Overcome Flight Phobia – Dealing with Anxiety About Turbulence


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Flying Keeps Getting Safer 

A few years ago, there was one crash every million departures. I’ve been telling people recently that the current rate is one in five million. That was based on 2007.

The most recent stats released by the International Air Transport Association are for 2008. The figure was one crash in eight million flights.

Even so, statistics don’t make fearful fliers feel better. The problem is simple: both of those ratios include “one”, and that is the one that crashes.

The key to fixing fear of flying is to train the mind to not react when that thought of the “one” comes to mind, nor react when a thought of how that “one” crashes comes to mind, nor what it would feel like to be on that plane.

When the brain’s response to those thoughts is controlled, it is a lot easier for the fearful flier to recognize that what is feared and what is really going on during the flight are two different things.

Dealing with Anxiety About Turbulence

Turbulence while flying is one of the main concerns people have while flying.
Many people can manage as long as it is a smooth flight from start to finish.

In this article Capt. Tom Bunn answers people’s fears about turbulence.

Dealing with Anxiety About Turbulence

The incident in which several people were injured onboard a Continental flight has caused undue anxiety. As an airline captain who works with people who are afraid to fly, I’ve received several emails from clients who are very upset by this incident.

Here is an example.

“This is precisely the kind of scenario that bothers me. A perfectly qualified crew on a well-maintained and modern jetliner was tossed about like a rag.”

The idea that the airliner was the airliner was tossed around like a rag is pure imagination. If you were flying nearby and watching the Continental flight, you would have seen absolutely nothing unusual. The movement during this turbulence was so small you would not have been able to see it.

“How can we be sure that the weather we may be in is safe?”

You are always safe in turbulence provided you take the simple precaution of wearing a seat belt whether the seat belt sign is on or off. Perhaps you saw photos of the plane parked at the terminal after the flight. That should be reassuring.

Turbulence did no damage to the plane.

Turbulence is not a problem for the plane. Airliners are built to handle far more turbulence than Mother Nature can dish out. To see what airliners can deal with, see some of the Hurricane Hunter videos available online.

“I realize also that no one who was seated with their seat belts fastened got physically hurt. But, the mental jarring would have been unprecedented.”

If you are simply concerned about being frightened, that can’t be guaranteed. And, it is essential to recognize that emotional fear and physical danger are not the same.

We all need to be able to tolerate being afraid, and then to use the mind to determine whether the fear is a false alarm or something we need to act on.

“I remember you saying that a modern jetliner barely moves more than an inch vertically even when in severe turbulence. But if as reported in the press, if some of the flight attendants hits the roof of the cabin, the aircraft must have dropped by at least several feet.”

Think of croquet. In something called “sending your opponent”, you place your ball against your opponent’s ball. You put your foot on your ball and strike your ball. Your ball moves only a fraction of an inch. The opponent’s ball zips off several yards.

Rotate that ninety degrees. The plane is like your ball. The plane moves up sharply, but only a fraction of an inch. The unbelted passenger is like the opponent’s ball. The unbelted passenger moves a greater distance.

Some passengers will not follow the most basic instructions and wear a seat belt at all times. Except in the rarest situations, passengers get away with not wearing a seat belt. This was one of those rare occasions when they didn’t.

Yours truly,

Captain Tom Bunn LCSW

 Licensed therapist and airline captain Tom Bunn LCSW has specialized in the treatment of fear of flying since 1980. He founded SOAR to develop methods to deal with moderate and severe cases of flight phobia.

SOAR was established in 1982 because no programs existed that could
help people with moderate to severe difficulties. Even today, no other
program offers help that is effective except for mild difficulties. No
matter how difficult flying is for you, SOAR can help visit :

Click Here for SOAR official site

To learn how to overcome flight phobia, watch these 2 videos –

‘Plane Whisperer’ Helps Others Overcome Fear

When is Turbulence DANGEROUS?!

By Barry McDonagh, who is an international panic disorder coach. He created the Panic Away program to help people around the world deal with their anxiety and avoid panic attacks – a subject that he is personally attuned to because he himself found that he was prone to these issues since he was young. His hatred of his powerless lead him down the path of finding natural ways to treat himself without having to depend on expensive medications.

His informative site on all issues related to panic and anxiety attacks can be found here: Getting the Best Anxiety Treatment – Overcome Flight Phobia

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