Overcoming the Fear of Flying

Written by Reid Wilson, PhD


For some individuals, the fear of flying can be a paralyzing experience that hinders their ability to enjoy air travel. The fear of flying is a common anxiety disorder affecting millions of people worldwide. While there are professional therapies and treatments available, there are also several potential self-help remedies that individuals can try to alleviate their fear and regain control. Here, we will explore some of these remedies and how they can assist in overcoming the fear of flying.

1. Education and Understanding

Knowledge is power, and understanding the mechanics of flight can help ease anxiety. Take the time to educate yourself about how planes work, the safety measures in place, and the statistics that show how flying is one of the safest modes of transportation. This knowledge can help alleviate irrational fears and provide a sense of reassurance. Achieving Comfortable Flight eBook B & Audio 3 help with these topics.

2. Breathing and Relaxation Techniques

Deep breathing exercises and relaxation techniques can be powerful tools for managing anxiety. Practice deep breaths, inhaling deeply through your nose and exhaling slowly through your mouth. Combine this with progressive muscle relaxation, where you systematically tense and relax each muscle group, starting from your toes up to your head. These techniques can promote a sense of calm and help you relax during the flight.

3. Visualizations and Meditation

Visualization is a powerful tool for combating fear. Before the flight, visualize yourself boarding the plane, feeling calm and confident. Imagine the takeoff and the flight itself, focusing on positive aspects like the view from the window or the excitement of reaching your destination. Meditation can also be beneficial in reducing anxiety. Apps and guided meditations are available to help you find relaxation and peace during the flight.

4. Refocus Your Mind

Keeping your mind engaged during the flight can help take your focus away from fear. Bring along your favorite books, movies, or podcasts to keep yourself occupied. Engage in activities that you enjoy, such as playing games or solving puzzles. Noise-canceling headphones can also block out ambient sounds, allowing you to create a more soothing environment.

5. Supportive Measures

Having a support system can make a significant difference when dealing with the fear of flying. Inform a trusted friend or family member about your anxiety. Their support and understanding can provide comfort and reassurance. Additionally, joining support groups or online communities with individuals who share the same fear can offer valuable insights and coping strategies.

6. Natural Remedies

Several natural remedies are believed to help reduce anxiety. These include chamomile tea, lavender oil, lemon balm, and valerian root. While these remedies may not work for everyone, some individuals find them helpful in promoting relaxation and calmness.

The fear of flying can be an overwhelming obstacle for those wishing to travel by air. While there are professional treatments available, it’s worth exploring self-help remedies to alleviate anxiety and regain control. Remember that everyone’s experience with fear of flying is unique, so it may take some experimentation to find what works best for you. By taking proactive steps, overcoming the fear of flying can open yourself up to the incredible opportunities and adventures that air travel offers.

About the Author

Dr. Reid Wilson

REID WILSON, Ph.D. has spent his entire 30-year career in the field of self-help for
anxiety disorders and OCD. He is Director of the Anxiety Disorders Treatment Center and is an international expert in the treatment of anxiety disorders, with books translated into nine languages. In 2014 he was honored with the highest award given by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, and he was presented the 2019 Service Award by the International OCD Foundation. 

To learn more about Dr. Wilson, click here.

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