List of things that will probably NOT help you overcome your fear of flying

April 20, 2014 4 Comments »

Ok, so I have a fear of flying and sometimes it can be a real pain in the ass (yeah, and I call myself a traveler!) I have come across some useless and hilarious advises on how to overcome your fear. This is why I decided to share this list of things that will probably not help you overcome your fear of flying. Because throwing in some statistic numbers won’t convince the scaredy cats, how safe it is to fly.

DON’T SLEEP

Try to stay awake the night before your scheduled flight. I bet it is not going to be difficult with all those END OF THE WORLD, WE ARE GOING TO CRASH thoughts that will be going through your mind. You will be able to engage in various activities, like to practice writing your will. If this doesn’t work, organize your own movie marathon ( it is probably going to be better if you DON’T watch movies like Snakes on a Plane, Airplane! or the whole 10 seasons of Airplane Crash Investigation).

I tried this technique before my recent flight to Jakarta. After staying awake for more than 24 hours I boarded the plane exhausted (and I was looking like I just finished my shift at Ben and Jerry’s on a free cone day). Surprisingly the effects of tiredness and sleepiness wore off the minute the engines were on (but returned once we landed). This particular flight was rather pleasant, but it really didn’t helped me when the pilot warned us that we were expecting a moderate turbulence ahead (this was the moment I remembered all the episodes from Airplane Crash Investigation – really people don’t watch this documentary if you have fear of flying).

how to deal with fear of flying

On my way to board a plane to Singapore.

READ A BOOK OR WATCH A MOVIE

You know how people always tells you that it will be all ok if you just take your mind of the whole I am 11 kilometers above the ground thing? And how they will advice you to start reading a good book or maybe to watch a movie?

Usually I read the in flight magazines and whenever I read an article it looks something like this: “Bali is famous for its cultural legacy… WAS THIS TURBULENCE… that the locals inherited from… WHAT IS THAT NOISE I SWEAR IT IS NOT NORMAL…their ancestors”… OH OK SOMEONE WAS IN THE LAVATORY.”

I remember one time when I was flying with FLY KINGFISHER (well… it was the only time I flew with them), I watched a really fresh Bollywood comedy about the mischief of three brothers (this was the only time I watched a Bollywood movie too). While it didn’t light my spark for the highly musical genre of Indian movies, it did take my mind off the flight for a while. (Because who wouldn’t forget all his fears when watching guys with mustaches singing and dancing?!)

UPDATE YOURSELF WITH THE LATEST STATISTICS

Seriously people, when we say we are scared of flying, trowing in some numbers won’t change that. I know that the chance of being involved in an accident is 1 in 23284560577-6068-0-8-860 millions, but it still looks suspicious to me. I would demand to see the people who made this statistic. Call me old fashioned, but traveling with car looks a lot more safer to me (plus you don’t need a parachute to do that).

Whenever we fly, Dilyan will try to comfort me down while reciting numbers from different statistics, but this will only make me more anxious (for starters, I hate math).

how to deal with fear of flying

I may be afraid of flying, but I don’t mind watching airplanes (as long as I am not on board).

YOGA ON AN AIRPLANE

I came across an article stating that after performing few simple yoga moves you will be able to relieve any anxiety you may experience before and during your flight. But lets admit it, this won’t probably help you with your fear of flying, but it will surely make you more plastic. Also I am wondering how a person will find that much space to practice yoga moves, as sometimes its a real challenge to squeeze in the limited seat space (although I saw a lot of inspiring and novice yoga poses while people tried to do so).

BREATHE

People say that as anxiety increases, your breathing may get shallow. They will advise you that taking a deep breathe is an instant stress reliever. I have tried it. I breathe on every flight I board and its not working at all. So I came up with another option. DON’T BREATHE. Then the chances of you passing out and missing the experience of the whole flight are higher.

How to deal with fear of flying

This is what I found on the beach in Koh Samui. Definitely not flying that airline!

Something that may actually help

If all of the above advises are not helping you to overcome your fear of flying (which most probably will be your case) try to contact a local company that offers flight simulations. Most of the companies will have special FEAR OF FLYING packages, where you will meet and be trained by a professional pilots and airplane crew. Not only they will help you overcome your fear, but you will get to pilot an airplane. And if this doesn’t help you too, maybe consider only traveling by coach and ferry, or build a raft or something.

Share what are your tips and tricks for overcoming your fear of flying in the comments below.

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4 Comments

  1. Capt Tom Bunn LCSW Tuesday April 22nd, 2014 at 3:40 am - Reply

    Thank you for a really good article. As you clearly point out, all the things the self-appointed experts – and even some therapists – offer (such as breathing exercises) are TOTALLY USELESS.

    That is exactly what sent me on a quest as an airline pilot and licensed therapist to fight things that do work.

    Thirty years later, read what DOES work. Log in at http://goo.gl/MFgZYC with username: soarbook and password: 54321

  2. Jessica from 'All About Travelling' Saturday October 4th, 2014 at 8:03 pm - Reply

    Nice article. I have done my share of research and nothing really helps. But knowing that my fear wont stop me from flying, I have developed some methods to calm me down.

    Breathing is my main thing and listening to music on my ipod. For longer flights I distract myself with movies as well.

    Thanks for sharing though! Glad I am not the alone!

    Jess from ‘All About Travelling’

  3. Véro Meunier Tuesday January 5th, 2016 at 5:49 pm - Reply

    Love this article :) And WHAT is that bag’s airline?!

    • [:en]Mari [:bg]Мари
      Mari Tuesday January 5th, 2016 at 9:11 pm - Reply

      Hi Véro, thank you for your comment. The life vest was from Vietnam Airways. I don’t know how it ended up being tangled in old fishing net, seaweed and trash. Maybe somebody stole it from the plane, or it was used as a prop.

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