Normal Flight: 5 Ways To Beat Aerophobia

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Normal Flight: 5 Ways To Beat Aerophobia
Normal Flight: 5 Ways To Beat Aerophobia

Video: Normal Flight: 5 Ways To Beat Aerophobia

Video: Normal Flight: 5 Ways To Beat Aerophobia
Video: OVERCOME FEAR OF FLYING | 5 BEST Tips From a Flight Attendant 2023, March

Fear of flying locks many people at home, and time on board the plane turns into a real torture. "What if the pilot loses control and we all die?" - Do you know such thoughts? Together with the psychologist and psychotherapist Tata Feodoridi, we figure out what to do so that such a question does not sound in my head before and during the flight.

What is a phobia?

Fear is the oldest and therefore the most powerful human emotion. The brain structures responsible for it are located in the central regions of the brain - the limbic system. When a person is afraid of something, he experiences strong sensations in the body, as this activates the autonomic nervous system: heart rate, breathing, urination increase, dry mouth, tremors appear, stomach twists, face turns red, sweating increases and much more.

At a superficial glance, fear brings little pleasant to our life, but initially this emotion arose in the process of evolution as a defense of the organism from the dangers of primitive life. It is not for nothing that fear has three main functions - avoidance, memorization and motivation. If the decision is not well thought out, fear dictates the strategy of behavior. Later, when a person built a new habitat around himself, the reaction in many cases ceased to be adequate to the circumstances, and then anxiety came to the place of fear.


It is important to understand that no phobia consists of only one fear - there are always other, additional components in it. Phobias can divert the focus of attention from real problems that a person, for some reason, does not want to see or admit. It's the same with aerophobia. The reasons for the fear of flying and high anxiety during flights, up to panic attacks, are not the same for all people, therefore, an individual approach is always necessary to eliminate them.

The main signs of aerophobia:

  • Increased irritability that appears already several days or months before the flight.
  • Abandoning the trip at the last moment
  • Flight avoidance in general. The choice in favor of any other path, even if it is very long and expensive.

  • Perception of any creak and turbulence in the context of the phrase "We are all going to die."
  • Long "departure" from the flight.
  • If a person with aerophobia flies on vacation, he will not have a good rest. All days on vacation, he is in horror waiting for the flight back.

Aerophobia reasons

Any aerophobia has reasons, both deep and technical. Deep reasons lie in other fears that provoke the fear of flying. For example, aerophobia can coexist with the fear of losing control: “I can't get out of this plane,” “If something happens, I can't do anything about it,” “Because of severe stress, I can go crazy and harm yourself or those around you. " Together with social fears: “Suddenly I will feel bad, I’ll start running around the cabin, screaming, people will think that I’m crazy”, “If the panic attack is very strong, people will not understand what’s wrong with me”, “Everyone will look at me ". In addition, aerophobia can be present along with the fear of death: "The plane will fall and we will all die", "And suddenly I feel bad and there is no one to help - I will die."


Most of the technical reasons lie in human behavior on board. For example, he begins to make dying promises, say goodbye and sob over photographs of children, measure his pulse hysterically, keep his eyes open, trying to keep the plane in the air with his mind.

The following tricks and thinking errors can also lead to aerophobia: increased concentration on your condition, fear of consequences, confidence that everything depends solely on your control or concentration, perfectionism.

5 tips to get rid of aerophobia

Connect black and white thinking

A few days or hours before departure, write on a piece of paper what other options for the outcome of the flight are, except for negative ones. For example: “I will finish without anxiety, and the flight will even seem pleasant to me”, “During the flight, I will listen to music or talk, time will fly by”, “There may be a slight turbulence, I will buckle up and soon we will get out of it”, “If the pilot if it gets bad or he dies, the co-pilot will continue to control. " Re-read what you have written, come up with options, thereby reducing the expectation of an undesirable event.

Explore aircraft information

Fortunately, planes never crash like in cartoons: they can fly with one engine and land on water. History knows a huge number of cases when people survived a crash. Watch documentaries on YouTube, where pilots show the cockpit, the arrangement of the aircraft, and answer questions. Ignorance creates a feeling of being suspended, which increases the degree of anxiety (see also: "How to Deal with Anxiety: 4 Proven Ways").


Don't try to deal with fear through suppression - it will only make the situation worse

Set up an internal dialogue, give yourself a psychological slap in the face, accept this fear and start working with it. Try to disassemble your previous experience of a disturbing flight into its components: what were you afraid of (for example, dying from a plane crash)? How did black and white thinking manifest? What consequences scared you (for example, children will be left without a mother)? What sensations in the body scared you, what did you concentrate on especially? How did you escalate the situation (for example, thinking about how you should behave in this situation, and not like a rag)? What were you trying to do to calm down (continuously measuring your pulse, did not take your eyes off the window)?

Remove fear-fixing actions

The most toxic of these is avoidance. You cannot get rid of your fear of flying while at home! Since any phobia is based on an underlying fear, or even multiple fears, try to identify the dominant one. Highlight it by looking at the top sources of anxiety in your life and considering aerophobia in their context. Write down other manifestations of this fear that are regularly present in your life. Determine what you are doing to compensate or reduce it. For example, with fear of death, you can avoid going to the gym (and suddenly your heart will burst), with social fears you never express your opinion.

Choose the best relaxation method for you

For fear of death or rejection, meditation, breathing, and relaxation of body muscles are suitable. With the fear of losing control: reliance on real facts (read information about airplanes), breathing exercises and a well-oiled scheme of actions in case of panic, which you consider effective for yourself (see also: "What is a panic attack and how to cope with it yourself").

About the expert:

Tata Feodoridi
Tata Feodoridi

Tata Feodoridi

Photo: Getty Images

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