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Take these 7 Steps to Overcome Your Fear of Flying

Reid Wilson, Ph.D.

Director of the Anxiety Disorders Treatment Center and is an international expert in the treatment of anxiety disorders, with books translated into nine languages.

If you are afraid to fly, there are a number of steps you can take to overcome this fear. Your very first step needs to be motivation: facing anxiety is indeed uncomfortable, so you need to become determined to choose air travel as the safest, easiest, quickest way to reach those far-away destinations. Is frequent flying a necessity in your profession? Do you have family and friends you want to visit more frequently? Do you want to take vacations abroad? These aims will help motivate you, because a strong desire to overcome your problem can guide you through any obstacles along the way.

In the rest of this section will outline the seven central tasks to flying comfortably. The first task -- learn to trust the industry -- specifically focuses on the issue of flying. The six other tasks all relate to other sections of the Panic Attack Self-Help Program. Once you have read this section, use it as a guide to study the central attitudes and skills presented elsewhere in the Panic Attack Self-Help Program.  If you would rather work with our kit called Achieving Comfortable Flight, then find out about it in the resources section.

Don't begin to judge whether these skills will help you until you've had a chance to practice them in real-life situations. Take small steps toward flying comfortably, such as visiting an airport, boarding a stationary plane, or taking a short flight as practice. These will be chances for you to try out some of these skills. The more you practice, the easier it will get.

If you have patience, the world of commercial flight will soon be just the ticket for quick, easy and comfortable travel.