I was brought into this world with an extreme fear of flying, but also born with the desire to travel the world. If you’re anything like me, you need a remedy that will help you avoid grabbing onto the random sitting next to you at every turbulent moment. In recent years, I embarked on an extensive pack of flights home to the U.S… Rio de Janeiro to Sao Paulo to New York to Chicago, spent the weekend in Milwaukee and ended this ridiculous amount of flying with a round trip to Las Vegas. Little did I know that the worst flight of my life would be that final one, Las Vegas to Milwaukee. Flying dead center in a storm, this 3-hour flight home was rocky, dips and drops and lightning all around. I couldn’t control my anxiety and basically sobbed and grabbed onto this random man next to me the entire time. Afterward, I felt so embarrassed of how I acted, I knew I needed to find a way to deal with this fear.
Facing your fears ~ People always say that facing your fears is the best way to overcome them. But I believe that managing your fears is the only way to deal with this type of fear because I have yet to overcome it. Whatever it is that triggers this fear, recognize it when it is happening, so you can find a way to manage this. For me, turbulence gets to me. Every time it is a little rocky, I start sweating and think we’re going to fall out of the sky. You’ve probably heard the phrase, “the first step is admitting you have a problem”. When you realize what triggers your fear, it is easier to find a solution!
Educate yourself ~ Learn about airplanes, how they’re built and what causes turbulence. When you educate yourself on these topics and realize that falling to your death in a plane crash rarely occurs, it helps your anxiety.
Find solutions that work for you ~ I’ve tried it all, from alcohol to meditation, yet nothing really seemed to help me. Over time I have realized that sleeping through the flight is the only way that I can be calm throughout a flight…so I currently use anxiety medications that make you pass out. I’m not proud of this because I am a firm believer in not using prescription medications. But it works for me, especially those 6+ hour flights. Talk to your doctor if you have extreme anxiety while flying and see what kinds of drugs they will prescribe you; because this tactic has truly helped me be a normal human on an airplane…and by normal I mean KO’d.
Do you share my fear of flying? What tactics work for you? Share with me!