Travel is one of the greatest inventions of our time. Thanks to these, we can discover different places, different cultures, and have unique experiences that allow us to develop a comprehensive mind. As the American writer, Ray Bradbury used to say, “Seeing the world through your eyes is a thousand times better than any dream.” However, one of the most convenient, fast, and economical means of transportation to discover the world is by plane. Being afraid to fly can be very disabling, limiting your choice of destinations and preventing you from fully enjoying your vacation. In this article, we’ll give you several tips to overcome your fear of flying and finally allow you to conquer the fear of flying and reach the most beautiful distant landscapes. If you too are annoyed to hear that the plane is the safest means of transport and you finally want to find the means to overcome your fears to finally spend your flights in a peaceful way, we will give you the best means to cure your fear of flying.
Understanding the anxiety about flying
Before we can focus on how to get over the fear of flying, it is important to understand the differences between fear, anxiety, and panic attacks. This will allow you to be able to reconnect your feelings about taking a plane and regain a sense of control that is often seen as lost in anxiety disorders. Fear is a primary emotion that is directly related to real danger. It has a real survival function for humans because it allows signaling the presence of external danger. When one is afraid, there are generally three ways of reacting to it: flight, attack, or paralysis.
Unlike fear, anxiety, and panic attacks are not related to real objective danger but to internal psychic danger. We can categorize the fear of flying as a psychic danger because, objectively, statistics prove that it is a safer mode of transport than the car, for example. If you are afraid of taking a plane, you may not be afraid of taking your car or the bus. Yet these are means of transport categorized as more dangerous. The main difference between anxiety and panic attacks lies in the temporality of the experience. A panic attack is defined as an intense and sudden surge of fear but over a limited time frame. The panic attack usually happens over a relatively short period of time. Unlike panic, anxiety is often a feeling of fear that lasts over time and is often present in everyday life. Panic attacks that persist over time can lead to the development of anxiety. This means that one develops the fear of being afraid.
The anxiety curve
To be able to develop a method of coping with the fear of flying, it is important to go a little deeper into anxiety. To do this, it is essential to identify which thoughts about the airplane trigger your anxiety state. It could be crashing, or losing control. This means that as soon as any of these thoughts cross your mind, your body will go into a state of danger. When the danger state is issued, your heart rate will accelerate which will create excess oxygen in your system. It is precisely this excess that will cause the symptoms associated with panic attacks. It can happen to feel dizzy, have tingling sensations in the limbs. During severe anxiety attacks, you may even experience derealization which is a feeling where reality becomes strange and is perceived as unfamiliar. You may also have a feeling of dissociation which is as if you are standing above your body as disconnected from it. When this happens to you, it is important to remember that all of these sensations are directly related to just having too much oxygen in your system.
One element that enables dealing with the fear of flying is knowing that it is physically impossible to remain in this state of panic for a long period of time. Although these sensations are very unpleasant and sometimes make you feel like you are going to die, they will usually go away over a period of 30 minutes to 1 hour. So there are no such things as eternal panic attacks and this can be thought to hold onto when you find yourself in these states.
Reconnect to breathing
As mentioned above, the feelings of anxiety you may experience when dealing with your fear of flying is directly due to faster breathing due to your psyche’s perception of danger. Therefore, the best tip for fear of flying is to reconnect with your breathing. One fear of flying treatment developed by psychologists specializing in anxiety consists of decreasing the level of inspiration by adding count in your breathing. For example, start by breathing on two beats and exhaling on four, then on six, then on eight. Which gives: Inhale, 1, 2, Exhale, 1, 2, 3, 4. It is important to keep a rhythm. With this, you can easily restore normal breathing and decrease the oxygen in your system. This will quickly decrease the symptoms experienced by the state of intense fear. This technique is also effective because it allows you to shift the focus of your mind from the unpleasant symptoms to the task at hand.
Desensitization of anxiety
This technique is efficient, practical, and economical. If your fear of flying persists and represents a real handicap for you, we also recommend that you learn about the various techniques for desensitizing fear. They help reduce anxiety before it is felt. This can be done through visualizations. This involves closing your eyes and imagine that you are on a plane. During these visualizations, consider adding positive emotions and a sense of control over the fear you feel. This is a technique often used by cognitive-behavioral therapists (CBT) and is most effective if done as part of a supportive process.
In this article, we have brought you our best fear of flying tips. All you have to do is take off to new destinations, that of well-being and serenity.