So today I wanted to post something a little bit different to my usual beauty or fashion ramblings. This post is all about conquering my fear of flying.
For some unknown reason I have always been nail bitingly terrified of flying. The thought of anything to do with it instantly gave me pins and needles in my legs and I just could not shake the nervous feelings I had. It was so bad that my family, friends and boyfriend had to prepare themselves for endless tears and a finger breaking grip should they offer to hold my hand on board.
If I heard as much as a noise that I didn’t think sounded right or hit any dreaded turbulence I automatically assumed the worst. In some ways I think it might have been a fear a heights that was really the problem but the amount of things I had seen on the news over the past year definitely did not help matters and this year was by far the worst anxiety I experienced in the weeks coming into my holidays.
I knew I couldn’t keep going on like that because I really enjoy going away but the good is always taken out of it before I’ve even left because I’m so afraid – So I decided to try to change my mindset before going away and I’m pleased to say it worked!
Here are some points that I used to become less fearful of jetting off:
I familiarised myself with facts.
I brushed up on as much knowledge as humanly possible about airplanes. For instance, flying is the safest mode of transport. Yes, the safest – you’re more likely to fall off your bicycle or crash your car than be involved in a plane crash. All of the statistics are there to prove it.
Get to know how an airplane works. Did you know 73% of people who are afraid of flying have this fear over the possibility of mechanical failure? Learning the process of how an airplane flies will help you. A plane is built for a purpose – it is at its best in the sky! It faces a rigorous and lengthy safety check when grounded – on average for every one hour of flying, a plane will receive eleven hours maintenance by somebody who is highly trained to do so. Plane engines are much more simply designed then a car engine making them less likely to break down.
When on board it is worth keeping in mind that the pilots and cabin crews training consists of mostly safety procedures and protocols. Everything else comes second to a wealth of knowledge to keep you safe while flying. Your pilots go through stringent procedures before they are even hired. They have racked up hours of training and flight time and are specifically trained to cope with every eventuality. They are regularly and continuously educated in their field. You are in highly competent and safe hands!
Weather and turbulence are another two factors which can be highly worrying. If the weather is going to affect your flight your airline will know. They use sophisticated systems to detect a storm from miles away prior to flying and that is why your flight can be delayed or cancelled – not because someone looked outside and decided against it! If you’re already in the air the pilot can land in a different airport or fly around the worst weather. Rain, lightning or anything do not affect the airplane – they are built to withstand these things.
Turbulence is something I have yet to fully get over and that will take a bit of time. But now that I understand it isn’t what I initially thought, I’m not as fearful of it. Air pressure is different in different parts of the sky. When you fly through an area of high pressure into low or the other way around, this is what causes the bump you feel. I like to think of it like when you hit a pothole on the road – the plane is your car, the potholes are the clouds. Planes aren’t affected by turbulence – You are not in any danger whatsoever. If your steered away from turbulence it is just to ensure the smoothest air journey possible for your benefit!
Lastly some other fears I’ve had include one plane crashing into another or the doors flying off the hinges into the sky.
Planes are in constant communication with Air Traffic Control who monitor the routes by radar of every plane in the sky and make sure there is no overlap. Similarly there are in-flight systems on board which can guide the plane on a different path if necessary. Therefore this fear has no basis!
When you’re on board and are getting ready to take off you can always see the cabin crew locking the doors and cross checking everything. Once the plane takes off and the cabin is pressurised it is literally IMPOSSIBLE. The pressure from the outside keeps the doors shut and we aren’t talking a little bit of pressure, we’re talking 20,000 pounds of pressure!
Do what makes you feel comfortable
I always try to take a nap on the plane – If you’re asleep your fears can’t creep up on you! I sometimes wake up extra early before a flight so I’m a little more tired than usual getting on board and this helps me to drift off.
I always load my phone with new games or new music to keep myself busy.
If I’m feeling fearful I always look at the cabin crew – seeing them potter around normally helps to reassure me that everything is fine.
If I start to feel panicky I remind myself of all the above facts and it snaps me back into reality.
There are other options with relaxers etc but I never tried or want to try those – conquering a fear is about facing it head on and that’s exactly what I want to do and have done 🙂
I intend on flying as regularly as possible, even if it’s just a short flight. The more exposure you have to something the more you’ll get used to it and the less you’ll fear it!
I hope you guys liked this post and it set some of your minds at ease 🙂
Until next time,