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Plane Panic? How to Beat Airport Anxiety

 

Are you afraid of flying? According to ABC News, 6.5 percent of the population experiences what is known as aviophobia. If you start feeling butterflies in your stomach the moment you imagine yourself taking off, you may want to take these steps to minimize your anxiety.

Prepare Everything in Advance

Are you packed? Do you have a ride? Where will you park? Is your passport correct? Did you lock your door? Is your stove on?

These are the worries that fly through almost everyone's head when leaving for the airport, but you don't want to worry about these things when you're also afraid about the flight itself. Make sure that you prepare everything thoroughly in advance: check your packing list the night before, double check your appliances and arrange for a driver to pick you up and drop you off.

Bring Your Gear

There are many items that can help you relax on a plane. These items will help you ignore any unpleasant stimuli, such as turbulence or the sounds of taking off and landing. Here is a short packing list:

  • Noise isolating headphones.
  • Tablet or laptop with videos, books or games.
  • Sleeping masks.

Focus on music, movies and other pleasant stimuli the second you begin feeling nervous.

Take a "Crash" Course

Many people find that they are more comfortable flying once they understand exactly how the plane works. Take some time to read about planes, their safety mechanisms and their track record. Listen to the flight attendant when he or she walks you through the safety protocols. The more you know, the better you'll feel; anxiety is often brought about through uncertainty.

Let the Flight Attendant Know

Don't be afraid to tell the flight attendants that you have a fear of flying. They see it every day and they would rather know that you are anxious rather than ill! Most flight attendants will be able to check on you to ensure that you're still doing well and that you don't have any additional concerns.

Keep on Flying

As with most types of phobia, a fear of flying can be neatly countered by flying--and flying a lot. If you really want to get over your fear of flights, you might want to take more trips. The more successful flights you have, the less you'll worry.

If you are still extremely anxious about flying, you may want to consult with your doctor. Some gentle medications can be used to reduce your feelings of anxiousness while not significantly affecting you in other ways.

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Posted on Jul 10 2014

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