Flight anxiety can also be termed as aerophobia. It is the extreme fear of flying. A wide range of factors cause aerophobia: turbulence, take-off and landing, new stories about terrorism, anthropophobia, mysophobia, agoraphobia, claustrophobia, etc. According to studies, the fear of flying is irrational because air travel is among the safest means of transport. Most people within the age bracket of 17 years and 34 years are more prone to flight anxiety. Below are some of the symptoms of aerophobia:
- Heart palpitations
- Trembling and shaking
- Hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating)
- Indigestion or upset stomach
- Dyspnea (shortness of breath)
In addition, most people struggling with aerophobia are likely to develop panic attacks, especially before or during a flight. Therefore, avoid new stories, books, and movies related to air travel if you are prone to aerophobia. Below are tips on how to overcome flight anxiety:
1. Demystify Turbulence
As previously mentioned, air travel is the safest mode of transport. This means that there are fewer air crashes that occur, especially when compared to road accidents. Planes are designed to minimize and handle turbulence. Therefore, you should not be worried when an airplane bobbles. Recently, pilots use high-tech tools to predict areas of turbulence.
2. Distract Yourself
On most airlines, you can access your phone, laptop, magazine, and television. Use your favorite device to distract yourself. Distracting yourself during a flight can help you forget that you are in an uncomfortable situation. Therefore, ensure you use a device that suits your tastes and preferences to make yourself comfortable.
3. Natural Supplements
Travel Anxiety can be a difficult experience to manage, but there are fortunately a number of natural supplements that can help to reduce anxiety symptoms. One popular option is anxiety reducing edibles. These usually come in the form of gummy sweets and are typically made with CBD oil, which has been shown to be effective in reducing anxiety. CBD oil works by interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system, which helps to regulate mood and anxiety levels. Anxiety gummies are convenient and easy to take, making them a great option for those who want to try natural anxiety relief. Although totally legal in Europe the USA and most other countries around the world it is worth checking local law before traveling, especially to the middle east.
4. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Based on science, cognitive behavioral therapy is an effective treatment for flight anxiety. The main objective of cognitive behavioral therapy is to change your negative thoughts about a particular subject that triggers fearful behaviors. Cognitive behavioral therapy incorporates an array of methods: virtual reality, systematic desensitization, cognitive restructuring, and psychoeducation. Systematic desensitization is the progressive exposure to a fearful situation or object. In addition, individual therapy and hypnotherapy can help you overcome the fear of flying.
5. Deep Breathing Technique
This is another effective method that will calm you down before and during your flight. Scientifically, your breath is a powerful tool that can influence your stress and anxiety level. Deep breathing exercises will play a significant role in reducing your anxiety. This is because the breathing technique is crucial in calming your nervous system. In addition, it will reduce your odds of developing hyperventilation.
6. Know Your Triggers
The first step in dealing with any problem is to identify the root cause of the problem. Having sufficient knowledge about your fear will help you prepare for how to overcome and manage your anxiety. Some of the common flight anxiety triggers include turbulence, cleanliness of the plane, etc. In addition, you should appreciate each flight. Exposing yourself to phobias and triggers can help you deal with the fear of flying. This is because you’ll train your brain on how to deal with these triggers. Ensure you do the opposite of what your body is telling you.
7. Select a Suitable Relaxation Technique
After obtaining more information about aerophobia triggers, find a relaxing technique that will help you reduce anxiety during and before a flight. Ensure you are fully relaxed before the flight departure. There are numerous relaxation techniques that you should consider:
- Soothing music
These techniques can be done any time during your flight, especially if you’re feeling nervous. In addition, you can talk to a flight attendant. Most flight attendants are trained to handle hyperventilation, fainting, phobia, and other health issues that may occur on the plane.
8. See a therapist
A therapist can help you overcome the fear of flying. Mental health specialists will use cognitive behavioral therapy to help you overcome flight phobia and anxiety. There are various aspects that you should consider when looking for a suitable therapist, such as professional, reputation, experience, reliability, etc.
If you are experiencing flight anxiety, it is important to consult a qualified mental health professional. A therapist will diagnose the phobia and determine whether you have any concurrent disorders. The fear of flying can reduce the quality of life. Therefore, you should consider the above-listed tips to overcome aerophobia.
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