A fear of flying is a highly common problem and something that you certainly have no reason to feel embarrassed about. If Mr T is afraid of flying, then quite clearly it’s not a reflection on your toughness and is something that can affect anyone. While this might be comforting however, this doesn’t help you when you’re about to board the plane and sweating like you’ve just run a marathon – so how can you overcome your fear of flying and enjoy a more relaxed flight to your destination? After all, going on holiday is supposed to be relaxing and fun – not traumatic and scarring.
First of all, it may interest you to know that there are some treatments that can treat you for a fear of flying. These aren’t going to be effectively immediately, so if you’re reading this the night before your holiday (go to bed!) then it’s not going to help you in time. However if you aren’t flying until later in the year, there are some things that can help you.
Essentially to treat a fear of flying you will probably want to use some form of therapy, and there are multiple types here for you to choose from. The best forms will be either ‘CBT’ (‘cognitive behavioural therapy’ or ‘behavioural therapy’). These will use either cognitive restructuring or disassociation respectively to treat the problem. In cognitive restructuring you simply focus on identifying the negative thoughts and ruminations that are causing your fear of flying – these will be things like ‘I have completely no control if something goes wrong’ or ‘I’m inside a giant metal can in the sky’, and then replacing these with positive affirmations such as ‘if anything goes wrong I won’t know anything about it’ or ‘thousands of people fly every single day and there are countless safety procedures and failsafes’. With practice you can learn to permanently replace the negative thoughts so that you naturally think more positively.
Disassociation or reassociation meanwhile work by removing the negative correlations with positive ones – by subjecting you to situations hat are more and more like flying while helping you to remain calm and even treating you with chocolates or praise.
You can use both of these strategies to a degree yourself to help manage any anxiety on the day. For instance you can use cognitive restructuring and you may find repeating re-affirming phrases does help to a degree. At the same time you can use the behaviourism techniques to control your breathing and thereby slow your heart rate – by controlling your breathing and doing your best to clear your mind of stress.
There are also various other strategies you can use – aiming to sleep as much as possible on the journey for instance can help you to relax, while you should furthermore aim to eliminate any other sources of stress – for instance make sure that you arrive on time and have all your documents printed out long before, as more stress is the last thing you need. Medication is also an option – either general sedatives to help you sleep or benzodiazepines you may be able to get prescribed from your doctor – though bear in mind that these can have side effects and will only treat the symptoms so it is better to learn to control your response in other ways.
Amy Lewis is a real estate agent who likes to explain the beauty and comfort of staying in Ibiza villas with the help of her blog as well as through guest posting.