Easy-to-follow tips to overcome fear of flying
October 12th, 2017
Filed under: Anxiety by Rachael

For people scared of flying, the news that 2016 was the second safest year in the aviation history might have brought some sense of relief. In fact, the 2016 Safety Report  issued by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has highlighted a 54 percent improvement in the overall safety performance in the aviation industry over the last 10 years.

It further said that an accident rate of 1.61 accidents per million sectors was recorded in 2016, compared to 3.53 in 2007. Compared to 2015, the accident rate was also 10 percent lower in 2016. Safety is the main concern among people travelling by air. Though no other form of transportation is as well-monitored as planes, many people still have their own set of fears and inhibitions.

Despite the fact that the risk of accident exists in any kind and mode of transport, such people are bound to experience nervousness while flying by air. Interestingly, even the latest data suggest that the risk of death is more on road than on any other form of transportation.

According to the  Department of Transportation of the United States, motor vehicles account for one out of 7,700  accidents, compared to one out of 2,067,000, in case of air carriers.

Ways to get over anxiety rising from fear of flying

Despite the above eye-opening statistics, a considerable number of people are anxious about getting on a plane. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), approximately 6.5 percent of the American population suffer from a specific phobia (a subset of anxiety disorders), including fear of flying.

  • Letting go of control: Many people experience anxiety because of a perceived lack of control over a stressful situation. Since someone else is flying the plane, people with the fear of flying feel vulnerable in the absence of control over the technical aspects and have a number of apprehensions. Being clueless about the outcome, they are more than willing to accept the risk of driving a car than flying. Therefore, they need to let go of what they can’t control.
  • Exercising regularly: Anxiety-reducing exercises and alternative measures, such as yoga or meditation, need to be integrated into one’s everyday routine. These tools are effective in reducing anxiety while boarding a plane.
  • Relaxing muscles: When people are nervous, they tend to stiffen their shoulders in the direction toward the neck. As a result, the muscles located there become stiff. During such situations, one should consciously try to lower his or her shoulders and identify the stiff muscle groups to relax them.
  • Imagining positive things: Imagination is a useful tool that one can use to see, feel and smell distant lands to distract himself or herself from negative thoughts. For this, a range of guided imagery applications is also available for practice at home. One can also distract himself or herself by diverting one’s thoughts to exciting plans for the immediate future.
  • Breathing mindfully: It helps in alleviating anxiety to a great extent. While the inhalation of air through the nose needs to be accompanied by the rising abdomen, exhalation should be accompanied by contraction in abdomen.
  • Attending group therapy classes and seeking counseling: Such classes help in providing knowledge and exposure to the nitty-gritty of flying. They also help in desensitizing a person by simulating the environment of an airplane. Some people would require intervention of a professional therapist to alleviate all fears pertaining to flying.

Bid farewell to unnecessary fears

A phobia is an intense and irrational fear of any place, object, situation, etc. that can turn quite problematic in the long run. Though people with flight phobia may agree that flying is safe, they are not able to reconcile their fear with safety statistics.

The psychological and physiological consequences of such phobias can considerably affect a person’s life by leading to impaired memory, narrowed perceptions, poor judgement-making capacity, negative outlook, persistent thoughts, muscle tremors, heavy breathing, heart palpitations, etc.

If you or your loved one is struggling with any anxiety disorder, it is imperative to seek professional help. The Anxiety Treatment Advisors of Colorado offers a variety of evidence-based treatment plans. Call at our 24/7 helpline number 866-891-2539 to connect with the best anxiety disorders treatment centers in Colorado. You can also chat online with our medical representatives for accessing information pertaining to anxiety disorders treatment in Colorado.

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