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I find it a privilege being on this planet at the same time as you, and believe we all are here at this time of humanity for a purpose. I hope you will find it interesting getting into conversation with me and my readers.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Fear of flying; a common phobia!

My sister Arezo has got a mild flight phobia. Before writing this piece I asked for her permission to share her story with my readers. I believe when we are open about our personal stories it surely becomes much closer, which I am hoping will increase a sense of openness and acceptance among us all.

We might all know people who don’t think much of flying. There are different degrees of how much people let their lives be controlled by these phobias. Arezo never used to have a phobia of flying until few years ago when she flew back to London from San Francisco. The flight trip was very long and turbulent. Every time she is going to fly we have a calming session going on, either on the phone or in person if we are with her. The times I have flown with her I have truly seen her fear and the anxiety occupying her mind. Arezo needs to talk and hold my hand ('squeezing my hand' :). What is important to her is that I keep on talking in order to keep her mind off the flight. I have to admit that I am not always up for a hand squeeze, so as soon as we find our seats I pretend like I am sleeping :)

Every time Arezo is flying the whole family call her to wish her good luck and be strong; “nothing will happen”, “you will be alright”, “if something was going to happen no one would ever fly”, “we will pray for you”. When Arezo’s flight lands the first thing she does is send us all text message saying “she is still alive”.

Let's be honest, most people are on some level afraid to fly. There is something unnatural about a flying object made out of several tons of steel and aluminum. Whether you just pay strict attention to the takeoffs and landings or grip the arm rests until your veins bulge, the fear has to be overcome. For 99.9% of flyers there is only one legitimate fear: turbulence. Planes can handle turbulence without batting an eyelash, but humans in the cabin have problems when they don't have control over the situation or a way out.
The way our bodies react to fear is the same weather the matter we fear are real or not. This is why the body having flight phobia will become highly stressed. Many use alcohol or medication in order to calm down their feelings, but that is surely not a good long time solution to the phobia.
I am glad my sister has not let her fear of flying control her ways of travelling. During the last four years she has been living in London, Arezo has been flying back and forth several times a year.

To do list;
· Educate yourself
· Replace anxious thoughts with pleasant thoughts
· Schedule a worry time
· Get to the airport in good time
· Breathe deeply
· Inform people you travel with or the cabin crew about your fear


Fear will never kill us. The worst thing is that we might show feelings and thought that are not the ‘normal’ acceptable manner of behavior in a society, but who cares, if you think flying will reveal certain emotions in you – fly and don’t let your fear rule over you!
Mark Twain once said that courage wasn't the absence of fear, it is mastery over it.

6 comments:

Capt Tom Bunn LCSW said...

The tips in this article will help a mild fear of flying. But many people have a more serious problem, and will need something which corrects the root of the problem. To understand this, see the 18 minutes video I produced on fear of flying which is at http://www.fearofflying.com/video_hs.shtml

Elham Binai said...

Dear Tom
Thank you for sharing this site with us-yes you are indeed right,there are people who have major issue with flight phobia. I believe in any case one must be informed and educate oneself of what truly is going on when flying. ofcourse I think coaching will benefit all who think this is an issue in their lives!

Exam-o-phobia said...

Plz Write how to overcome fear of exams ?? I am so afraid that I keep woorying whole semester and never study anything due to fear.. Even now I have exam in ten days and I havent touched book whole semester due to fear and now i am getting panic attacks and memory losses..

Elham Binai said...

Exam-p-phobia; I will look into this :) I TOTALLY understand what you are saying. I studied 6 years at University and have always taken schooling very serious, but EVERY time I had exam I was soooo nervous and thought I did not know anything - but hey I managed life and so will you -

just some advice to you;
1.get yourself a plan
2.stick to the plan :)
3.have small goals for every day - achieving the small goals will lead you eventually to the bigger goal you have!
4.think positive + surround yourself with positive and hard working people
5.write all you know (brainstorm) about the subject you have your exam in -this will give you a boost in your self-esteem as you will understand how much you really know!

Good luck :) and keep me informed about how you did it!

ps: I will in good time write about exam-phobia

Elham

JP said...

Hey Elham,

I have a 18 minute cure for your fear of flying called GoGetter JetSetter.

If you blog about curing yourself of a fear of flying, I'll give you the GoGetter JetSetter program for FREE (a $49 value).

Check it out at:

http://www.gogetterjetsetter.com/blogger.php

For the Love of Living Life to the Fullest,

JP Richards, MC.hT, MNLP, MTLT®
Certified Rapid Phobia Removal Therapist, Master Hypnotherapist, &
Master NLP & Time Line Therapy® Practitioner

www.GoGetterJetSetter.com

Deep blue Sea said...

Hey you say a plane can easily withstand heavy turbulance.. But how is a person supposed to know what is happening. I mean it could be turbulence, or it could be real danger that the plane has lost control or about to loose control and crash due to some other reason..

I mean,imagine in one plane your sister is sitting scared to death by turbulence.. In an other plane you are sitting calmly in a violently shaking aircraft that is about to crash and you are enjoying inflight entertainment thinking that it is turbulence..