Aviophobia, a fear of flying, is one of the most common phobias around the world. People often have a fear of flying for different reasons. Some are claustrophobic and afraid of being in enclosed spaces. Others are afraid of crowds, heights, or hijackings. However, the number one reason why people avoid flying is the fear of being involved in a plane crash.
Most people don’t know anyone who has been in an aviation accident. Regardless, many people avoid traveling long distances because of this phobia, while others have found techniques that worked for them. What follows are some of the most popular methods that have helped others to overcome their fear of flying.
Focus on the Statistics
Looking at the statistical odds of being involved in a plane crash might help you realize how irrational it is to fear flying. It’s common for people to say that you’re more likely to die in a car crash than in a plane.
But when people say this, they’re looking at the statistics for all plane crashes, which involve many different types of aircraft. When you narrow down the statistics to only large jets, the type most travelers use, the odds of an accident occurring are reduced even further.
It’s important to remember that your fear of flying is mostly because your brain is hyperfocused on the flight itself. That’s why distracting your brain may be one of the best methods to calm yourself.
Some people choose to watch a movie or listen to music, while others bring reading materials with them. The best way to distract yourself during a flight is to preplan everything and try to imagine what you’ll be thinking as you’re engaging with certain materials.
Change Your Breathing
Your worries may start in the brain, but it’s your lungs that can turn initial anxiety into a full-blown panic attack. When people become scared, their breathing often becomes shallower, and this prevents oxygen from circulating throughout the body the way it should.
This sometimes leads to hyperventilating, dizziness, or more anxiousness, which can all further compound the problem. Whenever you feel anxious on a flight, you should focus on your breathing and try to take deeper and longer breaths. Not only will this improve oxygen circulation, but it may also serve as a distraction to help get your mind off of other things.
Check Air Traffic Numbers
Many flights offer Wi-Fi nowadays, and we now have the ability to see what only air traffic controllers were able to see 30 years ago. You can check air traffic websites, either before or during your flight, to remind yourself of how many flights are currently in progress around the world.
It’s common to see 12,000 or more flights in the air at any given time. When you see this sprawled out across an online map, it may help you realize how unlikely it is for a negative event to happen to your specific flight.
Recently, CBD treatments have become popular with some travelers. Interest in CBD’s effects on generalized anxiety has increased dramatically in recent years, so more and more studies have been carried out to analyze its benefits.
There is now enough evidence to support the notion that hemp oil products containing CBD can help to reduce anxiety. Researchers can see the effects of this by measuring blood flow within the limbic regions of the brain. The limbic system within the brain is all the regions that control fear and emotions. CBD oil or CBD calming tincture may be of benefit for some who feel they have tried everything else without success.
Speak to a Psychologist
Lastly, talking to a psychologist about your fears may be a good idea as this is what they specialize in. They can help you identify triggers that might be causing your phobias. They can also help you confront your fears by teaching you techniques to look at them from a different perspective.
In recent years, a new type of virtual reality technology, known as controlled exposure therapy, has become available to some psychologists. This is where you can participate in simulated flights in a controlled environment until you adapt and learn how to control your fears.