What can you do to deal with fear of flying?

Are you ready to finally take a holiday? Do you feel safe enough to get on the plane? How does it feel to be afraid of flying? And how can you overcome it. “Take the fear seriously.”

Tomas (32) was frequently required to travel overseas for his job as a DJ. He felt the tension days before he took off and wanted to get away. He said, “But ofcourse I wanted those concerts, so it ended up just being there, although I did spend some time at the bar prior to drinking the tension away.” “Before I flew, I was already anxious and I listened carefully to the plane’s noises to make sure everything was okay.”

Fear of flying is often not the only fear. It is common for things to not be going as planned and other fears can play a part. Josine Arondeus (a psychotherapist at VALK Anti-anxiety Foundation) says that someone may worry a lot about the future and become afraid of what might happen.

“We notice that it helps when we first tell people everything about the technical side of flying”

Josine Arondeus is a psychotherapist

“In practice, it often concerns people with claustrophobia. They find it frightening that they can’t get off the plane whenever they want and find it hard to surrender control. We often see that fear of traveling far from home is a factor.”

Flight fear: An aid route

It is a good idea to seek assistance if you are afraid to fly. Arondeus explains how such an aid pathway for fear of flying looks: “We noticed that it helps if you first tell people about the technical side, so they know it’s safe. Next, we practice on a simulator. It’s great, we’ll then make a scheduled flight together with other passengers.

“During that flight, the pilot and a KLM psychologist are seated next to the client. The pilot is available to answer questions and provide explanations. Let’s start by discussing how to deal with anxiety when you don’t have a specific fear of flying.

Tips to avoid flying fear

Tomas discovered that he didn’t have a fear of flying, but a generalized anxiety disorder. “I wasn’t feeling well at that time and was irrationally concerned about what could happen.” He says that he was able to overcome his anxiety disorder by working on his fear of flying.

“I was able to learn breathing exercises that calmed my panic attack. You may feel your heart beat faster during panic attacks. You can create peace in your mind by getting your body under control.

“Make sure you do a tiring physical activity on the day you fly: then you will already lose some energy that otherwise feeds the anxiety.”

Josine Arondeus is a psychotherapist

Arondeus stresses that it’s all about taking your fear seriously and taking care of yourself. Fear can cause you to retreat into your cocoon and make it difficult to be active. Talk to people and cabin crew about what makes you happy.

She says, “Make sure to do a tiring activity on the day that you fly. This will help you lose energy that fear feeds on.” Fear is a survival instinct that makes you feel more energetic. You will also feel tired from coffee so don’t drink it. Always eat something.

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