Curb your fear of flying

Follow some tips to curb your fear of flying
Image courtesy: ©YakobchukOlena/Getty Images

What if you don’t want to get on the plane? Professor Robert Bor from the Centre of for Aviation Psychology offers some suggestions.

Know you’re not alone

Estimates suggest 1 in 10 people on board an aircraft are not comfortable. The aviation industry spends a lot of time and money finding ways to help everyone in the industry, from passengers to pilots, to combat psychological issues related to flying. This means there’s lots of help available that’s aimed at being practical and actionable.

Understand your fear

There is a difference, however, between people who have a state of apprehension about being on a plane, in a confined space or in an unfamiliar environment and those who have a phobic anxiety about flying. The approach you take will vary depending on the nature of your anxiety.

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Ask for help

Your first port of call may be your doctor to discuss your concerns. Depending on what they say, different avenues can be explored. Many airlines around the world run excellent courses aimed at combating a fear of flying. These courses often explain something of the mechanics and aerodynamics of flying. Some people find seeking greater awareness can help. Others simply have other things going on in their lives that come out when they get on a plane, and in addressing these issues, perhaps through a psychologist, the anxiousness caused by flying recedes.

Keep it clean

In the lead up to flying take steps to keep as calm as possible. Avoid caffeine and alcohol, and fight any urge to skip meals. Try to arrive at the airport rested and relaxed. A few drinks to settle your nerves is not a good idea. It will initially act as a sedative, but once it wears off your original anxiety may well be amplified. Once on board, it may be useful to mention to the cabin crew that you’re a nervous flyer, to practise deep breathing, and remember that statistically you are using what is by far the safest form of transport.

This excerpt has been taken from Lonely Planet’s ‘Best Ever Travel Tips’.