It’s estimated every day in the United States that more than 1.7 million people travel by plane. Whether flying to a vacation destination, traveling for business or perhaps visiting family, there are many reasons people fly and millions of folks see it as an enjoyable activity.
But not everyone feels that way. In fact, it’s estimated that at least 20 million Americans have a fear of flying, also known as aviophobia. There are many reasons people might fear flying and for some people, even the mere thought of flying can send a chill down the spine.
In the event that you have to fly and you have a fear of flying, here are several tips to help you overcome your fear where you’re taking a domestic flight to a Central Illinois airport or flying overseas:
- Anticipate: If you feel anxious about flying, you’re experiencing the anticipation of fear. Instead of picturing what you’ll do once you reach your destination, you’re likely going through “What if” scenarios in your head, imagining everything that could go wrong. If you can anticipate your fear of flying before you fly, you can do things to divert your attention and focus it elsewhere instead of thinking about disaster.
- Observe and react: If you can figure out what you’re afraid of when it comes to flying, you can examine the triggers that set off your anxiety. The goal here is not to get worked up, but to really examine the situation and figure out what the triggers are when you’re calm. Learning what sets you off can then lead you to ways to calm yourself.
- Separate: Your mind may not think so in the moment, but fear and danger are completely different things. In the moment when you’re flying through the Midwest to a Central Illinois airport, remind yourself that just because you feel anxious doesn’t mean you’re also in danger. If you can learn to separate the two in your mind, you’ll be able to cope better with the situation.
- Use reason: A tricky part about anxiety is that it can trick your common sense. Nine times out of 10 when you fly, you’re perfectly safe. But if you have a fear of flying, your mind can play tricks on you and make you believe you’re in danger. The key here is to turn the tables and trick your anxiety. Do the opposite of what your anxiety might tell you to do and find ways to embrace the discomfort.
- Embrace flying: One of the best ways to deal with any phobia is to be actively exposed to it. If you’re a native of Champaign, Illinois for example, every flight you take from a Central Illinois airport, you’re gained critical exposure. It lets you know what you can expect and hopefully will show you that some of the fears you have of flying are unfounded. Essentially, you’re trying to use exposure to ease the kinds of triggers that may you anxious.
Whether you’re flying to San Francisco or a Central Illinois airport on the way to Chicago, there are many things you can do to ease or perhaps even eliminate a fear of flying. In some cases, such as in San Francisco, airports have hired therapy animals such as pigs to perform and ultimately help customers calm down before they fly.
By identifying your triggers, exposing yourself to flying and embracing and then turning the tables on your anxiety, you may just come to enjoy flying rather than dreading it. Rather than worrying about what will happen during the flight, you can focus on your airport flight schedule, your flight information and the fun you’ll have at your destination.