Aviophobia - How to Overcome Your Fear of Flying

in Fear

The fear of flying is made up of several different parts. Which means that if you want to overcome your aviophobia then you're going to need to tackle each of them in order to be successful. The good news is that as you get rid of each part of your fear of flying, you're taking away some of the crutches that are used by the other parts. So it gets easier as you go along.

Identify the different parts of your fear of flying

The usual suspects are - in no particular order - fear of heights, fear of crowds, fear of enclosed spaces and a lack of control.

Just go along with me and give each of these elements a score between 0 and 10, where 0 is "it doesn't bother me at all" and 10 is "it scares the heck out me and I'd run a mile to avoid it".

Then - much like the game show - work on the weakest link first. Partly because the weakest fears will dissolve fastest. Partly because they're helping to support the bigger worries, so you'll actually be killing two birds with one stone.

Fear of heights

Perfectly rational. Heights and humans have a history of not mixing well. But in this case the height is kind of artificial. So long as the plane doesn't start to imitate a falling rock, there's a very high chance that it will stay at the height the pilot first thought of until it's time to land or maybe switch air traffic lanes to avoid turbulence. To all intents and purposes, once you're inside the plane then the floor is the ground. If you were just wandering around the cabin while the plane was parked on the runway, would you be worried? If the answer is no, it's time to pretend to your mind that you're still on the runway. Noise cancelling headphones will help reduce the sound of the engines. Reading a book or watching an in-flight movie will help distract you as well.

Fear of crowds

OK, the cabin is probably crowded but you'll only really notice that when you walk to the rest room. Other than that, you can probably convince yourself that there are only the few people around you rather than a few hundred that are actually on the same flight as you.

Fear of enclosed spaces

This one's a bit more awkward. After all, there's no getting away from the fact that you're strapped into a seat and that the windows are super-glued shut. Again, finding something that will take your mind off this thought should reduce the worry factor in this part of the fear of flying. And don't watch a movie like "Snakes on a Plane" too close to take off time.

Lack of control

Yup. You're not the pilot. Maybe you're qualified to fly a jumbo jet but more likely you're not. The person sitting in front of the controls has many hours training and years of experience. Their co-pilot is less experienced but still knows exactly what to do to get you to your destination safely. Go with it - they're more experienced than you and they have a built-in survival instinct just like you do as well. Plus it's probably the autopilot flying the plane most of the time despite what the pilot would have you believe. So start on your road to overcoming your fear of flying now.

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Trevor Johnson has 1 articles online

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Aviophobia - How to Overcome Your Fear of Flying

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This article was published on 2011/07/01