Aerophobia is when you have an extreme or irrational fear of flying – either in a plane, helicopter or another flying vehicle.
A phobia can be caused by a particular experience or situation where you are faced with your fear. Due to this initial reaction – the second time you face your fear, you may experience the same irrational feelings of terror – if this forms a pattern it is a phobia.
The key to getting over or overcoming a phobia is to face it, otherwise it may get worse over time. People usually deal with phobias by avoiding them but this can prevent you from doing certain activities which you may want to do and from living your life in general.
One of the best treatments for phobias is exposure therapy, which you can easily do yourself through self-help.
Self-Help for Aerophobia (Fear of Flying)
Facing your fear of flying is key to conquering it.
You can help yourself through exposure therapy – but make sure to begin with something you can cope with/handle – exposure therapy may not work if you start with something too scary.
Follow my step-by-step approach for aerophobia below:
- Step 1: Look up information about flying – flying is actually the safest mode of transportation! Your odds of dying in a plane crash are 1 in 11 million, whereas your chance of dying in a car/traffic accident are 1 in 5,000. Knowing more about the safety of flying, will hopefully help you to get over your fear. Also, 2016 was the safest year in aviation history.
- Step 2: Learn about how a plane works. Most of the sounds you hear whilst flying are completely normal, even though they sound scary – most mechanical sounds scare people because they don’t know what they are or what they mean. Many people also find turbulence terrifying – but it is very common, and is simply a disturbance in the flow of air – particularly when moving from areas of high to low pressure – it is very similar to driving on a bumpy road!
- Step 3: You can use all of these facts and information to help you manage your anxiety when you are flying. You can also use mindfulness techniques on a plane by meditating. You could also do something to distract yourself, such as: listening to music, reading or using the in-flight entertainment.
If these steps don’t work for you, or if they are not specific enough for you, make your own step-by-step approach – if you need any help, please feel free to leave a comment below.