How to Overcome the Fear of Flying
Perhaps the most gut wrenching and unnatural activity that human beings regularly engage in is flying. We as a race have been flying for some 100 years and there is no stopping in sight. While technology, planes, distances and amenities have gotten better over the years; something still remains the same. The fear of flying is apparent in everyone from novices to veteran flyers. However, it can be kept in check and overcome. Here’s how I did it.
Accept and acknowledge the gruesome facts of your fear of flying:
1. You are flying inside a metal cylinder that weighs hundreds of tons
2. You are flying at 500-600 miles per hour
3. You are 6-7 miles above the ground
4. Crashing means certain death
5. You will likely die before you even hit the ground from heart failure
6. You have absolutely no control over what happens once you are strapped in
7. You don’t know the captain, the first officer or the crew
8. You don’t know any of the other passengers
9. There is always a chance of the plane being hijacked
Now that sounds pretty horrible right? Sure it does but what can you do. These are the facts you must accept and move on after you’ve accepted that you cannot change what you can’t control. You must get over your fear of flying!
That said, you must also accept and acknowledge these facts as well:
1. You are safer flying than you are on any other mode of transportation
2. Turbulence does not make planes crash
3. The captain, first officer and crew do not want to die
4. The other passengers want to arrive safely just as much as you do
5. As annoying airport security is, it does deter terrorists from tampering with flights
6. It would be really hard to get a gun or bomb on a plane
7. There are air marshals on planes
Once you’ve accepted what you cannot change, you are ready for the next steps and precautions to overcome your fear of flying.
This might sound weird but this is exactly what I do to get my fear of flying. I don’t listen to iPods, play computer games or watch movies on any flight longer than 4 hours. I simply remove myself from my own mind and space out literally. This relaxes your mind and body and can honestly be one of the freest times your mind and body can have. This can involve sleeping, which I have become good at although admittedly it takes a lot of practice.
Don’t Drink Alcohol or Caffeine
It boggles my mind when people drink heavily on planes or have several coffees, teas or sodas. They are all culprits in keeping you up and not allowing you to relax. They all increase your heart rate and make you nervous. Have you ever sipped on one of these drinks during heavy turbulence? You’ll freak out. Don’t do it. Stick to water, club soda or juice.
Accept Things on Board the Plane You Cannot Change
This includes the people around you and your seating assignment. Unless it is a half full plane, you are stuck in your seat and you are stuck with the people around you no matter how bad they are. Accept this. I don’t care if it’s a screaming child or a big fat ass right next to you oozing onto your seat and squishing you into the window. Deal with it. It will make your flight a lot more pleasant and help prevent freak-outs from your fear of flying.
Don’t Take Meds
So many people take different medications before flying especially long distances. I have never and will never do this because I think it causes the exact opposite reaction from what you’re trying to achieve. It would make me stay up longer and get more nervous. For those that like it fine, but I would never suggest it. It is always harder than you think to sleep on long flights and pills don’t help; they make you anxious and then groggy.
Have a Positive Attitude
This is probably the most important thing in overcoming the fear of flying. If you think or say something will suck, it will. Just the same as anything in life, flying is much easier if you think it’ll be OK. That’s exactly what I do. It is a necessary evil and you must be positive.
Finally, remember these elementary things when you fly and they should help ease your mind:
1. If you’re flying you are very lucky
2. There are billions of people on this Earth that will never see the inside of an airplane
3. If you didn’t fly, how would you get where you’re going and how long would it take? Walk, drive, swim, train, bus?
4. When you’re flying you’re almost always going somewhere good; vacation, work or home
5. We live in an amazing age where almost anywhere on Earth is accessible within 24 hours because of air travel
6. The world is at your disposal
Lee Abbamonte, LeeAbbamonte.com | March 22, 2018
Lee Abbamonte is the youngest American to visit every country in the world. He’s visited all 193 UN member states; 318 total countries and is one of the world’s most-traveled people. He is also one of the few people to ever visit every country in the world plus both the North & South Poles. He is an entrepreneur, multimedia travel personality, brand ambassador, travel expert, travel writer, author and global adventurer. Check out his website LeeAbbamonte.com for more travel content!