|Stunning View of the Duomo in Florence, Italy |
The first time we flew on a plane was to visit our cousin in Brooklyn, NY just before New Year's 1996 in the middle of our junior year in college. We saved the money from our part-time jobs to purchase the $300 plane fare. We left on a Delta plane out of Augusta, GA with a connection in Atlanta, GA before heading to NYC. We had great lift offs that took us to the skies and above the clouds, and clean landings. The best part of the trip was the free beverages, the sandwich boxes, and peanuts. We've gone on dozens of family trips to NYC and Jersey City, NJ in the 80's to early 90's, and it took all of 12 hours driving time from the South. So to be able to get there in less than four hours...man, sign us up. We've been hooked ever since, and you'll often find us flying rather than driving any distance beyond 6 hrs. Most recently, we have taken to the sky internationally to China and Europe, with more destinations forthcoming.
As is the case, there are people who have expressed to us that they have anxieties to flying, and will take behind the wheel anytime. Even drive more than three thousand miles to a destination. No problem, if you have the time; multiple drivers; and a tune-up personal car or rental. But it does become a problem when you find yourself missing family functions, vacations, and other memorable experiences because of anxieties associated with air travel. We thought we'll share a few tips on how to combat your fear of flying so that you can get to your destination quicker, if you choose to do so.
#1) Meet the pilot. The pilot has your life in his hands, and if you are able to meet him or her while boarding, then it can often ease your fears as you gain trust and relinquish personal control. Risk is a part of life. Fear flourishes on control and worry about the future. Let go!!
#2) Find focus point. Mediate. Lower stress hormones by looking straight ahead and finding a focus point, then count count what you see, hear, and touch by naming 5 things; then 4; then down to 1. This exercise takes all of two minutes and keeps you from focusing on problematic issues. Additional exercises include mediating by closing your eyes and counting your breath or reciting the alphabet backwards. Control your thoughts. Don't let your imagination take over.
#3) Learn about your in flight experience. Understand that speed is necessary for lift-off; your ear pops because of change in cabin pressure; the wing moves to navigate the plane; turbulence is caused by changes in air currents; remain in your seat belts until the Captain makes announcement that you are "now free to move about the cabin"; etc.
#5) Know the statistics. Check out this video from Jennifer Poe of Imported Chocolate. She has additional tips on combating anxiety and shares a few statistics on the safety of air travel.
Do you have a fear of flying? What will it take to get you on a plane?