Panic and unpleasant thoughts are not the best start to a long-awaited vacation. Psychologists at the German Aerophobia Center explain how to overcome the fear of flying.
Fear of flying is a psychological disorder that is thought to affect, to varying degrees, nearly 30 percent of the world’s population. About 10 percent of people have never flown on an airplane precisely because of intense fear. Different people come to the German Aerophobia Center (Deutsches Flugangst-Zentrum) in Düsseldorf. The youngest training participant was 10 years old, the oldest 78.
But according to experts, Germans aged 30 to 40 are more likely to suffer from stress and are more interested in getting rid of the obsessive state of aerophobia .
After all, they often have to fly on business trips.
Some airlines are sympathetic to passengers’ aerophobia.
Lufthansa, for example, does not charge for the return of purchased tickets if the passenger suddenly has a panic attack on the eve of the flight.
True, this rule applies only with a doctor’s certificate. Well, and if you do not want to or embarrassed to go to him? The experts of the center of fight against aerophobia prepared 10 tips for those who want to get rid of preflight fear:
Have a stress-free start.
Keep pre-flight stress to a minimum. Try to check in online the day before, print boarding passes at home and take a cab or express train to the airport.
Try to do without luggage: with hand luggage you do not have to arrive in advance and stand in long lines. Get enough sleep and rest before your flight.
Choose your seat
The most comfortable seats in the cabin are at the front of the plane and near the wings. There passengers feel less bumping and turning.
There are airplane layouts on the official websites of airlines, and you can use them to find out where the most comfortable seats are located.
For example if you fly the Airbus A320, rows 8-15 are better, in the Boeing 737-800 from rows 12 to 18. And don’t sit in the back of the cabin: it is possible that you will get carsick.
Tight ties and buttoned collars are not compatible with long flights.
The same applies to tight bracelets, rings and watches. Choose comfortable clothes and shoes, and bring an inflatable pillow for your neck.
Trust the professionals
Don’t be afraid to tell your fear to the flight attendants. If at all possible, get to know the pilot.
When boarding the plane, tell the flight attendants about it, perhaps they will allow you to go into the cabin at least for a few minutes. A
ccording to psychologists, during this time you will have time to get acquainted with the captain of the aircraft and make sure of his professionalism.
Entertain yourself and distract yourself
During long flights you are offered to watch films or listen to music on board.
But it’s better to take care of entertainment yourself: make a playlist with your favorite songs, take an interesting book or a tablet with games.
Experts consider audiobooks to be an ideal option.
Try to drink as much non-carbonated water or juice as possible, as the air in the cabin is very dry. A glass of champagne at the beginning of the long-awaited vacation does not hurt either.
Just do not take alcohol as a means to combat fear. With strong drinks do not go overboard and on the plane.
Don’t overdo it
Who says that you have to sit on the plane all the time? Walk around the cabin, rise on your toes, and do some tilts in different directions.
Such exercises will help to restore blood circulation. If you are embarrassed to stretch in front of the other passengers, rotate your feet and hands while sitting in the seat, straighten your back and straighten your shoulders.
Find an interlocutor
If panic does begin to overtake you, try to start a conversation with the flight attendant or the passenger sitting in the next seat.
It is better to tell them directly that you have a fear of flying and that it is difficult for you to overcome it. Perhaps a new acquaintance (or acquaintance) will tell you something interesting and distract you from frightening fantasies.
Forget about medications
It is better to give up powerful anti-stress drugs during the flight. These drugs may affect at altitude differently than on the ground. Remember: fear of flying – this is not an illness that should be treated with medication.
Psychologists advise to pay attention to the homeopathic remedies that are not addictive and are sold without a prescription at any pharmacy.
Learn the basics.
If all of the above tips do not help, then it is necessary to figure out how planes actually fly. You can watch documentaries or go to a special center with airplane simulators. After such training during the flight you won’t be disturbed by strange noises on takeoff.
You will learn that jolting in the turbulence zone and making a two-circle approach during landing are standard situations which do not endanger your life.
Have a safe flight!