The average person faces at least some level of flying anxiety. In fact, by the age of 27, the majority of us will see our flying anxiety rise. The good news; There are a few simple fixes to do to get you to fly anxiety free.
Fear of flying is still a recognized stress ailment, with many folks feeling nauseated or claustrophobic on airplanes.
Are you afraid to fly? A surprising number of people report they are still terrified of flying, despite the best 15 years of aviation safety in history.
In fact, the odds that you’ll die in a plane crash in the United States or Europe are about one in 11 million.
However, there are some treatments available.
UNDERSTAND THE ROOT OF YOUR FEAR
Fear of flying is similar to any other fear. What is the fear system? We have a thing in the brain that is kind of like the smoke alarm in your kitchen. It is called the Amygdala. The Amygdala memorizes your daily routine. And as long as you are doing that routine, it doesn’t react. It’s like, oh been there done that, big deal. But if anything happens, or if you imagine anything that is different, BOOM you get a shot of stress hormone.
Once you release stress hormones, there are only two ways to stop it consciously. One is to know you are absolutely safe. The other is to be able to control the situation, or get out. This does not happen on a plane, so there is no way to stop the stress hormones once they get going. That is why we have to go to the unconscious system to keep the stress hormone from being released.
The key to relieving flight anxiety is to prevent the amygdala from producing stress hormones by associating fear triggers with positive images or moments that produce the “love hormone” Oxycontin.
For example, recall a moment with a person where you could sense that the person was really tuned into you, or even emphatic with you. When someone is that tuned into you, you can see it in their eyes. You can imagine that person’s face next to an image of the airplane door closing, or the seat belt sign going off, and that would work. The other way is to think of a moment, like nursing a child, or the moments after making love when you are gazing into your lover’s eyes. Likewise, when you gaze into your dog’s eyes, and see that complete devotion, your brain will produce oxytocin. We ask clients to imagine an image that is positive and link it to all of the triggers that are causing anxiety.
KNOWLEDGE IS POWER
Controlling the mind’s ability to produce Oxycontin is only one part of Captain Tom’s approach. He also emphasizes that the more you know of what to expect, the easier it will be to stay calm. In Soar, he explains at length the process and safety measures for every flight.
Understand that engine failure is not a concern, as all commercial airlines are equipped with not four engines. Basically, planes have at least two of everything needed: A primary and a backup. The real danger in the air is to lose control of your imagination and suffer from the unrealistic threats your brain conjures up as truths. The most important factor in getting rid of the fear of flying is learning how to control the imagination.
WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU FLY
There are a few steps anxious flyers can take to dispel fear. Ask to meet the pilot upon boarding. Just let the attendants at the check in desk know you are an anxious flyer, and board early so you can find a flight attendant that will alert the pilots. You will then be granted the opportunity to step into the cockpit for a brief introduction. This will help to combat stress triggers and hormone release. A pilot’s destiny is tightly linked to the passenger’s destiny, so even a brief introduction can go a long way.
If you are on the plane and experiencing some anxiety, talk with the friend or family member you are traveling with, or if you are traveling alone ask to speak with a flight attendant.