How to overcome the fear of flying – Part 1

It’s one of the most common phobias, with estimates reporting that around 7% of the world’s population suffer from this affliction. It’s known clinically as ‘aerophobia’, and it has the potential to prevent a person from travelling, whether for leisurely jet setting or visiting out of town family members & loved ones, a deeply problematic and upsetting dilemma.

Here at Flightstore, we want to share with you some of the most effective, tried-and-tested methods for combating this fear, in a series of posts to help you take control of your fear of flying. Whilst we don’t claim that we’ll be able to completely remedy the phobia, we do hope that if you are one of the many millions who suffer from aerophobia, this blog series will help give you at least a little peace of mind.

A little knowledge goes a long way

This relates to many aspects of your flight, such as knowing what to expect from the moment you set foot into the departure lounge, to the moment you eventually disembark the plane after your journey has concluded. Simply knowing what lies ahead can ease a lot of the anxiety associated with aerophobia. Take a few moments beforehand to research the aircraft, including the interior the day before you fly, it might also help to prebook your seat to try to reduce the number of things you’ll need to take of once aboard.

Many sufferers of aerophobia find themselves worrying about things such as ‘how such a huge vehicle can possible stay airborne’, or ‘whether there’s enough fuel’, or whether or not the pilot really means it when he says “nothing to worry about’ after the plane endures some turbulence.

Tom Bunn, an experienced and decorated pilot, created the aerophobe’s haven – fearofflying.com, which answers some of these questions in detail; it’s an absolutely fantastic resource for anybody who is unsure about the theory behind air travel, and wants an expert’s explanation.

Fly on a full stomach

A recent study conducted by the Alpha Airports Group showed that of those surveyed, consuming an in-flight meal helped greatly alleviate the traditional symptoms of aerophobia.

If you do manage to get in a pre-flight meal, it’s best to avoid caffeine as caffeine can often worsen or provoke anxiety attacks. Try to eat as healthily as possible, (tough when you’re crammed into economy seats 30, 000 ft in the air, we know!), by preparing some snacks to bring on board if permitted.

Visualise the reward

If all else fails, try to think about what awaits you at the end of your flight, be it a dream holiday or the chance to spend some time with family and friends. Knowing that in a matter of hours you’ll be lounging on a beach or seeing the sights will hopefully provide your mind with enough of a distraction to take away some of the anxiety.

Do you have any of your own tips for overcoming the fear of flying? We’d love to hear from you, and we’ll post the best ones right here on our blog. Contact us by leaving a comment below, or getting in touch with Flightstore on social media via the social buttons below.

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