AirSafe.com Suggestions on How to Overcome Fear of FlyingSep 25, 2008 - Many air travelers have a fear of flying, and it can be so bad that it leads to panic attacks. Overcoming that fear can be as easy as taking a few positive steps to deal with it.
How Many People Are Afraid of Flying?
The airline industry is clearly aware of the fear of flying and how it affects the traveling public. Studies by Boeing and other industry organizations show that, about one in three adult Americans were afraid to fly. About half reported that fear was the reason, but only about six percent considered flying unsafe. In 1999 Newsweek magazine that 50% of the adults surveyed who flew on commercial airlines were frightened at least some of the time.
What Is Fear of Flying?
The short story is that fear of flying is an anxiety disorder. It can be different things for different people, and it may not have anything to do with a fear of crashing, but about other fears such claustrophobia, a fear of heights, a fear of the unknown, or even a fear of losing control. The good news is that most of the time these anxieties can be treated, especially by therapists who specialize in fear of flying.
How Does Fear of Flying Affect People?
How people react to fear of flying is as diverse as the reasons why people have anxieties around the flying experience. A common reaction is to avoid flying as much as possible. There are a number of celebrities, including John Madden of video game and American football fame, who go to great lengths to arrange their personal and professional lives to avoid flying. Other reactions include the kind of physical effects associated with a white knuckle flyer, such as sweating, rapid heartbeat and breathing, and nausea. Other reactions can be more dangerous for the passenger and others on the aircraft, such as using drugs or alcohol deal with the experience, or being abusive to other passengers, the cabin crew, or to airline representatives.
What can you do about it?
If fear of flying is affecting you in a way that you don't like, there is no reason to accept it and suffer in silence. The first thing you can do is admit that you have a problem. Once you do that, you can take steps to deal with it, steps like going online and finding good fear of flying resources. AirSafe.com provides a Fear of Flying Warning Signs checklist at fear.airsafe.org that can help you see if you have significant anxieties associated with flying. If you find that your problem is significant, you can follow up by taking action to deal with the source of your anxiety.
One thing you can do is learn from recognized experts like those at the SOAR fear of flying program. Headed by Capt. Tom Bunn, a former pilot for a major US airline, and Lisa Hauptner, SOAR offers a variety of treatment options, including counseling, that can help you get over your flying anxieties. Tom and Lisa are both licensed therapists with years of experience dealing with fearful flyers.
Take action now and visit soar.airsafe.org. There you'll find a number of resources, including therapy options that you can use with your computer, iPod, or other personal electronic device.
AirSafe.com is a comprehensive resource for understanding aviation safety and security issues and created to provide both the traveling public and avation safety and security professionals with both objective and timely information on aviation safety and security, especially events involving airline passenger fatalities. Since 1996, AirSafe.com has been an innovator in making critical risk assessment and risk management information to the public, enabling both airline passengers and aviation professionals to make accurate judgments about the risks of flying. Whether it is through its web sites, audio podcasts, online discussions, or published research, AirSafe.com continues to be at the forefront of getting useful aviation safety and security information to the aerospace industry and to the general public.
Dr. Todd Curtis
24 Roy St., #302
Seattle, WA 98109
Phone +1 206.300.8727
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