After our recent holiday, I have re-discovered my love of airports and flying
Almost 25% of the population is scared of flying, and I am one of them, but what can we do about it so we enjoy this freedom of travel. Before my recent holiday, I discovered the audiobook ‘Flying with Confidence’ after trawling the internet in a bid to find something, anything, to help me cope.
I don’t just have a little, quiet anxiety about flying, no, mine is very loud, and makes its presence known. So for everyone I’m flying with, it’s best to try and seek help.
Flying with confidence
I haven’t always been an anxious flyer, it worsened when I had my children, which I believe is quite common. My first stop was, of course, the doctor, who could offer beta blockers to chill me out. Oh no I thought, I don’t want to take medication.
I then had CBT, which was effective. When you have anxiety, you release stress hormones in your body, which makes you go into ‘Fight or Flight’ mode. This is something that normally keeps you safe from harm, but your mind is very good at tricking you. With anxiety, you are in this natural ‘safe mode’, and you don’t need to be. Coping with flying, as I learned in the book, can be achieved by controlling our breathing, as when you go into fight or flight mode, you tend to begin breathing faster.
Learning to stay calm and keep your breath controlled is key to overcoming this unnatural state.
Commuting with confidence
I started to plan well in advance so I had a handle on it and make some progress towards enjoying my upcoming holiday. In my commute to the “Friend” offices in Dundee from Edinburgh, I have time on my hands to work on this anxiety.
I would play the flying with confidence audiobook on both journeys and after a week of absorbing every syllable, I felt I was fine to travel. In the meantime, I also tried to focus on positive thinking, and downloaded ‘Feel the Fear and do it anyway’. It’s a book I had read years and years ago, and I thought it might serve me now as I geared up to fly.
Feeling the fear
Of course, I was always going to get on my flight, but the sweat and panic I get at the thought of it, kept me awake at night. I’m not trying to make light of anxiety and say that I easily overcame it by reading these books, or listening to them, but they definitely helped.
I think just having the calming words on in the background, made a big difference in how I viewed plane travel and anxiety about flying.
Needless to say, my flight went swimmingly, and we had a lovely holiday. My anxiety reared it’s head briefly on the return leg, but we mainly had a lovely journey homeward bound.
Let us know how you coped with your anxiety.