My Journey With A Fear Of Flying

One of my favourite things to do, is travel, which is ironic as I am petrified of flying.

I was never scared of planes as a child, but at the age of 14 I developed my fear on a flight back from Laos. I don’t 100% know what started it at that particular moment, however I believe it was a mixture of being extremely tired, added turbulence on the flight and the fact that I had just been told a scary story about a plane crash.

Although I am yet to fully conquer my fear, I have squashed it down into a manageable size, so that I am still able to travel the world.

Tips and Tricks that helped me overcome my Fear of Flying…

1.Build a routine

I find doing the same things every time I go to the airport and get on the plane helps to comfort me and makes me feel more secure.

2.Window watch

Watch out of the window while the plane is taking off and landing. I’m not sure why this helps me, but it does.

3. Aisle seat

It feels like there is less turbulence when sitting on an aisle seat. I find it also helps me feel less claustrophobic.

4. Watch a Documentary

Watching a documentary (especially science and nature documentaries – I would highly recommend some of David Attenborough’s) calms me down. I find that thinking about the whole world makes me feel very small and insignificant which therefore makes my worry seem tiny and not relevant. I’ve also discovered that I can’t watch movies on a flight as my attention span and ability to focus is a lot smaller when I’m scared, so a documentary is a good compromise.

5. Education

To avoid getting startled by the different sounds and lights, I learnt what each of them meant and did.For example the wheels make a sound every time they draw in and out. This really helped me to become less paranoid. (Watching out for them every time I went on a flight helped me build a routine as well.)

6. Talk to the Flight Attendants

Sometimes just letting a flight attendant know I’m scared of planes or asking them a question if there is something I’m worried about really helps to put my mind at ease.

7. Watch the Flight Attendants

Flight attendants fly all of the time and would know if something was going wrong, their calmness helps to assure me that everything is going alright.

8. Read the safety card

I always read the safety card and watch the safety briefing every sing time that I fly. Even though I know it inside out, I find it helps to build my routine. ( I also like to make sure that nothing has changed, just in case. )

9. Plan

I find that planning and thinking about things I’m going to do when I arrive at my destination makes me excited and therefore leaves less room for me to be scared.

10. Diazepam

Taking 1/2 a milligram of diazepam really helps to calm me down, but I recommend only using this as a last resort. Make sure not to take too much because it sends you to sleep.

Facts and Statistics that helped me overcome my Fear of Flying

  • Fatal accidents only occur once every 2 million flights.
  • In 2016, there were roughly 8 million flights, 31 crashes and 0 deaths.
  • A pilot can safely land even if all of the engines cease to work when you’re high in the sky.
  • 98.6% of crashes do not result in fatality.

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