As humans, our relationship to air travel has changed dramatically. From a fantasy to a common mode of transportation, air travel has become an integral part of our lives. According to the IATA, the number of flights globally is expected to reach over 3.6 billion in 2017.
What Are The Causes Of Aviophobia?
The prevalence of news reports about accidents involving airplanes has increased fear of flying. The images of these incidents can sway one’s opinion about the safety of air travel without considering the true risks involved. The heavy coverage of airplane accidents by the media has increased people’s fear of flying.
Security measures such as long lines and body searches can also cause anxiety among some people. In most cases, the fear is caused by a previous bad experience.
As A Result Of Linked Phobias, Aviophobia Develops
Often, a fear of flying is not due to the flying itself but stems from related factors, such as:
- A Fear Of Being Trapped In A Small Space (Claustrophobia)
- A Phobia Of Crowds
- A Phobia Of Heights (Acrophobia)
- Apprehension Of A Hijacking Or Terrorist Attack
Symptoms of a Fear of Flying
People may suffer the following bodily symptoms before and during a trip, regardless of the cause of their fear:
- Heart Palpitations Sweating
- Lack Of Breath And Trembling
- Irritability Due To Confused Thinking
Even planning a trip to the future can trigger these symptoms. It can limit one’s leisure options and make it difficult to travel for business.
Due to the nature of the phobias, various treatment options are used to address the various causes of aviophobia. Below are some of the most common techniques used to combat this condition.
Air travel has increased in the past couple of years due to the rising frequency of accidents. In 2016, the accident rate of airplanes was the lowest it has been in recent history.
A study conducted by a university professor revealed that air travel is significantly safer than other forms of transportation.
Even seasoned air travelers can still feel uneasy when something goes wrong. For instance, when the plane’s wheels start moving down the tarmac, you might feel a bit tight.
It’s common for people to feel unsettled or even feel like they’re getting jostled during an airplane trip. However, for those with a fear of flying, this feeling can be very real.
What Makes People Afraid Of Flying?
Factors that trigger fear of flying can be different. Some of these include psychological factors that trigger it, such as stress.
The most common factor that contributes to people avoiding flying is a connection to an event or a flight that they experienced.
Being able to feel out of control is also a common anxiety trigger. It can help people recognize that some of their lives are out of their hands.
Another condition that can cause a fear of flying is Claustrophobia. It’s a tight space that can make you feel claustrophobic.
10 Ways to Overcome Your Fear Of Flying
- Keep your focus. Deeply inhale for four counts, then exhale for six.
- Decide on a focus. Your ankles should be crossed, and your hands should be crossed in front of your chest. Take a deep breath and place your tongue on the roof of your mouth.
- Distract yourself from unpleasant situations. Reduce the window shade to avoid being distracted by moving objects.
- Be prepared for your anxiety. A week or two before your flight, practice mindfulness and meditation on a daily basis.
- Ideally, prepare for your flight with items that can help keep you focused and less anxious. Pack food that can also make you feel good.
- Having other influencers removed from your life can help minimize anxiety. It’s also helpful to avoid getting energy drinks and other harmful substances.
- To identify the trigger that makes you feel anxious, try asking yourself if it’s a fear of death or claustrophobia. Learning about safety facts can also help.
- If you’re worried about flying, try releasing the fear and letting the pilot take over.
- Calm allows you to try out new soothing exercises.
- Calm is an award-winning app that can help manage anxiety. It features a variety of guided meditations, relaxation exercises, and sleep stories.
According to a study conducted by the Institute of Mental Health, around 40 million Americans experience anxiety on a daily basis.
If your fear of flying is starting to take a toll on your life, it’s important to seek professional help. Medical professionals can help identify the underlying cause of your anxiety and provide effective treatment.
Options For Treatment
Antianxiety medications are also commonly used for treating fear of flying. They can be taken on a regular basis or on an isolated basis.
Getting on a plane is one of the fastest and safest ways to travel. There are also various options to help you manage your anxiety.
A fear of flying doesn’t have to stop you from enjoying life. Various tools can help you manage your anxiety.
There are several practical techniques to alleviate the fear of flying (and various aviation-related phobias), including:
1. Facing Your Fears
One technique used by psychologists is called controlled exposure. This procedure involves gradually exposing a person to an object or situation that scares them.
Most people with a fear of flying avoid it. This is because they often feel that their fears will never come true.
In the first sessions, people tend to learn how to manage their anxiety. They also learn how to identify their irrational thoughts.
Before, this procedure involved a therapist accompanying a patient on an actual flight.
Studies show that this technique can help decrease a person’s anxiety about flying.
2. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (Cbt)
Through CBT, people can learn to question their thoughts about certain situations. This helps them identify their unhelpful feelings and prevent them from developing into negative behavior patterns.
A study conducted by the Trust Source organization revealed that after 12 sessions, participants experienced a decrease in flying anxiety. The same skills were then used again after the treatment was completed.
3. Pharmacological Treatment
On a temporary basis, some people are also prescribed medication to treat their flying fear. These drugs are usually taken before a flight.
Before they are prescribed, it is important that patients see a doctor. Since these drugs are only considered a short-term solution, they can be addictive.