At present, there are no less than 500 named phobias according to the MSD manual (consumer version). As a reminder, this term originates from the Greek word “phobos”. It refers to an irrational fear that a person has towards something or a particular situation that could threaten their safety. The aviophobia- also known under the name of aerodromophobia – would affect, for example, 30% of French people according to a study conducted by the Center for the Treatment of Fear of the Airplane (CTPA).
Simply put, it is an anxiety related to travel that involves air travel. Most of the time, this only causes a few symptoms of stress that are fairly manageable. In other cases, however, the worry is such that it completely prevents the subject from resorting to any flying device. Fortunately, there are many solutions available to everyone to overcome their fear of flying.
Overcoming your fear of flying is first to understand it
Airplanes are one of the safest forms of transportation in modern times. Indeed, it is what represents the least risk of accident of all. Faster and easier, it also allows us to visit relatives who live on the other side of the world or to facilitate our discovery escapades in unknown lands. While most enjoy these amenities, people with aviophobia fail to recognize these facts.
No matter what the numbers or the experts say, they will not be able to reassure themselves. For all those who find themselves in this situation, the best solution to overcome your fear of flying is always to identify the potential causes of this excessive fear. This is also the first step towards healing. In particular, it could be a bad experience in the past. Perhaps the turbulence was omnipresent on your previous flight, which greatly disturbed you. Or maybe you experienced an emergency landing due to mechanical issues? Here, we are talking more about post-traumatic stress .
Sometimes aviophobia is also due to information overload that prevents you from thinking rationally. Especially since air crashes are often the subject of enormous media coverage which can last up to several months. This is completely understandable since they are extremely rare. For example, many people around the world developed this phobia – at least temporarily – after September 11, 2001. Overcoming your fear is sometimes difficult following such a tragic event.
Most of the time, it can even be a simple aspect of other psychological problems. In particular, you may have some sort of social phobia such as agoraphobia . Staying in a confined space where it would be difficult to escape or being in a place where it would be difficult for help to reach is simply unimaginable. It is the same for the claustrophobes who cannot stand closed places and the acrophobes who panic easily when they find themselves in height. The mysophobiques, meanwhile, will have to spend long periods with strangers. It goes without saying that overcoming your fear of flying must start here by combating the other underlying anxieties.
Overcome your fear of flying, several solutions at your disposal
In order to overcome your fear of flying, there are many solutions available to everyone. The most common strategies for doing this include the following.
Inquire . For example, you can learn how airplanes work, why turbulence occurs and what the various noises you hear mean in order to reassure yourself. Likewise, you can inform yourself about all the mechanical part.
Undergo individual therapy with a mental health professional . The cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or the hypnotherapy are all excellent to dominate his fear.
Take your courage in both hands . Experts suggest that the best way to overcome your fear of flying is to participate in “controlled exposure.” Whether through virtual reality exposure therapy (TERV) or a flight simulation.
Occupy the mind to deal with anxiety more effectively . Like listening to soothing music , reading an interesting book, playing a video game, or downloading mobile apps like FoFly. The latter has been specifically designed to help aerodromophobes to better manage the stress generated by air travel.
Learn some anxiety management techniques . In particular, you can indulge in a few breathing exercises that can induce relaxation.
In addition, homeopathy – a form of complementary medicine – is also extremely useful in overcoming fear of flying. This practice is based on natural substances and may therefore represent a better alternative to taking pharmaceutical drugs. The most common remedies include Gelsemium, Argentum-Nitricum, Aconite or Borax. Obviously, it is advisable not to practice self-medication and to consult a seasoned professional to ensure the suitability as well as the effectiveness of the treatment.
Overcome your fear of flying through meditation
To overcome your fear of flying – like any fear for that matter, it is essential to face it. Indeed, many people often opt for flight when faced with a situation that is beyond them. However, simply avoiding air travel is not always the best course of action. For example, it can prevent you from advancing in your professional career, seeing loved ones or visiting a perfect dream destination for your vacation. Therefore, it is arguably more beneficial to try to manage the anxiety that emanates from it instead.
In this regard, meditation is an excellent ally to finally overcome your fear . It is a practice with many virtues that dates back thousands of years. It can help you before or during your flight as you can more easily let go of intrusive thoughts that are blocking you. Provided, however, that it is applied daily. You should also do this a little in advance (one or two weeks before your departure). 15-20 minutes is enough for you to indulge in this simple exercise. To do this, follow the next few steps.
Find a quiet place away from distractions or any noise nuisance.
Sit down and keep your spine straight. If possible, try not to touch the backrest or the wall.
Release all your muscles and relax.
Start by being aware of your breathing.
Focus your attention on each inhale and exhale.
You will notice as you go through the practice that it is much easier to let go of negative thoughts.