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How to Get Over Your Fear of Flying

A fear of flying can be one of the most paralyzing fears if you love discovering new locations. The good news is that just like any fear, there are many ways to overcome it. You just need to be brave and willing enough to take the following steps.

Take Notes

Determine what sets off your fear. This is the first step to overcoming your fear of flying, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Yes, you’re afraid of flying, but why? Which particular aspects of flying cause the anxiety? Identify whichever factors trigger your fear, whether it’s safety issues, past traumas, or simply the idea of being way up in the air. The goal is to latch on to your triggers – by learning what sets you off, you can control your triggers better or turn them off entirely. So while your anxiety or fear levels are manageable, write about your triggers in a personal journal.

Remember that Fear Doesn’t Equal Danger

Being in a state of extreme fear and/or anxiety doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re in any real danger – that’s just a fact. Yes, your fear is real, and it affects your ability to function. However, its presence doesn’t equate to you being in any physical danger. Always remind yourself that even when you’re being extremely anxious or afraid, you’re most likely ultimately safe.

Find Out How Safe Airplanes Actually Are

How do you know you’ll be safe while you’re up in the air? Find out every relevant bit of info you can on modern aircraft. Google the keywords ‘plane crashes’ and find out how commercial air travel is actually getting safer and safer each year. Learn the science of how airplanes can actually soar through the air. Find out the extent of safety regulations in commercial airlines. You’ll also find that many leading airlines are very forthcoming about proving interesting information to help passengers feel at ease when they step aboard a plane. One of Asia’s top carriers, Philippine Airlines offers its passengers extensive information about every aircraft in its commercial fleet. This includes the make and model of aircraft engines, which you can also research. Filling your head with air travel facts can replace the what-ifs that may be contributing to your fear of flying. While hard knowledge can’t cure fear, it certainly helps to manage it.

Image credit: By Konstantin von Wedelstaedt - Gallery page, GFDL 1.2 // here

Just Go Flying

Sometimes, there’s no better way to cure fear than by confronting it head on. This is a suggestion that comes from veteran pilot Joe Shelton via Forbes Magazine. “If you know someone with an airplane or if you are willing to rent an airplane and an instructor you can go for a short (as short as you want) flight just to see what it’s like.” Facing your fear in a controlled situation can yield some very positive results.

Image credit: By Wo st01 / Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0 de

Consult a Therapist

Never be afraid of seeking help to get over a paralyzing fear. Find a therapist who can help you break down the reasons why you’re afraid and provide you with insights that can allow you to manage your fear. There’s no shame in seeking professional help, especially if you just want to be able to travel on an airplane to places like Bohol, Batanes, or Palawan. Just remember to keep your eyes on the prize: the sooner you get over your fear of flying, the sooner you can finally visit your dream destination.

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