The fear of flying is called Aviophobia. There are millions of vacationers and business people who travel on commercial air flights as well as potential flyers worldwide that suffer from it, to a greater or lesser extent. Even though air travel is about thirty times safer than traveling by car, you very rarely hear about people that have a fear of driving. Maybe the television, radio, internet and print media contributes to this fear when they graphically cover commercial airline crashes and the subsequent large number of air travelers that are injured or perish.
Fear of flying on commercial flights can be triggered by a number of concerns such as the fear of heights, the fear of falling, the fear of the takeoff and the landing, the fear of crashing, the fear of flying over water, the fear of flying at night, the feeling of losing control causing panic attacks, air turbulence, stormy weather, the fear of hijackers or terrorists, motion sickness, and claustrophobia such as the fear of being trapped in the confined space of an airline cabin as well as being packed in like sardines with your fellow passengers, and also other phobias.
Some of the other symptoms of the fear of flying can be mild nervousness to extreme anxiety and panic attacks, a shortness of breath and tightness in your chest, chest pains, clammy hands, headaches, as well as nausea and vomiting.
If you feel your fear of flying is severe, you may want to consider enrolling in an intensive treatment program. However, if think your fear of flying is not severe, there are some things you can do that may help remedy this problem.
First, try and book a seat over the airplane wings, preferably not a window seat, so you can not look down at the ground. When you sit over the wings you will also experience a much smoother flight.
If possible, leave your seatbelt on as much as possible, so if any air turbulence suddenly occurs, you won’t get jarred or bounced about as much.
Eat light and try to avoid eating or drinking any food or beverage that contains sugar, caffeine, or alcohol.
It will really help a lot if you try to stay positive and always think only positive thoughts.
Try to occupy your mind and calm yourself by listening to soft, soothing music on your I-Pod.
It usually helps to wear eye shades and try to sleep on the flight if you can.
You may feel less stressed if you can book a flight that leaves at an off-peak time as there are usually fewer airline passengers to contend with.
If you are thinking of taking any prescription or over-the-counter drugs to calm yourself down on your flight, be sure that you consult first with your family doctor or pharmacist. Keep in mind that if you are already taking prescriptions for pre-existing conditions, any new medication, even the over-the-counter ones, may interact adversely with them.
I have a true story that may help you with the fear of flying. A number of years ago a good friend of mine had a severe problem dealing with the fear of flying. His main fear was that he was terrified of dying in a plane crash. A funny thing is that he had absolutely no problem driving all over the country, or taking a Greyhound bus or train when he traveled on his holidays.
Fortunately he got a job selling ads for a local community newspaper near a busy international airport. As he drove around to sell advertising to the stores in the area, he constantly observed huge commercial airliners taking off and landing every few minutes. He got used to hearing the deafening roar of airline engines day in and day out. Slowly, he eventually started to lose the fear of flying.
He finally made a big decision to go on a vacation in Hawaii, which he had always dreamed of doing. The only problem was that he had no choice but to fly. Before he left he took out flight insurance just in case the plane crashed. He wanted to be sure he would leave something for his mom and dad if he didn’t come back.
Before boarding the airplane he took a sleeping pill hoping that it would help to keep him calm. He bravely booked a window seat as he wanted to be able to see where he was going and what the earth and ocean looked like from the air.
When the flight attendant asked the passengers to fasten their seat belts, he cinched his seatbelt up so tight he said he thought it would break. Through the long flight to Hawaii he only removed his seatbelt to go to the washroom. During the flight the only thing that really bothered him was that both his ears got plugged up and hurt a lot due to the changes in the cabin air pressure on takeoff and landing. A friendly fellow passenger suggested that he chew some gum and that seemed to solve the problem.
When he eventually landed in Hawaii he was so proud of himself! After all those wasted years of being hung up on that debilitating phobia, he finally had broken free. All it took was working near a large airport and watching as well as hearing the constant takeoffs and landings of these huge commercial airliners to reprogram his mind. If you happen to have a fear of flying you must try and rid yourself of this debilitating, irrational fear. I know that your life will be changed forever when you break free and allow yourself to soar with the eagles and fly anywhere in this big, wide, wonderful world that you want to.
Visit FlyingWithoutFear.com if you want more information on how you as a vacationer, or a business traveler can learn to lessen or totally eliminate your fear of flying. This neat company offers a free online self-help course that we highly recommend you take. It is conducted by a currently flying airline captain.
Dorothy Yamich has a passion for travel. She has lived and traveled extensively throughout Europe as well as traveled in North America, Central America, and the Caribbean. She is a travel consultant and specializes in luxury cruises as well as vacation packages. If you are looking for information on cheap airfares, fabulouis discounted luxury cruises and great holiday deals, visit: http://www.traveltipsguide.com