How to Overcome Fear of Flying (aviophobia)

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Planes at Logan Airport - Constitution Beach - East Boston - 2014-06-01

I know what it’s like to dread flying: to book yourself onto a holiday then spend weeks of sleepless nights imagining all the dreadful things that might happen; to feel fear that you’re going to embarrass yourself and your family by throwing some kind of loud, wild panic attack at the airport; to sit on the plane in a state of rigid tension responding to every slight noise the plane makes, every tiny grimace on the face of the steward, every message that the pilot does or doesn’t give out.

I existed in this state for about 30 years, but I’m pleased to say that I have now overcome this fear without hypnosis, drugs, therapy or the expense of attending a fear of flying course (although of course I realise that all these things can and do help many people.) It’s been a gradual process, but I’ve got there in the end. I recognise that some people’s fear of flying takes a more serious form and causes them more distress than mine did, but nevertheless I’d like to share my approach, in case it can help someone else – one of the estimated 10% of the western world who suffer from aviophobia – even a little.
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Six ways to stop worrying

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It can be difficult when the same pointless thoughts keep coursing through your mind. Perhaps you’re worrying about what someone at work said to you and trying to decide exactly what they meant by it. Maybe you’re worried about a task you’ve been given and you’re wondering whether you’re up to it. Or maybe you’re unsettled about a problem that one of your close family is facing. Continue reading