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How to Overcome the Fear of Flying
The fear of flying is also known by its scientific name of aerophobia, and it often occurs in combination with other phobias such as a fear of heights (acrophobia) or enclosed spaces (claustrophobia). This is a fear that can be difficult to avoid dealing with, especially if you have a job that involves travel, or family and friends who live in different countries.
At its most extreme, the fear of flying can lead to a panic attack just at the mention of aeroplanes and air travel. Overcoming the fear of flying is seen by many sufferers as important, so these suggestions may help you to prevent the fear becoming so great that you cannot travel.
Be familiar with what to expect
Planes do experience turbulence from time to time, so speak to someone who knows what it is like. Regardless of how bad the turbulence was, the plane landed safely because you are talking to the person. Find out what the engine noises sound like – perhaps watch some videos online. Take off and landing are extremely difficult to simulate, but ask someone who flies regularly to try and describe it to you, in as much detail as they can.
Understand that flying is safe
Logically, you may already be aware of the statistics, and know that flying is one of the safest forms of transport. However, with phobias such as the fear of flying, logic plays very little part. The statistics show that aeroplanes are least likely of all forms of transport to be involved in an accident, so it may help you to conquer your fear by learning why this is the case, and how flight actually works. Knowing and understanding the science behind the mode of transport can help to ease your fears, which often stem from fear that the plane is going to fall out of the sky. This is not the case, as even the largest aircraft are capable of gliding.
Try some calming techniques
You may find it beneficial to learn some methods of promoting relaxation and a calm state of mind. This can help you to prevent the panic attacks that are a common aspect of phobias such as the fear of flying.
Meditation is a useful technique that you may want to practice in preparation for your flight. This can help you to maintain a state of calm and prevent panic attacks from occurring. Meditation works by promoting changes in the brainwave patterns from beta to alpha brainwaves. This state is where phobias begin to fade, and is classed as light meditation. If you are able to achieve this state of mind before your flight, and maintain it at least for the beginning of the journey, then it will help you to overcome your fear of flying.
If you are sitting on the plane with nothing to do, then there is nothing to stop your fear from taking over, which is exactly what happens. Make sure you pack books and magazines in your hand luggage, have some of your favourite songs on an mp3 player, or watch one of the in-flight movies. Keep your mind focused on something other than the flight, and you will discover that the fear does not take hold as strongly.
The fear of flying is a common phobia that can be overcome, enabling you to enjoy foreign holidays or go on business trips. Modern life is becoming more international as people move abroad and companies expand, so conquering a fear of flying is going to be increasingly important in the future.