophobia can also be a very strong trigger behind your fear of flying. If you suffer from a fear of enclosed spaces this can be the culprit, rather than flying being the actual fear.

even know that your fear is more about enclosed or small spaces, then flying is really just associated and you can overcome that.

If you can keep these various triggers in mind, you will find that you will be able to take steps which will work best for you. Your situation may be very different, so instead of relying on a set of generic steps which have a high chance of not helping you, you should seek specialist support.

About the author

Pam Taylor