How to overcome the fear of flying

How to overcome the fear of flying

The fear of getting on a plane truncates any business or pleasure trip. In this note, the advice of specialists, the testimony of who overcame the phobia and tips to make the flight a pleasant experience.

Aerophobia can be overcome with specialized treatments
The phobia of air travel is widespread and alarming. Millions of people avoid travelling by air even at the risk of losing jobs, seeing incredible places, following the love of their life or meeting distant relatives. A cost, without a doubt, too high to afford.

The night before the flight without batting an eye, the trip to the airport that becomes endless, sweating hands, tachycardia, fainting, uncontrollable crying and even the feeling of not being able to breathe. Symptoms that are as exaggerated as they are real, suffered by those who are phobic of airplanes.

For Dr. Claudio Plá, a medical psychiatrist (MN 52474) with experience in treating phobias and a member of the organization Poder Volar: “This fear is mostly developed by bad experiences in flights, information about accidents, or a history of fear in close relatives. Stress or certain life crises are also often associated, as they increase vulnerability to fears in general.

Alas & Raíces is an institution founded by the Psychologist Liliana Aróstegui, who defines rationality and intelligence with the catastrophic feeling that accompanies those who do not dare to climb the ladder: “The usual thing is that very intelligent and sensitive people, despite knowing intellectually that the plane is the safest means of transport, cannot have that knowledge in their body and do not relax when flying”.

Back to the plane. “At one point I decided that the only way I could get to know places was through movies and books. Every time the possibility of travel came up, I experienced a tingling in my legs. But, above all, I felt that I would never get on a plane again, it was impossible for me to imagine myself flying,” explains Carola Sixto, a passenger who has recovered thanks to a course that gave her the tools to overcome the trauma. “The only thing I can recommend is to take a workshop with specialized people. It helped me after trying everything, but there are no magic solutions. Anyone who wants to get on a plane and not have a bad time has to learn to fly and that is what these courses teach”.

Who has a predisposition to aerophobia:

Those who suffer from an anxiety disorder.
Those who suffer from gastric problems, nausea, and dizziness in a chronic way.
Those who have an auditory hypersensitivity.
Those who are going through a crisis (economic, emotional, grief).
Those under stress (marriage, birth of children, moving, beginning of retirement, divorce, change of job).
Those who have experienced an uncomfortable situation at an airport or on a previous flight (forced landings, major turbulence, delays of several hours)

Thoughts that affect the phobia:

“The plane will fall without control.”
“Turbulence can bring the plane down.”
“The crew is incompetent.”
“Aircraft are not maintained in times of crisis.”
“If I break down, no one will be able to help me.”
“I can’t get off.”
“If there is an accident we will all die.
“I won’t be able to endure so many hours in the cabin.

Thoughts that reduce it:

Turbulence is unpleasant, not dangerous.
A delay due to a malfunction is not a prelude to an accident, but a prevention.
An alternate landing is to avoid a greater evil.
A wait in the air for a lot of air traffic is to take care of the flight.
Delays are part of the journey.

Tips to overcome them:

Take a short course taught by recognized professionals.

Train in exercises to control anxiety: yoga, breathing, meditation, relaxation techniques, etc.

Increase physical activity with non-competitive practices: walking, cycling, swimming, conscious gymnastics, dance, etc.

Make an early consultation.

An important piece of information for all those who suffer from anxiety disorders is that there are new drugs that modulate this symptom, generically known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, which require consultation with the family doctor or specialist.

For people sensitized to air accidents, the recommendation is not to see images of air accidents. All the world experts in the treatment of post-traumatic stress recommend not to load the mind with scenes of high tragic content. They can disturb sleep and trigger unnecessary alerts.


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