Get over fear of flying

Get over fear of flyingWant 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

Get over fear of flying - sit near the frontSit 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

Get over fear of flying - visualise the place you're goingThink 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

Get over fear of flying - The odds of dying in a plane crashThe 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.

Courses

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.

How to overcome the fear of flying - Guaranteed SOAR Program

 

Books

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.

Posted in Fear of flying, On the move, Top Tips For Holidays, Travel by air and tagged , , .

Neil

I grew up in the UK and still live there today. Throughout my life I have travelled extensively in Europe, Asia, Australasia and US on holidays, mini breaks, business travel and longer travelling trips, so founded http://TopTipsForHolidays.com to help people by providing top tips for holidays and travel.

11 Comments

  1. You travel site is very well organized with some very useful information. I especially enjoyed this article on the fear of flying. I personally have never been afraid to fly, but many members of my family are.

    When traveling with my family members, I used the same advice you give here on sitting close to the front of the plane because turbulence is not as fierce in that section of the plane as it is towards the middle and rear.

    We have also practiced the breathing technique you describe in your article. It is very helpful and for anyone who is reading this thoughtful article, it helps.

    Thank you again!

    • Hi Stephanie,
      Thanks for your great comment. Fortunately, I am not nervous of flying unless the turbulence gets really bumpy, but I can appreciate what those that do get nervous are feeling. My wife doesn’t like flying so I can understand what she and others like her are going through when they step onto an aircraft. Anything you can do to help take your mind off your fears and nervousness is a good thing and the different methods outlined above should all help in some way. Various books, courses and even hypnosis are available to those who are really struggling with the fear of flying.
      Thanks
      Neil

  2. Hi Neil. When I got to your site I just had to read this post. Like you, I’m one who can fall asleep on a plane (though I tend to be the person who will say hello and engage you in conversation – if you seem willing).

    My wife, on the other hand, used to be very fearful. I remember one flight that had a lot of turbulence. She got so shook up that she grabbed the knee of the man sitting next to her. Unfortunately for her, I was on her other side. It was just a bit embarrassing for her. Fortunately, he laughed it off. We still joke together about that one!

    She is a lot better now because 1) she’s flown quite a bit more and 2) she plays electronic games or reads on her Kindle. You suggested both of these as distractions. They have worked for her. Hopefully, you’ll help many others who suffer from the same fears.

    • Hi Allyn,
      Thanks for your nice comments and I’m glad the tips helped your wife. Yes my wife is not too happy with flying either and turbulence seems to be one of the things that she gets most unnerved about. I think some of us can just accept that the shaking of the aircraft during turbulence is only temporary, will stop soon and nothing to worry about, while those afraid of flying get really nervous of turbulence and think the aircraft will shake itself to pieces in mid air. I have occasionally flown in a storm where the aircraft was really jumping around, but it is worth remembering that commercial aircraft are designed to withstand some pretty rough weather so a bit of turbulence shouldn’t be too concerning. My wife also uses electronic games on a tablet or a Kindle as distractions and these seem to help keeping her mind off the flying and also help just pass the time.
      Thanks
      Neil

  3. Even though flying is statistically the safest form of transport it can still be un-nerving. I think this information is perfect for anyone trying to get over their fear of flying.

    • Hi Theo,
      Thanks for your comments! I agree that some people can still find flying unnerving whatever the conditions but I’m glad you find these tips useful.
      Thanks
      Neil

  4. Hello Neil, and thanks for a great site and really useful article on dealing with the fear of flying. I used to travel much more than I do these days, but I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with flying. On the one hand I think it’s wonderful and exhilarating, but on the other I just hate it, or more particularly, I hate taking off. I become so agitated prior to leaving the ground that, for a few years now, I’ve had it in mind that I simply won’t fly again. Discovering your site makes me think I might just change my mind! Cheers.
    Peter

    • Hi Peter,
      Thanks for your comment. Between the time you get on the aircraft and take off, try to relax. I know it’s easier said than done but do the breathing exercises and try to think of being somewhere nice. When the plane is accelerating down the runway just think of this as a bumpy road. If you can look out of the window during take off and focus on the far horizon, this way it doesn’t seem as if the plane is travelling very fast. Keep staring at the horizon until the plane gets high in the air. You can use this even when flying in the dark by looking at lights in the far distance.
      Hope that helps.
      Neil

  5. Good advice, I’m not totally afraid, but I defiantly worry sometimes! I try some of these tips one time!

    Thanks,

    Brooke

    • Hi Brooke,
      They are well worth trying and if you find any of them help you relax and not get worried just keep doing that same thing in future.
      Thanks
      Neil

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