If you love to travel, you have likely flown to a number of locations around the world. But for some people, regardless of the number of miles they’ve flown or how many times they’ve been in an airplane, their fear of flying still appears. Luckily, there are some things you can do that will help to alleviate the fear and anxiety you feel when flying. So whether you’re someone who gets cold sweats just thinking about boarding an airplane or you’re looking to help a friend or child face their own fears, here are three ways you can begin to overcome a fear of flying.
Figure Out Exactly What Your Fear Is
Until you can pinpoint what it is that you’re afraid of with regards to flying, it’s going to be very difficult for you to find ways to address those fears. According to Paul Abercrombie, a contributor to the Washington Post, people who say they have a fear of flying often mean they have a fear of tight spaces, a fear of turbulence, a fear of relinquishing control, a fear of heights, or a fear of strange noises. Once you’re able to figure out exactly what your fear is, you’ll have much better luck finding strategies for facing those fears and overcoming your fear of flying.
Understand Your Anxiety
After you’ve nailed down what your fear is, you can begin to understand that anxiety and how you can work with it to overcome it. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, the anticipation of a fear is often stronger than the fear itself. This means that if you’re able to relax leading up to your flight, you have a much better chance of facing your fear with success. Additionally, if you’re able to separate your fear from your knowledge of being in danger, you take some of the power away from that fear and can essentially outsmart your anxiety. While this whole process will take some practice, by understanding your anxiety and how it can affect your mind and body, you can start to take major strides toward overcoming your fear of flying.
Educate Yourself About Turbulence
One of the biggest triggers for fear and anxiety while in the air is turbulence. However, by simply educating yourself about what turbulence is and how it works with the plane, you can rationalize a lot of your fears of flying. Ali Wunderman, a contributor to Travel and Leisure, writes that turbulence is just the plane moving through different wind currents. Just like birds, planes are meant to do this. In fact, planes are meant to withstand a lot more turbulence than almost any plane will ever be exposed to. With this in mind, hopefully you’re able to relax a little bit more if your plane experiences turbulence while midair.
If you’re ready to overcome your fear of flying, use the tips mentioned above to help you do just that.