Some people just don’t believe it when they hear that I (Yinon) have a fear of flying. My father is a pilot and I have been on planes since I was 4 years old (maybe even earlier). So how is that possible?
But this is something that is not really in your control. Every time the plane shakes a little bit you get that feeling inside that something bad might happen at any moment. Since we basically travel for a living, this was starting to become a problem.
In the last few years I decided that enough is enough, I had to get rid of that feeling.
I have been practicing some techniques that really helped me calm down during flights. But the craziest thing is, as soon as I wrote this article and put them all on paper, my fear of flying almost completely went away. Even Katerina was so confused how I stopped being afraid on flights seemingly overnight!
So Here Are My Tips On Overcoming Your Fear Of Flying
First, tell yourself some facts!
- Remember that the chance of something happening to your plane is extremely low. The probability of your plane going down is 1 in 11 million! You are much more likely to get killed by a meteorite (1 in 700k chance), a lightning (1 in 136k) or by falling off home furniture (1 in 2 million)…
- In the crazy case that the plane lost one of its engines, it can still operate exactly the same just using its other engine. And even if it lost BOTH engines (which is very very rare), the plane can still glide back down. It might not be a smooth sail but the airspeed will generate enough lift to fly it back down to the ground for a safe landing.
- A lot of people are afraid of flying because they have the feeling that they are not in control. Well, let me tell you this is not a situation where you want to have the control! The pilot who does has so many hours of flying planes and being in 100’s of different situations. Be assured that she is the right person for the job 🙂
- Watch some positive YouTube videos. This may sound a little counter-intuitive but I watched a lot of videos of pilots landing planes in impossible situations. Even with terrible weather and things going wrong – the vast majority of time planes land safely. These videos really help me feel better about getting on flights.
While you're on the plane...
- Take a really big breath! It’s the best thing in the world to ease yourself into a situation. This helps slow down your heart rate and calms your nerves. It’s a way of telling your brain that you are relaxed.
- Sit in an aisle seat – this is something that I didn’t think about before but it really helped me. Not sure why I find it soothing. Maybe because I can see the floor, maybe because I feel less “trapped,” it just helps me feel more relaxed.
- Avoid alcohol and caffeine, mostly because it dehydrates your body and is just not good on top of the anxiety you might already have.
- Listen to music. Create a relaxing or really happy music playlist that will change the way you feel immediately. Music has a way of bringing memories and feelings into your head and teleporting you to other places. It’s a perfect way to escape your fear of flying while on the plane.
- Try to fall asleep or even just focus on trying to fall asleep, as it will take your focus off of your fears.
- Headspace/Meditation is probably one of the best things I have done lately. It’s basically having someone else get you focused through practice and breathing. You get into a different zone instead of being in your own anxious place.
- In turbulence – look at the flight attendants and see how calm they are. In most cases they would still be standing. That helps a lot in realizing that everything is really OK.
- Do something that will distract you. I use my time on flights to do things I tend to never find time for in my normal life. Watch a movie, work on the business idea you always had, read something.