Ex-Pilot Shares How To Cut back Your Worry Of Flying

Vacation season is properly within reach and that often entails air journey. For a few of you, the concept of flying will solely excite you, however for a lot of, it causes emotions of tension. It’s well-known that airline journey is safer than travelling by automotive, but worry of flying – or aviophobia – stays one of the crucial frequent phobias of recent life, believed to have an effect on round one in ten of the inhabitants. André Viljoen, former business airline pilot and logistics supervisor at Artemis Aerospace, presents some optimistic recommendation to assist your worry of flying and beat that stomach-churning nervousness if you subsequent board an plane.

As a former business pilot, it wasn’t uncommon to listen to of passengers experiencing nervousness or panic assaults throughout a flight. Whereas cabin crew are skilled to calm and reassure passengers, it may be a distressing expertise for the sufferer, and unsettling for fellow travellers.

Most of us know that worry of flying is irrational. Statistics constantly reveal that air journey is way safer than different modes of transport. Newest figures from the Worldwide Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) reveal 2.14 accidents per 1.93 million world scheduled departures in 2021, leading to 104 fatalities. Secretary Common of the ICAO, Juan Carlos Salazar, stated the statistics confirmed but once more that ‘air transport is the most secure mode of transport.’ 

Evaluate this to street journey, the place in Britain alone there have been 927 street customers killed in 2021, with over 65,000 individuals struggling accidents in street site visitors accidents. Globally, greater than 1.35 million individuals die in street accidents yearly.

Statistics apart, there’s one thing about air journey that continues to unnerve passengers. Maybe it’s the claustrophobia of the cabin, underlying nervousness about journeying a great distance from house, and even the in-flight security demonstration that suggestions individuals over the sting.

So, what will be performed to handle this very actual drawback? These six sensible methods are confirmed to assist individuals cut back the worry related to flying.

Publicity-based methods
The age-old recommendation to ‘withstand your fears’ actually may also help overcome phobias. Gradual publicity to a state of affairs that triggers unfavorable feelings may also help us to be taught that our worst fears are extremely unlikely to be realised.

Underneath the steerage of a skilled therapist, exposure-based programmes introduce methods to reduce nervousness previous to a flight. After a couple of classes, therapists might accompany a consumer on a flight or flight simulator. Nevertheless, with the event of digital actuality, shoppers can now put on VR headsets to imitate onboard situations – a less expensive however very efficient possibility.

Many individuals who dread flying admit to feeling baffled over the mechanics of air journey. ‘How can this nice lump of steel climb into the sky?’ is a typical query. Educating your self on the rules of aviation is usually a enormous assist. You may conduct your individual analysis on-line, or, even higher, e-book onto a devoted course aimed toward curing aviophobia. Many airways run such programmes with excessive success charges. For instance, British Airways’ Flying With Confidence course, run by BA pilots and cabin crew and supported by a medical psychologist, data a 98% success charge.

Meditation and deep respiratory
Mixed with deep respiratory methods, meditation will be so simple as repeating a optimistic phrase or affirmation reminiscent of ‘Calm’ or ‘I’m secure’ for a minute or two earlier than you board the aircraft. There’s no want to take a seat cross-legged and chant in a darkened room! Breathe in deeply by means of your nostril so that you just really feel your stomach, reasonably than your chest, broaden. Breathe out slowly, emptying all of the air out of your lungs. Repeat 5 or 6 occasions then let your respiratory return to regular.

You don’t have to shut your eyes to meditate, not to mention say your affirmation aloud – it’s advantageous to ‘communicate’ the phrases in your head as you wait within the departure lounge or on the gate. If panicky emotions begin to bubble up when you’ve boarded, preserve repeating the method.

Voice your fears
Let travelling companions know the way you’re feeling. Bottling up anxieties tends to lend them extra energy. If you e-book your air ticket, request a ‘worry of flying’ word in your reserving in order that cabin crew will know to look out for you. You may even have a quiet phrase with flight attendants as you board the plane. Typically simply voicing fears and figuring out that individuals are sympathetic will be sufficient to maintain panic at bay.

Distract your self
Obtain favorite podcasts or playlists forward of the flight (not all airways have onboard Wi-Fi). Puzzles, crosswords, and comforting TV reveals may additionally preserve you distracted if you begin to expertise stress. Don’t ignore the onboard security demonstration, nonetheless. Within the extraordinarily unlikely occasion of an accident, it’s vital to know the right procedures. After watching the demo, it is best to really feel extra, not much less secure!

Medicate correctly
Self-medicating with alcohol is just not advisable as it could result in dehydration, nausea, complications and mind fog – all of which may heighten nervousness. It’s additionally smart to keep away from an excessive amount of caffeine earlier than a flight.

Your GP might be able to prescribe anti-anxiety treatment, though analysis has proven that medication reminiscent of benzodiazepines can backfire, inflicting habit and elevated stress in the long run. If in any respect potential, strive drug-free methods reminiscent of conscious respiratory or meditation, and even natural treatments out there from well being meals retailers. If utilizing natural treatments, keep in mind to examine together with your GP first in case you are already taking prescribed treatment for different situations.


2022 ICAO Security Report presents optimistic outcomes
– Reported street casualties Nice Britain: Casualties and deprivation – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
– World street security statistics | Brake
– Worry of Flying (Aerophobia or Aviaphobia) Reality Sheet (Immediate Obtain) – Anxiousness UK
– How does our mind course of worry? Examine investigates (medicalnewstoday.com)
– Flying with Confidence | Particular help | British Airways
– How you can beat the worry of flying – BBC Future
– Anti-Anxiousness Medicine and Flying | Psychology Right this moment