Tips to Relieve Aerophobia (Fear of Flying ).
Aerophobia is the intense fear of boarding planes or feeling extreme fear while riding them in case of necessity. This type of phobia receives great attention, because it poses great difficulties for people affected by it, as they may avoid traveling by plane despite the urgent need for it, and this also affects the friends and family of the injured, as it may prevent them from spending a happy vacation.
Most of the travelers face several things that cause their fear and anxiety, for example, the fear of missing the plane or the fear of diseases that travelers carry and many other fears, but the truth is that there are people who suffer from severe fear of boarding the plane and the reason is that they suffer from a phobia of flying and this condition suffers from about 2.5% of passengers, because the idea of the plane crash does not leave their minds. Overcoming the fear of flying takes a lot of courage and practice, but there are some tips that can help you face your fear and control this phobia. If you have successfully identified the triggers that cause you anxiety and have taken the first step, it is important to note that the fear of flying is not a single phobia. Most people who fear flying experience claustrophobia or the fear of being trapped in a plane and unable to choose when to get off. A phobia is an intense fear out of proportion to danger and is particularly associated with fears of flying. Most “Aerophobic ” agree that flying is safe but scary. They have a hard time reconciling their concerns with safety statistics. Although they know that the phobia is not rational, it is not up to them. Therefore, in this article, I will present the most important tips that travelers who suffer from phobias should walk and adhere to to get rid of their fear.
Causes of a phobia of planes:
There are several reasons that cause fear of the plane, some of which are complex and result from previous experiences, and some are direct that result immediately after exposure to a circumstance, some of which we mention:
. Fear of the unknown
. Fear of future events
. delusional fantasies
. The control of the wild imagination
. real environmental hazards
. Watching negative events that occurred while flying, and these negative experiences, for example, what happened after the events of September 11, 2001 in the United States of America. Next up is choosing the option to navigate by driving instead of flying.
. The death of a family member of a person with a “phobia” of flying
. Suffering from some health problems such as: ear infection, sinus obstruction
. The individual’s sense of self-impact
. The individual was exposed to a previous semi-fatal and frightening flight, and this experience formed a psychological impact on him and a fear of flying.
Symptoms of a Aerophobia :
Symptoms of a phobia of flying differ from one person to another, but the most important and prominent symptoms are:
- Muscle spasms
- Hard breathing
- Dry throat
- Circulatory disorders
- Global weakness of the body
- Heavy sweating
- Rapid heartbeat
- Loss of consciousness and balance
- Digestive disorders
- Cold sides
- Nausea and vomiting
- Panic attacks
- A person’s unbridled desire to get off the plane
- Hands sweating
So I will give you some tips to avoid plane phobia:
1. Find out what scares you:
Find out what scares you, examine how your anxiety response is triggered, and remember that your goal is to identify your own triggers so you can manage your fear when anxiety levels are low because knowing what’s bothering you makes it easy to turn it off.
2. Look for aerobic turbulence:
Turbulence is nothing but turbulent wind currents that make planes wobble a bit like a car swaying while driving on a bumpy road so you don’t have to worry at all, planes are specifically designed to handle and reduce turbulence. When you look out your window and see the wing swaying up and down while the plane is turbulent, don’t be afraid that the plane is about to crash, but be thankful because those flanked wings are like shock absorbers that smooth out bumpy rides. So that pilots can avoid them and provide the best possible ride. So you don’t have to worry about air turbulence. With a lot of travel you will get used to it.
3. Learn about the built-in security features:
Research how airplanes are designed to withstand emergencies Because preparedness is key in any emergency so knowing that you are ready to handle different scenarios can help ease any anxiety I would also advise doing some research on air circulation on airplanes to help alleviate your fear of contracting COVID -19 during flight Fresh air is constantly pumped into the aircraft and cabin air is refreshed every three minutes and any recycled air is forced through HEPA filters that remove 99.9 percent of impurities, including bacteria and viruses. In addition, cabin air usually flows from ceiling to floor rather than front to back so pollutants usually don’t get around. Of course, if your seat mate sneezes, you may catch an infection but these possibilities can be reduced by using a mask which is required on all airlines. This is all for your safety, of course.
4. Listen to music:
Sometimes the noise of the journey from crying babies to snoring can make people more anxious so creating a relaxing playlist or just getting rid of the noise simply by inserting earphones can be effective.
5. Read a book:
Bring a book with you and start reading. Reading takes you to another world, away from fear and phobia. So don’t forget to bring your favorite book and read like this, it will distract your mind from feeling afraid.
6. Cognitive behavioral therapy:
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) focuses on changing the way a person thinks about a person, thing, or event in which case the fear of flying can be dealt with simply by providing statistics about flight safety, visiting an airport, or accompanying the affected person on a flight.
7. Exposure therapy:
Some airports have “ground” planes that are not flying, under repair, or are there to provide a space for exposure therapy practice. In this practice a counselor or friend brings the patient on the plane and again unable to fly and will sit with them to discuss their flying concerns and work with them if the fear is rational or irrational again using cognitive behavioral techniques.
8. Give the pilot complete confidence:
The profession of a pilot may be one of the most difficult professions on earth, perhaps because it is the profession that violates the force of gravity and its impact on us and the inanimate objects around us. In addition to the strict rules in daily life to avoid any sudden ailments while flying, and above all that he is a committed and passionate person and you should not doubt him if he is sure that there is no need to be afraid. Just trust him with complete confidence and never worry.
9. Separate anxiety and fear:
Separating feelings of fear from the possibility of danger is often difficult because your body reacts to both in the same way, so always remind yourself that feeling anxious does not mean that you are in danger. You are safe even when you are feeling very anxious.
10. Try to control your negative thoughts:
Some may watch videos of the latest and horrific plane accidents days before traveling, which is a bad idea, but those who are afraid of flying cannot resist these bad ideas. If you think about reading about aviation accidents and the likelihood of them happening, you can compare them to car accidents. The difference is big, plane accidents are really rare and you can think of your trip as being safer than the car and ship and this positive outlook will help you relieve stress during your trip.
11. Try to control your anxiety:
The tension may start as soon as you enter the plane and the moment you take off, especially when you feel the air pressure in your ears, your heart rate increases, you can’t control it, and it is difficult to breathe. These symptoms can be skipped if you control your breathing before the plane takes off. You can start inhaling the air for four seconds and then exhaling for four seconds. Repeat this step in parallel with firm contraction of your muscles such as the buttocks, chest and abdomen, with the back straight. This increases the nerve signals that reach the brain, which helps you calm down and control your nerves and symptoms of anxiety.
12. Download an app or two:
There is an app for everything in life and the fear of flying is no exception so SOAR will support you before, during and after your flight by providing videos, information about turbulence, G-Force scale, weather forecasts, videos and much more. If you’re a fan of stats, check out the Am I Going Down app that does exactly what the title says “Type your flight info and know the probability of a crash.” It might sound a little annoying but since accidents are so rare seeing the possibilities can be helpful. To illustrate how encouraging Am I Going Down is, if you travel from London to New York your chance of breaking down is about 1 in over 5.3 million. To die in a plane crash on this exact route, you would have to fly every day for 14,716 years. So don’t worry.
13. Distract yourself:
The less time you spend worrying about dangers, interpreting every noise and watching every step of the flight attendants, the better. So read and play video games, especially those that require thought and scrutiny. This will distract your mind from feeling claustrophobic and anxious. Watch all the movies and listen to your favorite music as much as you can. If none of that sounds appealing, sleeping and eating are also good ways to pass the time.
14. Do relaxation exercises:
Even if you’re not afraid of flying, small seats and less legroom can make you feel stressed, so relaxation and meditation exercises can be very helpful. Find these exercises in your app store and download or print them so you can practice them even while landing and taking off. When the seatbelt sign isn’t lit, be sure to extend your legs (and other parts of your body) and walk around every now and then.
15. Tell the flight attendant or your seatmate that you are afraid:
Sometimes it can be helpful to tell your immediate neighbors and cabin crew that you are afraid and what they can do to help you. Perhaps you want to be left alone, or need a reminder to take deep breaths, or would you rather have someone who can listen to what you are afraid of. Flight attendants are experienced in supporting anxious passengers but may not be able to get up and assist you during takeoff and landing. (This is when passengers come in handy.)
16. Focus on the goal of your journey:
Traveling isn’t about sitting in a plane for three hours. It’s usually about exploring a new culture or seeing a loved one, so keep a photo of the destination or person on your smartphone. Notice the details including faces, shapes, lights, colors, and other bright features and notice how these details awaken your intentions for the trip and remind you of what the trip is about because focusing on the ultimate goal of your trip puts fear into perspective.
17. Accept and anticipate your anxiety:
The more you don’t want to feel anxious, the more that feeling comes back. So instead, be open to the feeling and notice the sensation in your stomach and other parts of your body. Let the sensation come and go. Don’t judge it. Just watch it. Because it will definitely be with you, but try not to give it any attention. Because if you show him attention he will enable you to accept the idea that you will worry in a sporting spirit and anticipation of anxiety.
18. Avoid alcohol and coffee:
Feeling dehydrated, sick and possibly too drunk can be a danger to you as well as feeling anxious Alcohol is a pillar to avoid rather than manage your anxiety If you really need chemical help to calm down, talk to your doctor about getting a proper prescription to use before boarding or during your flight (it takes About 30 to 45 minutes to work) While there’s no scientific evidence that natural remedies can treat jet lag, it wouldn’t hurt to try soothing herbal tea instead of coffee (which can exacerbate stress). So avoid sedatives and caffeine.
19. Choose your seat yourself:
If you suffer from phobia of heights, do not book a seat near the window, but stay away from the window as much as possible so that you do not watch the take-off and the rise from the surface of the ground, so do not sit near the window.
20. Prepare a self-care toolkit:
Prepare your own care items such as a deck of cards, a drawing board, reading materials, headphones to listen to a soothing playlist, your favorite candy, a special travel pillow, or an eye cover, for example.
21. Take the required health precautions:
Given the current circumstances, it is normal that you may have some hesitation or fear about germs and hygiene issues. If your fear is the case, just bring sanitizers and without apology but with respect, do what you need to do to feel safe and comfortable, this is how you will eliminate your fear of exposure to any virus.
22. Talking to colleagues:
If your colleague in the seat is friendly and loves to talk and talk, all you have to do is have a dialogue with him and talk about some things, this is how your phobia and fear will go away because you have stopped being alone and just sitting and thinking, so make sure that your colleague is fluent in the tongue and a little friendly, as talking to him may help you somewhat.
23. Reserve your seat at the front of the plane:
Sit at the front of the plane if this is immediately possible, or always reserve your seat at the front of the plane. This place makes the passenger feel what the passenger in the car feels when crossing a bump, and this reduces your fear a lot. So if you choose your seat, try to reserve a seat at the front of the plane. The feeling of the front seat is definitely different from the feeling of the back seat.
24. Chew gum:
It is possible to resort to chewing gum at the height of the plane, and this is because it works to balance the air pressure in the body.
25. Travel more and fear less:
If you can travel once a month or once every six months, do not fall short in that, because it is natural that continuity will eliminate your fear, in other words, you will be afraid the first time you travel and the second time, but in the third time this fear will inevitably subside, the more you travel, the less the feeling of fear From flying more to the point where you find travel like an amusement park in which there is no fear at all, but rather it is fun and a wonderful feeling, but you have to practice and continue.
Traveling is a pleasure and another life, so do not let your fear and phobia kill you this wonderful pleasure. Try as much as possible not to let your fear control you and make you lose the pleasure of traveling and exploring and getting to know new people and new civilizations. Traveling by itself, especially flying, is an adventure in itself. There is no need to feel anxious and afraid at all. I know that sometimes phobias control you and you cannot face it, but you have to think about positive things and a positive imagination, because according to Murphy’s universal law, if you expect a negative event to happen, so do not expect negative events, but let the positive events control you so that you do not lose the pleasure of enjoying travel and living an atmosphere Wonderful fantasy travel.
I hope the article was useful and you benefited from it.
Translated By: Nasser Al Turk