Do any of you experience a fear of flying? Believe it or not, but I’m so scared of flying and I’ve had to fly ALOT! I had started chatting with another mom a few days ago at my daughter’s school and I discovered that she was also scared.
She was telling me that she has a work-trip to Europe coming up and she was so scared of it that she had made a doctors appt to get some medication.
Shoot, I know exactly how she feels and I gave her all the advice I could. I figured I should share this advice with all of my friends here too, just in case it can be helpful.
1) Do not drink alcohol. I tried this several times before when I was scared of a flight and it only made my fear worse. It made me more anxious and put my thoughts in a MORE negative space.
2) Sit as close to the wings as possible. This spot on the plane will experience less turbulence. You’ll still feel it, but it will be noticeably less than the other parts of the plane.
3) When booking, pay attention to the route. Even if it is more expensive or the timings are inconvenient, try to book the direct flights. If direct cannot work for you, then check for the shortest routes possible so you spend less time in the air.
4) Also while booking, pay attention to the model aircraft. The larger aircraft usually provide smoother rides, so check the specific aircraft before you book your flight. Planes with 3 seats on each side of the aisle (or even larger, for international) will suite you best.
5) Watch the flight attendants. If you hit a rough patch during the flight – maybe some nerve-wracking turbulence – take a look at the flight attendants. Most of the time, you will see them carrying-on like normal, which is an indication that they are not worried and you should not be either. This can be reassuring when there is a fear of flying.
6) Distract yourself. This is the tip that works best for me. If you can focus on a book or a game or some writing that will take your mind off the actual flight, that should help you. I play Candy Crush while I fly and I’m able to obsess on it well enough that my flights are much more comfortable than they’d be without the game.
7) Educate yourself. Sometimes fear of flying stems from a fear of the unknown – from not understanding the science behind it. Start learning about the mechanics of flight, and the safety procedures involved, and the statistics of how safe air travel is. Such facts might help override some of the fear.
8) Take flying lessons. Sometimes fear of flying stems from the lack of control – your life is literally in someone else’s hands. Learning how to fly will help you put yourself in the pilot’s shoes, and see/feel things from their perspective – which is a perspective of control.
9) Fly with a child or someone even more scared of flying than you are. If you are accompanied by someone that needs you to stay calm enough to be able to comfort THEM, then you should be able to rise to the occasion. I’ve noticed this when I fly with my own daughter. I do not, under any circumstance, want her to see me scared. So I literally fake it until I make it. And it works.
10) Do it. Despite your fear, just do it. Continued exposure to this fear, and well as successfully getting through it, should help reinforce to you that flying is ok. Or at least, that it is tolerable.
So those were the tips I shared with the mom I was chatting with. I hope she does well on her upcoming flight. Do you all have a fear of flying? What do you do to get through it?