5 Proven Ways to Fight Fear of Flying
I know that many people have fear of flying. A fear so strong that prevent them from seeing the world even if they want to. Curious, adventurous people stay at home or travel just in their ‘backyard’ because they can’t bear being on a plane, knowing that “underneath their feet, there are just kilometres of empty space”, as one of my friends who suffers from the same neurosis says. But you can fight the fear of flying and you can see how I do it in this post.
I can’t say that I’m a fearless flyer; not at all. I have my neurotic moments (who haven’t!) in the air, but I found ways to fight the unreasonable fear when the there is no real danger and it’s just my mind that plays games with my nerves.
These five proven ways to fight the fear of flying I use frequently and every time when I start feeling panic while travelling on a plane. And you know what? Ever since I mastered these techniques, and especially learned to control my thoughts, I can say that I feel much better even during long-haul flights (that are the worst, right?).
1 – When your flight is early morning,
fall asleep immediately when on the plane (see my tips for comfortable long-haul flights). There are two reasons to do this. First, you will catch up with sleep but most importantly you will ‘disconnect’ with the reality and you will not start thinking about the takeoff and all the bizarre noises and shakings that the plane makes at this moment. And don’t think that if you sleep you will miss something important and will not be able to react on time. If something really starts happening, you will know it immediately. There is no way you miss an emergency situation. And besides, you know that air flight is statistically the safest transport, right?
2 – Read a book/magazine
during your flight. Don’t stick to a screen immediately after your boarding. While the electronic entertainment and reading have the same purpose – to keep your mind busy, reading is better for your overall physical feel.
In this way, your eyes will not get tired and overall you will feel better if reading a book or listening music instead of watching movies on a tiny screen and even worse if you play electronic games for hours. Check these 13 Books for Women Who Want to Travel Solo.
3 – Work during the flight
Another very good way to keep your mind away from the anxious thoughts is to work during the flight. It is especially useful for people whose job is connected with spending a lot of time on a computer (think bloggers), but you can also knit (why not) or do whatever you can and want during the hours you have to spend in the closed space of an airplane. Not only the time will pass quickly but imagine the satisfaction from the work done!
4 – Speak with the people around you
A good tactic for dispelling the concerns (that you most certainly use if there is a nice guy/girl next to you) is to speak with the people around you. Often there are some interesting people that you cannot know how intriguing a talk with them can be before starting the conversation. You can hear interesting stories, learn curious facts and even stay in touch with some of them because you felt a bond.
Here are 13 Onboard Travel Tips to Make You Feel Better
Once I met a girl on a plane to France. She was so scared to fly but I kept her talking during the flight so that even she was shaking during the takeoff and landing, she kept smiling and trying to control her fear. We stayed in touch because we felt sympathy but also we ‘bonded’ in some way because we did together the effort to fight her fear of flying.
But the most powerful way to overcome your fear of flying is:
5 – Meditation and practising gratitude
I can speak from experience that
I still remember very clearly the one time I was flying from Kiev to Sofia in winter when we experienced very strong turbulence. I was scared as I have never been before on a plane. And I couldn’t do anything to change the situation. It was in the pilot’s and God’s hands how this flight would end. So, I thought – what I CAN DO to change the way I feel at this moment?
First, I started breathing as my Yoga teacher teaches me – full breathing, counting the ins and outs; focusing my mind on the airflow and forgetting everything else happening around me. But it wasn’t enough to calm my thoughts!
REMEMBER WHO LOVES YOU
Then, somehow I got me thinking about all people I have in my life, all who care about me and I care about them… And it happened! I wasn’t afraid anymore. With each name popping up into my mind, I was surer that no matter what happens today, I had a great life with so many people to whom I matter. I remembered friends that I haven’t seen from years but were still very close to my heart; people with whom I always felt and will continue to feel a strong bond even if I don’t see them anymore because our life departed in different directions.
My simple technique is to think about the people I have met in my life, starting with the closest ones. Then, continuing with friends, colleagues and even people that I just met once or twice somewhere but people who left a mark on my mind, in my heart or in my whole existence; the kind of people that you know for a very short time but somehow help you turn your life in the right direction? I am grateful for all these people – the ones that are still in my life but also for the ones that aren’t but had a great impact on my life. If you think well, if you search in deep, you will see that all people you have met in your life did something good for you.
NEXT TIME, DON’T BE AFRAID. BE GRATEFUL
That’s why, next time when you feel the fear of flying, close your eyes and remember all these people and say:
- I am thankful for having … (friend’s name) in my life because …. (she taught me how to fight the fear of flying, for example)
- I am thankful for having … (your husband’s name) in my life because … (he makes me a happy person even if he tests my patience and makes me mad from time to time, for example)
During a turbulent flight, close your eyes and express your gratitude for every one of the people you know. And at the end of the long list of names, you will realize that you are a VERY RICH PERSON. You are rich with the love and the appreciation of so many people. There is no substitute for this. There is nothing better than this feeling. And certainly, there is no price that you can pay to buy it. The only compensation is your gratitude.
These ways to fight the fear of flying are really helpful. But if you need to do one thing to overcome this fear, do this – accept the circumstances; let your mind feel free and just ‘let it be’. Accept that whatever happens, you did the best in your life – for you, your beloved ones and for the society in general. Be happy with your life and understand that all that matters is how we perceive everything around us and about us. As philosophical as it may sound, it is true.
IF YOU WANT MORE INFORMATION ON AIRLINE SAFETY, check the rankings for 2016 and if you suffer from severe case of fear of flying, you may find a solution in this book:
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