Want to find a way to get over fear of flying? Do you find boarding an aircraft a tortuous experience, knowing you are going to have to endure a white knuckle ride, nervousness, a pounding heart, feeling sick and wishing you didn't have to put yourself through such an experience in order to just get to your destination. A close relative of mine suffers from exactly those symptoms, only made worse by those around her happily falling asleep the moment the aircraft leaves the ground, while she suffers in silence. For those who do suffer from anxiety while flying, the days in the run up to departure can make for a very uncomfortable time indeed. For me, (I am one of those happily falling asleep) this would put dread into the start and end of the trip.
Top 10 tips to get over fear of flying
So what can you do to help rid yourself of those feelings of panic and anxiety? For those with a mild to moderate condition you can Get over fear of flying with the top 10 simple tips below and smooth those jangled nerves before the flight and on the flight:
Tell the cabin crew
Tell the flight attendant when you board so they are aware of your fear. Also share your fears if chatting to the person next to you. This usually helps unless of course they have a fear of flying too. Generally these things can help to support you rather than you suffering in silence. Don't be embarrassed, 40% of people suffer with fear of flying. If possible fly with a friend who isn't afraid of flying, they can keep you chatting and distracted or help support you.
Sit near the front
Sit near the front of the aircraft and if possible book your seat in advance so it's one less thing to worry you. Turbulence is felt less towards the front and much more towards the rear of the aircraft. Sit in an aisle seat, so you can't see out of the window as easily, helping to block out visual stimuli which can set your imagination racing and you have better access to the flight attendants.
Dealing with turbulence
When you do go through turbulence, think of it as a bumpy road, let your body go with it just as you would in a car. Try not to dwell on turbulence, remember some flights are smooth and experience very little.
Visualise the great place you are going to
Think about the great holiday you will have when you get there. Let your mind wander on to the images of the place you are travelling to. The white sandy beach, lapping warm waters and luxurious hotel surroundings are far better thoughts than I am at 39,000 feet and all four engines are about to fail.
Keep yourself distracted
Listen to some relaxing music on an MP3 player, watch a movie, read a book or magazine. Playing games of the electronic variety is a good distraction. Some aircraft have screens built into the back of the headrest of the seat in front of you, these usually include films, games and radio to while away the time and keep your thoughts away from your fears.
Use a breathing technique to calm yourself
There is a breathing technique which helps to set your heart back to a natural steady rhythm. Breathe in for 5 seconds slowly inhaling to fill your lungs, then take another 5 seconds to breathe out, expelling all the air in your lungs slowly. Do this continually for a few minutes with your eyes closed all the while visualising something which makes you feel good. Repeat this periodically throughout the flight. This is also a good relaxation technique to combat anxiety.
Don't drink caffeine and steady on the alcohol
Don't drink coffee as this will just make you feel even more jittery. Water or other light soft drinks are better to keep you hydrated. A glass of something alcoholic is OK to relax you but keep it in moderation as too much alcohol will dehydrate you and as alcohol is a stimulus only serve to exacerbate the situation.
The odds of dying in a plane crash
The chances of you dying in a plane crash are around 1 in 11 million. So good odds of that NOT happening then. Why not arm yourself with some more facts about how planes work. The more knowledge you have about what's happening when a plane is in the air the less frightening it will be.
Learn to fly on your home computer
Buy or download a flight simulator, especially one that has commercial jet aircraft included in the programme. If you can learn to fly one of these on a PC, you will have a bit more idea about what the pilot is doing on your real flight. It’s not easy in these days of heightened security where the cockpit is locked shut for the duration of the flight but if you can chat to the pilot.
Avoid the news on air accidents
If a real air disaster does happen somewhere in the world, avoid the media news on the TV, online and in newspapers for a while until the news has played out. The media have a tendency to over dramatise events in the hope it will promote their organisation, meanwhile you are left wondering if your worst fears have just been confirmed and the event is likely to be at the forefront of your mind the next time you step on to an aircraft.
Fear of flying courses and books
Whatever level your fear of flying is that you suffer, from mild to extreme, there are courses and books that can help you to overcome your fears so that you can learn to fly feeling relaxed and in control. I would recommend one of the courses or books by Captain Tom Bunn. He is an airline captain, licensed therapist, founder of SOAR and he has helped thousands of people get over fear of flying.
If you are suffering serious anxiety about flying why not take a course to help combat your fear of flying. Read our main review of the courses and programs available at SOAR which are available on DVD but can also be downloaded on-line, so you can do the course from your own home.
As well as running the above courses Captain Tom Bunn has written a book titled - "Soar: The Breakthrough Treatment for Fear of Flying". The book is available on Amazon in paperback on Kindle e-book versions and is based on the same principles he teaches in his courses. Many people give really good reviews of this book and say it really helped them on both Amazon.com (rated 4.8 out of 5) and Amazon.co.uk (rated 4.9 out of 5).
If you found the above tips on how to get over fear of flying helpful, please share so others can benefit from the post as well or if you have any questions or tips of your own to get over fear of flying, leave a comment below.