Flying High: Five Tips to Conquer Your Fear of Flying

*This Post is brought to you by Co-Operative Travel but all content and opinions herein are my own*

The fear of flying is a very real one. Aviophobia is thought to affect around 40 per cent of us, with around one in ten people refusing to fly altogether.  If you’re someone who suffers from a fear of flying, there are a few things you can do to help conquer your fear – here are our top five that should hold you over until you reach your favorite luxury destination.

1.            Find your “why”

Very little is achieved in life without first understanding why you are trying to do something and overcoming your fear of flying is certainly no different. As the countdown to your holiday begins, it’s imperative that you keep your “why” in focus, through a process of positive visualisation. Look through holiday brochures, talk to your family about the holiday and try to imagine the fun that you’ll have. Focusing on a specific experience that you are excited about is a great way to begin to stem the tide of fear. If you’re flying to Turkey this year, for example, Turkey holidays provide a great opportunity to take a gulet cruise through the Turkish Riviera. Focusing on the calming waters, excellent snorkelling opportunities and relaxing ambience will provide a welcome distraction from your fear.

2.            Familiarise yourself with the unknown

Much fear simply stems from the unknown. On the day that you intend to fly, ensure that you arrive at the airport several hours in advance. Spend time watching the processes involved in getting an airplane off the ground. Watch as the baggage is placed onto the plane, witness the plane being refuelled and thoroughly checked, see the passengers safely board and, most importantly, focus on how routine and rhythmic the processes are. Air travel is the safest form of travel: the pilots, aircrew and maintenance staff go about their routine daily, helping to make air travel a thoroughly safe experience.

3.            Select calmer routes

If your fear of flying is largely derived from worrying about what will happen when you hit turbulence, there are ways to minimise the risk. It’s impossible to predict the weather completely accurately, but there are a number of websites that offer detailed information about which are the most, and least, turbulent routes.

4.            Fly little and often

Once we finally take action and face our fears, they tend to dissipate quickly. One of the most effective solutions for truly conquering your fear of flying, therefore, is to take short flights on a regular basis. If you’re a regular flyer, you become more familiarised with airline routines and what it feels like to fly, which makes it easier to take on the challenge of longer haul flights in the future.

5.            Take some distractions with you

If all else fails and you find yourself panicking in your seat, distractions are an essential tool for conquering your fear of flying. Whether it’s a good book, an MP3 player or a tablet, take something with you on your journey that is going to provide a distraction from the unfamiliar sounds that are part and parcel of air travel.

Seek professional advice

If none of these suggestions seem to fit the bill, as a last resort, it could be worth arranging to see your doctor. While he or she will not be able to do anything medically, they may be able to recommend alternative therapy, such as seeing a psychologist or hypnotist, as a means of getting to the root cause of your fear, as well as offering an opportunity to learn some helpful relaxation techniques that may further alleviate your fear.

*Remember this is not medical advice and of course, I am no professional. These tips are just meant to help for small problems. If you are having any real issue please seek serious help*

  1. Capt Tom Bunn LCSW
  2. Capt Tom Bunn LCSW

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