Traveling for the holidays, work, or leisure? Surely you would rather be on a beach somewhere relaxing in the sun than standing in line for airplane back check. While airplane travel can be a nuisance for many, others feel aerophobia, also known as fear of flying. Statistically, 25% of people are afraid of flying. Don’t let a fear of flying keep you from traveling to your most loved destinations. In reality, there is a one in 11 million chance of dying in a plane crash, but one in 5,000 in a car. There are ways to cope and overcome your fears:
Know The Facts- Limit “What If” thoughts. Instead, become knowledgeable about airplane safety statistics, standards, and precautions. Turbulence does not cause plane crashes, rather it’s changes in airflow.
Reduce Triggers- You can manage your fear when anxiety levels are low. Read a magazine, sleep, listen to music, and be calm. Focus on something that won’t cause you anxiety and ultimately tune out distractions and anxious thoughts.
Fake It Till You Make It- Even if you feel anxiety and fear, you can pretend you have no distress regarding your flight.
Face Your Fear- Consider that each flight is helping you get over your fears. Exposure to flights will help you progress and make the next one easier. Take baby steps – if flying over water or long flights trigger your anxiety, start with a short flight over land.
Pat yourself on the back for a job well done. You survived your flight without having an anxiety attack. Remember that traveling can be fun! The benefits of travel are almost immediate. After only a day or two, 89% of people experience significant drops in stress.