LEARN HOW TO OVERCOME YOUR FEAR OF FLYING
Do you have a fear of flying? Does anxiety creep up every time you get on a plane? Experts say that leaving your fear of flying unchecked for a long period of time can lead to you being more susceptible to developing fears in other things or experiences in the future. This is why it is important to learn how to overcome your fear of flying. Not to mention that making flying easier will allow you to enjoy traveling and vacations so much more.
As a therapist and counselor I have worked with many clients on their fear of flying. The most common reason people have this fear is due to bad past experiences. Developing anxiety over flying because you went through something difficult or traumatic while flying is quite common. People who develop a fear of flying because of past experiences are hesitant to fly because they think that the same experience will happen again. Examples of past experiences that could cause someone to develop a fear of flying include: going through high levels of turbulence for long periods of time, mechanical problems while on a plane, or getting very sick while on a flight.
Believe it or not you have the power to overcome your fear of flying. As a therapist and counselor I tell all my clients that the first step to doing so is to remind themselves about how fear and anxiety are different than danger. Our bodies react to anxiety provoking situations the exact same way it reacts to actually dangerous situations. Understand that having anxiety makes you feel like your thoughts are real and that the “what if” scenarios you are imagining will come true. Know that just because you feel anxious and scared does not mean you are actually in danger. Do a quick google search about how safe travelling by plane is before you fly. When you are on a plane note that there are no signs of danger actually around you because if there were emergency procedures would be immediately put into place.
Arm yourself with knowledge about things that might cause anxiety for you while you are on a plane. Turbulence is a very common trigger of anxiety for people while flying. It can feel like a really scary thing but in reality it is just caused by regular shifts in the wind. Airplanes are built to withstand insanely large amounts of turbulence and what most people experience is a small blip of what an airplane can really face.
You can make decisions when you fly to make you feel more in control and comfortable. Choosing where you sit can make a difference. You will have a much bumpier ride when you sit in the back of the plane, so choose seating more towards the front. If you can afford it upgrade your seat. Sitting in first class is truly a different experience from being in coach. The seats are so much more comfortable, flight attendants cater to you, you get plush blankets and even yummy snacks. Making yourself physically more comfortable will give you better odds to being more physically relaxed which will in turn allow you to be more mentally relaxed.
The final tip to overcome a fear of flying is to use relaxation techniques during your flight. As a counselor and therapist I always teach my clients who have a fear of flying two key relaxation techniques. Diaphragmatic breathing and progressive muscle relaxation are two great ways to keep anxiety at bay while flying. Check out my previous blog posts on steps on how to do both.
ABOUT ESSENCE OF HEALING COUNSELING:
Roberta Alves is a therapist and counselor at the Essence of Healing Counseling with an office located in downtown Ft. Lauderdale. She is a Certified Anxiety Specialist and uses a scientific and evidence based type of therapy called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Research has shown that Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is proven to be extremely effective in treating anxiety. Roberta is truly passionate about the work she does and loves serving her clients in Ft. Lauderdale and the surrounding South Florida areas. If you want to learn the proven techniques to overcome your anxiety, schedule an appointment today.