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Fear of Flying: 8 Ways to Prepare Yourself for Your next Flight

How safe is air travel? Safer than other modes of transportation, that’s been proven. So what’s with everyone’s fear of flying? Airplanes are a necessary part of anyone’s life who is interested in travel. So squash your fears with some of these strategies about your flight fear.

Fear of Flying

Is travelling by air as dangerous as you think?
The fear of flying is strong these days. In fact, fear of flying is one of the most common fears in recent generations after the invention of airplanes. Everyone is afraid to fly, and some people refuse to step foot on an airplane. The fear is most certainly not justified, as there is rarely any danger to come from flying. The stigma behind aircrafts and your fear of flying can be beaten if you have a good game-plan beforehand.

woman with baggage overseeing plane taking off

How to get over the fear of flying

1. Understand facts

One way to get rid of flight anxiety is to know your way in and out of the airplane. Be as knowledgeable as possible before your first flight. This will calm your nerves.

2. Block Out Noise

Get some noise-cancelling headphones and say goodbye to loud engine noise. The take-off will no longer be a problem with some loud music pumping.

3. Deep Breathing

Don't underestimate the value of the basics. Deep breathing is a technique to relieve and prevent anxiety during your plane trip. There's no such thing as too much breathing.

4. Share Your Fears

Let people around you know that you are not comfortable with flying. They will comfort you at best. Or leave you alone, in the least. Both are better than them being jerks.

5. Be Prepared

Preparation is key to getting rid of your fear of flying. Nothing is worse than being unprepared and forgetting something at home while you're on an airplane. The stress builds up and causes you to freak out on your flight.

6. Fight the Turbulence

Turbulence is inevitable if you plan on going on airplanes in your life. You have to overcome your fear of the plane shaking if you are to shake your fear of flying.

7. No Room for "What-if's"

Once you start thinking about the scary possibilities, that's when you fear really gets the best of you. Don't confuse possibility with probability.

8. It's a Learning Experience

Think of your first plane ride as a valuable learning experience. There will be stress and hardship. But you will come out of it alive as a better person.

Take a deep breath and fasten your seatbelt. All of your worries will be no longer when you internalize some of these fear of flying tips. You have had a flying phobia for years, and you can get rid of that fear in only a few moments. After you overcome your fear of flying, you may even be more comfortable around your other phobias, too. Your fear of crowded spaces, heights, and lack of control are all related with the fear of flying.

When it Comes to the Fear of Flying, There Really is Little to Worry About. Plus, There is Not Much You Can Do Once on the Airplane

Now is your chance to get prepared for you next flight.
Your chances of being in an aircraft accident is around the same chances as being struck by a bolt of lightning. You have a higher chance of getting in a car crash on the way to the airport than the airplane crashing.

1. Understand the Facts

cabin during flight
What are the chances?

The only reason why many people have a fear of flying and of airplanes is because they are so rare. Nobody makes nearly as big of a deal as car crashes, despite the fact that they are way more common than plane crashes. Flying is a lot safer than people initially believe. Society's flying phobia is unfounded and is only based on the stigma of how horrible a plane crash is to imagine. But the truth is that airplane fatalities occur so rarely, that we hear about almost all of them on the news. Try to say the same thing about car crashes.
The fact is, you have a higher chance of being struck by lightning than you do being part of a plane crash. But there is so much phobia of planes perpetuated by popular media and it paralyzes the public from trying a superior mode of transportation. If more people knew that airplanes were the safest mode of transportation then they would be less hesitant to fly more.

2. Cover Your Ears Before Take-Off

earplugs on dark surface
No sound, no problem

Technically, you are supposed to turn off all electronic devices before take-off. But if this is your first time flying, you should leave your mp3 player on during take-off. If you have flight fear, then everybody else will understand. Play some relaxing music and don't worry about what is going on around you. Take-off is a cinch. Do the same when landing, since landing can be the scariest part for some people. The noise from the engine can be anxiety-provoking to some people, so remember to bring some noise-cancelling headphones or earplugs to block out that engine noise. When there's the noise issue out of the way, then you can just close your eyes and enjoy the ride. If you are prepared, then everything should go smoothly if it is your first flight.

3. Deep Breathing

keep calm and breathe deeply
Long deep breaths

Breathing is an underrated anxiety-reliever. Our fear of flying phobia can often be overcome with some simple self-conscious exercises like deep breathing. If you feel an anxiety attack coming on, you need to isolate yourself in a corner of the plane to give yourself more room to breathe. Just hang in there through the fear and your fear of flying will start to improve over time. If it is your first time flying, then pay attention before you take off to the flight attendant explaining the safety precautions. There are sick bags, air masks, and life vests to help you in case of emergency.
Science has proven that deep breathing techniques are key to overcoming severe phobias in our lives. If your flying fear is preventing you from experiencing an airplane, then start with simple techniques like these. Breathe in deeply and exhale slowly for the maximum benefit. This will calm your nerves and allow you to think about things other than the fact you are flying high in the air. With a couple more airplane experiences you will have no anxiety left before your flights.

4. Tell People about Your Fear

two people talking on a roof
Make flying anxiety disappear

Most of our inclinations would be to keep it to ourselves. But by telling the flight attendants, your travel partner, and the strangers sitting next to you: you are not losing anything and possibly gaining support. Don't suffer in silence. Make friends with people and you'll experience will go by faster. Fear of flying help can come from people that you don't even know. Any flying anxiety you had will disappear when you have other people to comfort you.
On the flipside, if you keep your fears to yourself, you risk being alone in times of emergency. This goes for any fear and not just your fear of flight. It's important to get along with people around you even if you are strangers. You never know when you might need their help or vice versa. And you never know either about the possibility that one of those strangers might be a doctor who could help you step by step through your crisis.

5. Put in the Proper Preparation

If you are scared of flying, you should take extra time beforehand to ensure that your trip will go smoothly. It doesn't make any sense to do everything last minute and then have a panic attack on the plane, does it? Put in the research to find what airline, which seat location, which airport, and what entertainment to bring will make your experience the best one possible. If it's your first time flying, that is the biggest hurdle. Once you realize that you were worried for nothing, your fear of flying will start to disappear.

6. Embrace the Turbulence

Airplane turbulence is caused by numerous factors, including bad weather or poor visibility. It shakes the airplane around and sometimes can get quite violent. Turbulence can be terrifying if you are experiencing it for the first time in an airplane. A good fear of flying tips is to reserve seats in the front part of the airplane since the turbulence is worse in the back. If it's your first time flying in an airplane, consider paying extra for business or first class. The extra amenities and added comfort will surely offset any and all flying anxiety.
Another tip for your next flight is to actually do what many people don't and pay more attention to the flight attendant's speech before takeoff. Most airlines will explain the safety procedures of what to do in case of severe turbulence. You never know: that information could end up saving your life. Always choose safety over fitting in with everyone else who isn't paying attention.

7 Leave Your "What if" Scenarios Back Home

On an airplane, there's no room to consider the possibility if things were to go wrong. The simple fact is that it is out of your control. This is possibly the hardest obstacle in overcoming fear of flying. You have to accept the fact that you have no control of the situation like you do when you are driving. Everything is in the pilot's hands. If it bothers you that much and you have no choice but to fly, then choose the airline with the best reputation. Once you step on the airplane, it makes no sense to worry what is out of your control anymore.
Besides, what is life without a bit of risk? You have to get outside your comfort zone sometimes, or you will never grow as a person. You need to grab life by the horns, and try things that you wouldn't normally be comfortable doing in order to enjoy life more. If you let your fear of flying get the better of you, then you will surely regret it later on in life when you don't have the opportunity to fly anymore.

8. Think of it As a Learning Experience

Facing your fears gives you an opportunity to grow and take on more challenging tasks in the future. You are paying a hefty price every time you fly, so make the most of it. Make the most of your drink and in-flight entertainment privileges. Try to make as much room for yourself as possible. Cramped spaces are often a source of a lot of anxiety for most people. Airplanes usually have very little space to move around, so it would benefit you to find a newer-model airplane with the most modern features. You will be so comfortable that you will forget you are afraid of flying.
In fact, what you should be more worried about than the flight itself is the possibility you will never get to experience flying in the air if you don't get over your fear flying. The fear can be paralyzing to the point where you are making irrational decisions. Don't let your fear consume you. Prepare the best you can so there is no leftover anxiety from possibly missing your flight or something going wrong mid-flight.

By Kacia Nall

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