Give yourself plenty of time to make reservations, check the length of the flight or select your seat. / Image Source/Getty Images
About 25 million people in the United States suffer from anxiety and fear when setting foot onto an airplane. Fear of flying — also called aviophobia, aerophobia or aviatophobia — is the second most common phobia worldwide, according to Flying Fear Free by Sandra M. Pollino.
Sometimes flying is unavoidable, so don’t let your fear hold you back from going on a family vacation, seeing friends or taking a long-haul business trip. Pollino offers some strategies to fly fear-free:
Prepare for a successful flight. Give yourself plenty of time to make reservations, check the length of the flight or select your seat. “Preparedness lowers your anxiety, which can help keep fear away,” Pollino says.
Talk yourself into it. Try self-talk to keep a positive attitude. Happy thoughts will allow you to stay confident. “You may not have an option to choose the type of plane on which you would like to fly, but regardless of its type, remember, ‘I can and I will!’” Pollino says.
Bring a relaxation goodie bag. Packing a “goodie bag” with a book you’ve been looking forward to reading, relaxing music or favorite snack will help lower your anxiety. “As silly as it may sound, putting together items that you enjoy or that relax you will make you smile or even laugh and keep you focused on positivity,” Pollino says.