10 Tricks for Conquering Flight Anxiety
You know that flight turbulence isn't the same thing as being chased by a lion. But how do you explain that to your adrenaline system? Simple—you employ time-tested strategies for keeping nerves in check. Here are 10 of the best from the experts.
By Kaeli Conforti, Friday, Nov 16, 2012, 2:00 PM
Relaxation techniques—such as visualizing your destination—can ease the fear of flying.
Does the idea of flying cause you to break out in a cold sweat? You aren't alone. More than 25 million Americans suffer from some form of flight anxiety, making aerophobia (fear of flying) the second biggest fear in the U.S. after public speaking. If you do fall in this category, you've probably had friends and family remind you numerous times that flying is the safest mode of transportation. While that's very true—your chances of dying in a plane crash are about one in 10 million compared with a one-in-272 chance of dying in a car crash—that's not always enough to quell the jitters. And advice like showing up early at the airport to eliminate unnecessary stress is practical as well, but for the most nervous nellies among us, it takes a little bit more to get us up in the air. We turned to the experts—Todd Farchione, Ph.D., of Boston University's Center for Anxiety & Related Disorders, Martin N. Seif, Ph.D., ABPP, of the Anxiety & Phobia Treatment Center, and Captain Steve Allright of British Airways' Flying With Confidence program—to find out exactly what to do to help alleviate flight anxiety. Thanks to their advice, we put together a 10-step guide to help you conquer your fear—because nothing should stand between you and the vacation you deserve.