A fear of flying can limit your ability to travel and see the world, not to mention hinder visits to friends, family, and bucket list destinations. Many people have a fear of flying because of the unknown, having never flown they don’t know what it’s like and tend to avoid the opportunity to try a flight. Others may fear flying because of a bad experience on a previous flight.
The good news is that there are ways to get over your fear of flying, both things you can do on your own and resources you can work with to reduce your fear. The following 4 ways are a good starting point to working on why you’re afraid, how to get through a flight, and how to combat aviophobia.
The first way to get over your fear of flying is to use technology, in the form of apps or entertainment, to help distract your mind and reduce your overwhelming feelings while in flight. This can be a great way for those that have flown in the past to reduce their fear on a new flight, as it can help keep you preoccupied and less focused on the flight itself. Entertainment like an audiobook, tv show or movie, or even an ambient noise app can help you create a calm and peaceful environment in your seat. This will help you stay comfortable and focused on your own space, instead of being worried about the flight.
Meditation and relaxation apps are another good option if you feel fearful during take off, landing, or at any time during the flight. These apps use soothing voices and natural sounds to help guide your mind to a peaceful state. Using these apps daily can help you reset and reduce stress, which can give you a comfortable place to visit when you feel fearful or upset during a flight, or at any time throughout the flying process. This is a good way to get over your fear of flying because it can help you reduce your panic and give you a way to breathe and manage your anxiety.
2: Natural remedies
There are a few things you can do naturally, such as adjust your diet and consider supplements, that may help reduce your anxiety and your fear while you fly. It’s a good idea to try reducing caffeine, sugar, and alcohol consumption in the days before you fly, as these can impact your anxiety and how you react to flying. Caffeine and sugar can increase anxiety, while alcohol can reduce anxiety temporarily, but may make anxiety worse after it wears off. Natural supplements and essential oils may help reduce symptoms when working in tandem with breathing techniques and meditation.
It may be beneficial to spend some time journaling about why you’re afraid of flying and what brings that fear out. Is it anxiety and nerves about the process, or the fear of being in the air? Taking time to explore these feelings well before you need to board a plane will help you better understand your fear and can give you a direction to work in to reduce that fear.
3: Enlist the help of others
As a wheelchair user, you may be fearful of flying because there are so many unknowns. The process of flying, from checking in and security to boarding and in-flight, is often overwhelming on its own. Doing the whole process from a wheelchair can be extra stressful, especially if you’ve never flown before. A way to get over your fear of flying is to talk to someone who has flown before, either have a conversation directly or read blog posts on the topic. You may even be able to email a wheelchair user that travels frequently to get some tips and ask questions. Talking to someone can help reduce your fear by helping you know more about the process and giving you some tips to make it easier.
If possible, it can be useful to fly with a companion, someone who can take the trip with you. Everything is a bit easier with a buddy and flying is no exception. Flying with someone makes the whole process a bit more manageable, as you’re going through each step together and can talk about how things are going, ask questions, and work through hiccups, issues, or flight delays together.
The last way to get over your fear of flying is to schedule a visit with a therapist. Working with a professional is an excellent way to work through why you’re fearful and what can be done to overcome that fear. Therapy can help you manage anxiety as well as fear by teaching you techniques to manage symptoms, talk therapy to work through your thoughts, and exposure therapy, which puts you in the environment to help guide you through being exposed to the airport, flight, and airplane. If you’ve never flown and your fear is leading you to avoid flying at all costs, working with a therapist is the best way to get over your fear and enable you to board a flight and make it through without significant panic.
You can overcome your fear of flying and by using these 4 ways, you will be well on your way to having a successful and comfortable flight. The key to getting over your fear of flying is understanding the root cause of your fear. By working through why you resist flying and what you’re afraid of, you can take the necessary steps to work through those feelings and learn skills to help you get over your fear and fly successfully.