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How can I Overcome a Fear of Flying?

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  • Written By: A Kaminsky
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 28 November 2016
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    Conjecture Corporation
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People fear many things: snakes, spiders, closed-in places. However, a fear of flying is also common, although many people are ashamed to talk about it. How can someone overcome a fear of flying?

One good method is information. People often have a fear of flying because they do not understand how safe it is, or how many flights land and take off every day, all without incident. Frequently, when people find out how rare air accidents are, this alone will help them overcome their fear of flying. They also may be helped by learning about what actually keeps a plane in the air, and about such things as turbulence. Some people develop their fear of flying after having children, in their concern for their children’s safety. Helping them understand how safe flying is may help allay their fears. Some people are greatly helped by talking to a pilot about the physics of flight, and how aircraft are maintained to keep their good safety records.

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Hypnosis has also proved helpful for many people who have a fear of flying. A counselor trained in hypnotherapy may be able to help a person by associating a calm state of mind with a trigger word or phrase while under hypnosis. They may be able to help a person reach that state of calm by telling them they will be relaxed as soon as the flight attendants begin the safety presentation or start checking the overhead bins before takeoff. This will help the person get through the flight much more comfortably, and hypnosis has been successful for many people.

Some people have a fear of flying because they are claustrophobic and an airplane cabin is a relatively small space. Helping these people overcome their fears may take a psychiatrist who can also recommend hypnotherapy or a mild tranquilizer to be taken before the flight.

There are also online sources to help people overcome a fear of flying. They may include information, explanations, videos and other resources to help the fearful flyer. Some people tell their friends their flight information and ask the friend to track their flight in real time online. This makes many people feel better, just knowing someone is watching their flight. Books have been written on the subject as well, and many people may find these helpful.

The main key to overcoming a fear of flying is the desire to do so. Without it, a person might not seek out help that is readily available. A person who genuinely desires to change a behavior has already won half the battle.

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Discuss this Article

indigowater
Post 4

@CaptainKeith - If you have sold your book "Flying without Fear" to over 12,000 people, then certainly you've gotten some feedback?

I'd love to hear how successful it is in helping people overcome their fear of flying anxiety, not just how many people have read it.

chrysalis
Post 3

After a plane crash in 1985, I never thought I'd be able to conquer my fear of flying. I suffered for many years, trying to do it on my own. Finally I broke down and tried a tranquilizer that a doctor prescribed for my flight. I hated that feeling of drowsiness and incompetence.

This past year I met with a PTSD trauma specialist. We used some form of reshuffling memories combined with hypnosis. I will be flying this month and am anxious to see if we really did put the accident behind me. I'm wondering how, though, because if a memory is a cellular memory (is there such a thing), then how can it be removed?

CaptainKeith
Post 2

Our book "Flying without Fear" has sold over 12,000 copies.

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