How to overcome a fear of flying

Everyone has a phobia of some sort. It could be anything from a fear of open spaces to the fear of public speaking. A very common and very real phobia is Aviophobia which is the fear of flying. This can be an extremely debilitating phobia to have and it often prevents people from having many amazing experiences. Thankfully, though, there are a number of ways to overcome a fear of flying.

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Identify Triggers

First, it is important to identify the things that trigger you getting anxious about flying and figure out what provokes these fears. Triggers could be things such as thoughts, images, and sensations, to turbulence, sounds, or the aeroplane itself. Once you figure out what the triggers are you can then learn how to do something about them and control them.

Manage Anxiety

Many people who fear flying actually fear the anxiety that might come while they are on the flight rather than flying itself. This could be due to a fear of confined spaces or perhaps a previous panic attack while on a flight. To help control the anxiety, look into cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT. The principals of CBT can teach you ways to take control of your anxiety rather than letting it control you. You can also alleviate symptoms of anxiety by focusing on your breathing and using tried and feted relaxation techniques. There is also Exposure Therapy where you can undergo virtual reality programmes so try a few things and see what works best for you personally.

Educate Yourself

One of the best ways to get a handle on this phobia is to gain more knowledge about how an airplane works, what sounds come from where and why and any other concerns that tend to make you anxious on the flight. British Airways offer a program for £255 called "Flying with Confidence". The program goes through the various maintenance procedures, lets you explore the pilot's cabin and even takes you on a short flight to allow you to explore what you learned. If that is too expensive you can still do your own research and read up on various flight statistics. Being aware of these things will put your mind at ease should you fear a plane crashing.

Extra Tips

There are also small things you can do to help yourself relax such as letting your airline know ahead of time about your anxiety so they can assist you if need be. Choosing an aisle seat where there is more space can often help passengers who have a fear of flying. Then, as a last resort should yo still suffer from severe anxiety, you can ask your GP to prescribe a sedative or undergo hypnotherapy to help you get through a flight.

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