What causes a fear of flying?
Your fear of flying will have triggers – thoughts, images, sensations, and memories – to which you’ve become sensitized. If you’re sensitive to certain bodily feelings, you may be more susceptible to being afraid of normal turbulence, or when the plane takes off and lands. Or, if you’re afraid of heights, you may become afraid when you realize just how high up the plane is flying.
The list of triggers can include:
- social anxieties
- being too far from home.
- illness spread through the air system
- using the toilets
- violence on the plane
What’s behind your fear of flying?
For more than 90% of people with a fear of flying, your fear will cause you to feel overwhelmed at some point during flight. Usually people experience an unexpected panic while flying, and then worry the terrifying symptoms will return on their next flight.
These panics typically emerge between the ages of 17 to 34, around the time of major life events, including: birth, death, marriage, divorce, or graduation. In many cases, people will develop a fear of flying quite suddenly, and wonder why they’d been able to fly comfortably before. Very few fears of flying originate with a traumatic flight.
Experts divide fear of flying into three main groups:
- Those who don’t fly or haven’t flown for more than five years despite the opportunity to do so.
- Those who fly only when absolutely necessary with extreme terror.
- Those who fly when required, but with anxiety
Avoiding your fear of flying will not only make it worse but, fear can start spreading to other areas and shrink your life.
You can overcome your fear of flying.
If you’re struggling with a fear of flying, please get in touch with us. After you contact our office, we’ll work together on a plan to help you:
- Handle your worries before and during flights
- Respond to your uncomfortable physical symptoms
- Develop muscle relaxation skills for immediate relief
- Develop breathing skills that reduce tensions
- Stop irrational thoughts as they come up
- Overcome your fear of heights and closed in spaces
- Address concerns during takeoff, turbulence and weather conditions
It is possible to overcome your fear of flying. It starts by taking that first step, and asking for help. Let’s get started.