Flying is not part of human nature. We were not biologically given wings or the innate ability to fly. So, it is only natural that some of us fear it. Funny enough, the vast majority of Americans do not fear flying, with only 25 percent of Americans admitting to anxiety. There are a variety of reasons to fear flying: terrorism, heights, technical errors leading to crashes, claustrophobia; the list goes on and on. But how can we deal with this fear? Is it even possible to completely overcome it?
Well, firstly, yes. It is possible to overcome the fear of flying. Millions of people face that fear every day by flying all over the world. But how?
Well, in most cases, what can help tremendously is simply knowing the facts. Make it a point to do some research. If you’re afraid of the plane crashing on its own, look up the actual statistics on all of the safety features and contingency plans that airlines and airplane manufacturers have put in place; if you are worried about an act of terrorism, look up your particular airport’s security protocols; in some cases, it may even help to understand how planes work in general. We live in a digital age where information is available at the tap of our fingers. Use that power. Familiarize yourself with the process if you’ve never flown before. Head over to YouTube and watch a video of what to expect when boarding an airplane. The more familiar you become with the experience, the easier it will be to board the plane.
Another way of overcoming your fear is by bringing along distractions. Have a book that you’ve been meaning to finish for months but never had the time to? Well here’s your chance. Bring it aboard and use it as a means to defeat your fears. Or, again, utilize technology as much as possible. If you have a laptop, tablet or smartphone capable of streaming entertainment, watch a movie or television show; or you can use those same methods to play a mobile game, which can help the time fly by—no pun intended. If you’re traveling on business and have work to do, save it for the flight. It all helps.
This next method could prove tricky, depending on the class of your flight and how willing your neighbors are to humor you, but striking up conversations can also prove beneficial. There is a high chance that the person you are sitting next to on the plane—if you are not traveling with family or friends—is from a different state or even a different country. Take time to strike up a conversation; ask questions about where they are from, what they like to do, etc. If you are flying aboard an airplane with a bar, take a stroll, have a beverage and socialize. It’s the closest you will come to a normal social scene.
Flying is a technical amazement. The fact that our species has managed to create large, multi-ton vehicles capable of flight is nothing short of a miracle. Try your hardest to enjoy it and overcome your fears. Hopefully these few tips can help ease the anxiety felt by an airplane trip. Good luck and happy flying.