3 Ways to Fight Your Fears
Life is a constant struggle even the modern, comfortable life in the safest eraof the entire human history. Although we can tell ourselves that we, as humankind, never had it this good, we are always moving along the elevating standards of what is expected.
Furthermore, the increased safety and comfort doesn’t mean that fears get eliminated. It just means that new fears replace the old ones. So instead of fears of hunger, plague, and war, we get to fear financial instability, romance hardships, and various other fears brought on by new technology and social institutions.
One of those emerging new technologies, in the context of the whole human history, are planes. As something that is way outside the evolutionary envelope of humans, planes represent a solid baseline which we can be used to explain how to combat other fears of modern life as well.
Learning how to overcome the fear of flying is therefore highly useful in establishing how all kinds of anxieties can be successfully fought.
- Your Mind is Your Body
For the longest time, people have been wrongly taught that there is some kind of body/mind dichotomy. As science progressed, we have come to understand that nothing could be further from the truth. A mind is a product of the brain, and brain is one of the importance organs in your body. One that is strongly affected by your other organs and systems. Your every thought and emotion is regulated by your entire body.
Therefore, preparing your body to be less vulnerable to anxiety is crucial in overcoming any fears you may face in life, especially the fear of flying. To that end, Allen Carr recommends that you always have a good night’s sleep before the flight, go to the bathroom, and take other measures that increase your physical comfort.
Of course, nothing will make your flight more comfortable than upgrading to a 1st class, but there will be a higher price to pay for the ticket. Just keep in mind that the more physical comfort you achieve, the more emotional control you will be able to achieve. If you can, try to choose a seat that is at the front end of the plane. This way you will experience less turbulence.
- Demystify the Unknown
Although most people are not logical or are guided by logic in everyday life, we like to think we are and that in itself offers another tool at your disposal. Learn about the bare facts of flight technology; its safety statistics, how planes achieve flight, the numerous safety and redundancy measures, and rigorous training of the crew.
This will create a boundary in your mind for when your fears might fly out of control. In those moments, you will instantly ground them with the power of pure facts.
It is especially important to know about the nature of turbulence, which is just a manifestation of tiny bumps as the plane moves smoothly through the dynamic ripples of air, just as a boat would traverse the sea waves. Modern planes are immensely capable of overcoming these changes in air density, and turbulence poses no threat to them whatsoever.
Along with turbulence, familiarize yourself with other sensations you may encounter: the sound of the engine, retraction and extension of wheels, the sound of flaps. Familiarization creates predictability, and predictability lessens anxiety.
- Increase Awareness
Flying through the air at hundreds of miles per hour is as further from our evolved experiences as we can get, even when we do so in exceeding comfort and safety.
Therefore, be aware that your instincts will try to fool you. Think about which triggers set your anxiety off, and when you are armed with facts and physical comfort, you will be able to turn them off effortlessly.
On a final note, remember how best to combat nightmares when you dream. When you face them and immerse yourself fully in them, they completely dissipate. You can do the same with the fear of flying, by increasing exposure. Over time, you will adapt despite the discomfort.
Initially, a huge help can come in the form of anxiety medication, as they will definitely take the edge off, but keep in mind to not rely on them. If you take other steps explained here, you will be more than capable of overcoming the fear of flying on your own.