You already planned your trip and even booked your hostel for the first couple of days, but all you can think about is the flight? Do you already know that once you’re on the plane and it is about to take off, you will start to feel queasy and that your knees will become real soft? Believe me, I know that feeling. I am afraid of flying too. Here are a few things you should remember when having aviophobia – and some tips on how you might feel better.
1. It is nothing to be ashamed of
Believe it or not, every forth person is afraid of flying, and it most definitely is nothing to be ashamed of. Everyone is scared of something and if your fear happens to be planes, so be it.
2. Embrace your fear
Don’t try to hide that you’re afraid of flying. Instead, embrace it. Be aware of your fear when boarding your plane, but don’t let it drive you insane. Just keep telling yourself that you are afraid and that that’s okay – but also understand that most others on the plane are not, and that even though you might be afraid, there is no reason for it.
Once I started to embrace my fear, flying got a lot easier for me, because I was able to rationally think about my fear rather than letting it control me.
3. Pretend you’re a frequent flier
Imagine you are a business (wo)man who has to fly somewhere almost every second day. Buy yourself a newspaper, roll your eyes when your flight gets delayed, and just pretend to be completely bored, because – well, you are a frequent flier.
After I started doing this, I realized how I felt more and more relaxed when flying. By pretending to be someone I’m not, I somehow started to “lie” to myself and to my subconscious and I managed to overcome my fear.
4. Go on flightradar
Flightradar is a website showing all the planes currently in the air. You can click on the different sized planes and see where they took off and what their destination is. You can even look at the airline, the type of plane, and whether or not the flight was delayed. If you zoom out, it looks like the entire airspace is covered in planes – and none of them are crashing or exploding. This website really is very reassuring.
5. Think of how many people fly every day
Try to blind yourself with facts. Find out how many people per day board a plane, how many make it back on the ground safely, how many planes are taking off every minute, every hour, every day, and how many incidents actually happen in comparison. You’ll find that the percentage of casualties is almost not even worth mentioning, because it is that small.
6. Learn about airplanes and pilots
Lastly, study airplanes – their technology, how and where they are build, but also find out about how one can become a pilot – because it’s really not that easy. Once you understand why airplanes are able to fly and what they are actually designed to withstand, you will probably find it easier to board a plane.