Most people have to live with a fear of something, and if you happen to know someone saying he/she fears only God or something like that, be sure they’re afraid of facing their own fears. When it comes to FEAR OF FLYING, there are two basic paths one can follow, as it happens with any kind of fear: face it, or avoid it. Unfortunately, sometimes you may be forced to face the fear of flying, so this article will try to help you go through this challenge…
… but first, let’s make things clear: fear of flying is not only the fear of being in a plane.
As a funny very short side story, I happen to knew someone who had a serious problem with mustard – the condiment, not the plant or the gas used in World War I. Her fear was so great, that it was enough to say “mustard” to make her stop eating, and saying it again was enough to make her leave the room (and hate you for the rest of your life, obviously). Funny to hear it, but not funny to be the one with fear of mustard, that’s a fact!
Going back to the fear of flying, I should add that this is usually defined as the fear of being on any flying vehicle, while in FLIGHT. Sometimes referred to as aerophobia, aviatophobia, aviophobia or pteromerhanophobia, this phobia can go as far as inflicting panic attacks or vomiting at the mere sight or mention of air travel or aircraft. Sure, there may be a lot of things to add, but we don’t want this to turn into a work of science, so let’s concentrate on the two main targets I mentioned above: AVOIDING and FACING fear of flying.
How to avoid the fear of flying
If you simply want to dodge and get out of it without flying, you may want to try using a car, train, or maybe even a boat. Anyway, I don’t know how many people can really afford the time spent for a transoceanic cruise… or you can simply jump into the plane and try to sleep for as long as possible during the flight! I am sure this is only a TEMPORARY SOLUTION, so best thing to do is handle you fear of flying as soon as possible using the right method: kill it!
How to fight your fear of flying
Unfortunately, this is not as simple as saying “I have no fear of flying” one thousand times and then getting on the plane, because different reasons may lead to this phobia. For example, some people may feel fine when flying over land during daylight hours, but they may be terrified of flying over water, or flying at night. After the September, 2001, hijackings, it was obvious that everyone was afraid of hijacking and terrorism, but things returned to normal in the following years. If you try to fight your fear of flying, I think these are some of the most important steps to take:
1. Get up to date information! While absolute number of AIRCRAFT ACCIDENTS may increase, you should also keep in mind that the number of flights has seen a steady growth, too, and the rate of this growth easily exceeds the growth rate of the deadly incidents occurring. In most areas, aircraft travel is THE SAFEST METHOD one can use, so try to relax, will you?
2. Embrace your fear – statistics claim that one in eight Americans deliberately avoids commercial air travel, so you don’t have to feel like the only one in this position. Just try to think about the time you will save using this way of travel, not to mention the overall confidence boost you should achieve!
3. Some airlines offer special programs to help passengers overcome their fear of flying. Be sure to call and ask about details, choosing the best solution available.
4. If you think that planes are crowded and you are prone to claustrophobia, then you should request an AISLE SEAT. SeatMaestro’s seat maps can help you finding the best seat to choose – after all, you don’t have to be afraid of flying to get a nightmare of a flight on a bad seat…
5. Once inside the plane, try to keep yourself occupied; fear of flying is like a virus taking up your entire MEMORY, so try listening to some music or watching a movie. I think it’s obvious that you should avoid movies involving air disasters or hijackings… 😉
6. No matter what you do, RELAX and try to always keep in mind the most important thing in life – YOU are in control! Sure, humans were not built to fly, but there are so many air travellers who consider it as natural as breathing – be one of them!
At last, you should take a look back at the first item in the list above, go online, and start hunting – see how planes are being made, how do they work, GET INFORMATION about those countless incidents where planes with one dead engine or even without power made it safely back to an airport, and so on. More people die while crossing the street than in plane crashes, so leave your fear of flying behind and look ahead, will you?