Air travel is no longer a fantasy. It is a very common and widely used mode of transportation. According to International Air Transport Association (IATA), there are around 1 lakh flights flying each day and in 2017, nearly 3.5 billion people would fly globally.
The accident rates for airplanes is also comparatively less when compared to other modes of transportation. Air travel is widely regarded as safer. However, some people have a fear of flying. There are times when even experienced travelers fear the flight. Fear of flying is the fear of being on an airplane. The feeling of uneasiness while flying are usually temporary and don’t last long unless one has an actual fear of flying, known as “aerophobia” or “aviophobia.” Aerophobia is a continual experience of flying that is firmly embedded in the psyche of the traveler. This feeling is much more than the short-lived uneasiness.
Causes of flying fear:
Fear of flying may be caused by a personal bad flight experience or you might have heard of someone else’s unpleasant story. Anxiety is common symptom of aviophobia. Since the cabin of a plane is a crowded place, other symptoms might include suffocation or claustrophobia (fear of being enclosed in a small space).
Tips for conquering the fear of flying:
- Staying centered: Take a deep breathe 4 times and slowly exhale for 6 times. This will bring you in a more centered state of mind.
- Finding focus: Cross your hands as well as ankles and breathe deeply.
- Removing stress-inducing distractions: Don’t get distracted as you look out of the window and take a deep breathe while keeping your tongue touching the roof of the mouth.
- Anticipating Anxiety: If you are expecting pangs of anxiety, then doing mindful or stress management exercises daily will definitely help you.
- Soothing your senses: Find ways to alleviate your stress or anxiety. While listening to some soothing numbers can relive stress in a few, eating chocolates and snacks can bring the same effect in others. These soothing elements may help make your experience better.
- Knowing your buttons: Try exploring factors that trigger your anxiety and possible ways to soothe them. Being aware of aviation safety measures before boarding is always a great idea as this will give you a sense of being safe aboard.
When should I see a doctor?
Anxiety is experienced by many people on a daily basis; regardless of age and gender. If out of fear or anxiety, you are unable to perform your daily activities, such as completely abstaining yourself from boarding flight, then you must see a doctor. This is because, doctor can easily help you understand the root cause of your flight fear and suggest you ways to effectively eliminate it.