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Can I really get over my fear of flying? Really? Yup, crushing my fear of flying is an ambitious feat for 2020. A decade without fear sounds incredible. Absolutely incredible.
If I could get over my fear of flying, my life would improve tenfold.
However, I’m a realist. Is it truly possible to leave those panicky feelings of dread behind forever when I make my next trip to the airport? Ahh, you guys, a relaxed flight sounds gorgeous, but I don’t know whether or not such a possibility exists for me. I don’t know.
I’m not romantic when it comes to this topic. It’s not as easy as flipping a switch inside my brain. Defeating flight anxiety will be an uphill battle, and I already know that I’ll want to throw in the towel a million times.
Every time I board a plane, I tell myself that it’ll be my last flight, because I won’t put myself through that anxiety again.
Yet, inevitably, I fight back and book another ticket and the cycle repeats itself.
I want to promise everyone that in spite of any tears I want to relentlessly chip away at this phobia in 2020.
Having a fear of flying is part of my brand and blog. I do whatever I can to help travelers who’ve the same anxiety about planes as I do. And I’m glad I can assist people even if it’s just to make them feel less alone and weird.
But, even though I write a lot about this topic and want to help others see the world, actually living with this phobia is a challenge as someone who wants to travel until the day she dies.
To be honest? I hate being scared to fly.
I hate it, I hate it, I hate it. I want to get over my fear of flying no matter what.
But, Rachel, Flying is So SAFE!
Ugh, spare me.
To tell you the truth, I feel embarrassed and stupid especially whenever safety statistics are thrown in my face. However, many people don’t understand how complex this phobia is.
If relief was found by simply reading statistics, I’d be cured a thousand times over.
And I’m not ignorant about other aspects of flying either.
I already know turbulence is safe and won’t damage the aircraft. I know that air pockets don’t really exist and a plane won’t “fall out of the sky.” I know planes are able to fly without engines. I know every system has a back-up system. I know I have to fly every single day for over 15,000 years before being involved in a plane crash. I go on FlightAware and see the thousands of planes in the air that will land safely at their destinations in a few hours.
I. Know. It. Is. Safe.
And yet, nothing seems to reassure me on the day of a real flight.
A fear of flying isn’t rational, which is what makes it difficult to cure.
I Want to Get Over My Fear of Flying to LIVE.
In this post, I want to emphasize that my fear of flying isn’t a cute quirk.
Having anticipatory flight anxiety, for example, is debilitating. I feel a sense of horror in the days leading up to a long haul flight. Instead of feeling excited at the brilliant vacation at the end of the tunnel, I am convinced that I’ll end up on the next Air France 447.
These. Feelings. Suck.
I also hate turbulence and spend the entire time we’re at cruising altitude feeling on edge that a rough patch of air is waiting minutes away, ready to strike, ready to make the plane drop.
I can’t enjoy movies. I can’t sleep. I can’t eat.
On my return flight from Amsterdam, I was curled against the window for over seven hours. Seven hours.
As you might know, I’ve written about beating one’s fear of turbulence, but I still feel like a huge hypocrite when I’m not able to take my own advice.
I can’t do it anymore and want to feel better.
How I’ll Try to Get Over My Fear of Flying.
Could I never go anywhere new again? Sure. But … I love to travel. I don’t want my fear to keep me at home, and for the most part, I fight back.
However, I’d love to wake up one morning and think about my upcoming flight like, “wow, this doesn’t bother me, and I’m actually looking forward to the journey.”
So, these are a couple of ways I’m going to try to get over my fear of flying forever.
Of course, this isn’t a comprehensive list, so don’t hesitate to leave more ideas in the comments, or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Now let’s talk about my plan of action.
1. Not Read About Plane Crashes.
This is such a ridiculous mistake on my part. Yes, I’m guilty of reading about plane crashes.
My intention is good. I actually don’t set out to devour the gory details. Instead I want to read about all the safety measures that have been implemented after a crash happens. Why? To prove to myself that the aviation world cares and will protect me from an accident. However, I always manage to feel worse.
I’ve decided to go on an information diet in 2020 and block any news about plane crashes. I don’t want to reading about the Boeing 737 MAX, sorry. I’m done.
I don’t need to exacerbate my own fears. Not happening anymore.
2. Watch Airplane Reviews on YouTube.
Part of my problem with flying is I don’t do it enough. I fly three times or so a year, which is a lot compared to the average person, but still not enough to have any lasting effect.
Having more exposure to flights should help me get used to flying.
Now I can’t rock up to Newark International Airport and ask to sit on random planes. I think I’d be deemed a security risk forever.
Instead I am going to take advance of YouTube. I want to watch as many plane reviews and flight videos as possible to get more used to the sounds and bumps that happen on the majority of flights.
And weirdly enough, it’s also soothing to listen to a random stranger critique the levels of service on a plane.
Of course I’m going to try not to feel jealous of all those lucky folks who are able to fly first class and business class on a regular basis. I wish, haha.
3. Read Books on the Topic of Aviation & Fear.
A lot has been written about combating anxiety, as well as flight phobias in particular.
I want to read more about different techniques to reduce my anxiety whenever it starts to crop up. I started by reading SOAR: The Breakthrough Treatment for Fear of Flying this week, and I already have a couple exercises that I want to try on my upcoming short flight to Charleston.
Of course I’m willing to take recommendations here. What books and courses have changed your life regarding fear and anxiety?
I may even possibly do a wellness retreat and hope it helps treat my over all stress and tickle down to my fear of flying. Never say never.
I don’t mind throwing money to get over my fear of flying. It’s worth it to me.
4. Keep Flying as Much as Possible.
I’ve had friends and family ask me why I still fly even though it scares me.
I have to admit that I don’t want to go long stretches without flying. I think there’s nothing quite like forcing myself on a plane as far as fighting back is concerned.
Truthfully, if I stopped flying for awhile, I could see myself falling into the habit of sticking with driving or train trips. And although I love those trips, I don’t know if I’d ever get on a plane again if a year or more passed without me going to the airport.
Therefore, I’m committing to flying at least three times a year with one flight being a long-haul flight over an ocean.
Of course, I’ll do what I can to reduce my carbon footprint at the same time. I know planes aren’t great for the environment, and don’t want to be a waste hazard in pursuit of personal growth either.
5. Reduce Stress in My Real Life.
I’ve read that turbulence (hah) in your daily life might intensify your flying fear.
Needless to say, I want to eliminate unhealthy stress and toxic behaviors in 2020, and beyond. Anything that doesn’t serve me has no place in my life.
Some of the ways I plan to avoid stress in my real life include:
- Regularly working out and eating fresh high quality foods.
- Stop dating emotionally unavailable men.
- Read and consume acclaimed TV shows, books, and movies.
- Hike whenever the weather is beautiful.
- Make new friends and nourish my current friends.
- Reduce co-dependent behaviors.
- Enjoy new experiences.
I figure if I’m happier most of the time, then my improved mood will help diminish my flight anxiety at least a little bit. A girl can dream.
6. Accept I Could Be that 1 in 7 Million Chance.
Whenever I hear safety statistics, I always follow up with, “Well. I might be on that one flight that crashes this year.”
Is this thought true? Yes.
However, risk is a part of life. If I played by those odds every day, I’d have to lie in my bed 24/7 because I might fall down the stairs, get in a car accident, or choke on a piece of food.
Not taking risks means not living life. And life is too short to wallow in fear.
I want to accept that flying does take away a lot of our basic instincts. We can’t simply get up and leave if we feel distressed. We can’t read the pilot’s face, because we can’t see him or her inside the cockpit (and I’m not about to break in either). I think through accepting that I don’t have control but want to see the world anyway I will make progress.
Fingers crossed that embracing risk will help getting over my fear of flying.
Read More: Rachel’s Ultimate Guide to Self-Love
Additional Reading for A Fear of Flying
I’ve written a lot on why I need to do get over my fear of flying. Living one’s life is so important.
I hope these informative articles bring you some peace if you’re a nervous flyer like me.
- Airport Anxiety & Traveling with Confidence
- Fear of Flying Over Water
- Conquering Turbulence Like a Boss
- Common Flying Fears and How to Confront Them
- Why Your Flying Fear Isn’t Stupid
- 43 Tips for Fearful Flyers
Thanks for reading about my 2020 goal for getting over my fear of flying. Like I said earlier, leave other tactics and suggestions in the comment section. And for those of you who hate flying, I promise that you’re not alone or weird. Remember: 1 in 4 Americans have some anxiety about flying.