There are no official statistics about how many Australians suffer from aviophobia, which is a fear of flying. Some news articles, however, mention that it could be as high as one in five people. As someone who has been offered the chance to travel internationally, you know that you need to get past this fear so that you can get up in the air, but you are not too sure where to start. Here are three steps to help you overcome aviophobia.
1. Recognise The Physical Symptoms Attached To Aviophobia
The first step in treating your aviophobia is to recognise the physical symptoms which accompany it. Aviophobia is not merely the mental anxiety which you experience when thinking about flying on a plane. Physical symptoms that your body experiences include nausea, trembling of limbs, cold or sweaty hands, an increased heart rate and/or shortness of breath and a feeling of throat tightening which may cause you to choke. Once you recognise the correlation between the mental and physical symptoms, then you can seek out professional help to reduce their impact on your life.
2. Seek Professional Help
A counselling service that understands aviophobia, and who offers anxiety treatment for phobias, is the best place to start your treatment program. There are two ways that anxiety counselling works:
- Firstly, exposure therapy addresses the anxiety within you. It starts off addressing your fears by providing logic and science about why it is safer to fly than drive on the road. As the therapy progresses, it also involves sitting on an aircraft and being exposed to the things that happen on a plane, but during this exposure, the plane never leaves the ground.
- Secondly, if needed, a prescription can be arranged for anti-anxiety medication which will help you remain calm during the flight.
3. Start With Small Flights
During your anxiety counselling process, you are encouraged to take short flights if you are able to do so. Trying to tackle aviophobia with the first flight being a long-haul international one is likely to have you wound up like a spring during the entire plane ride. Instead, take a couple of one to two-hour short domestic flights first. This gets you used to the happenings at an airport as well as noises and processes which happen on a plane. By the time you then take your longer international flight, the plane will be a much less scary place.
Do not delay in seeking help for your aviophobia. The world is waiting out there for you to explore it.