A few tips
Understand your fear of flying to overcome it
The phobia of flying can be broken down into four main families. Each of them can have repercussions or even intensify other families. We find :
- The fear of an air crash because of all the technical aspects (turbulence, breakdowns ...),
- Poor management of anxiety which translates into "the fear of being afraid". It happens that the person feels physiological symptoms weeks before the flight (accelerating heart, sweaty hands, flushes of anxiety ...),
- The need for control. In this case, the lack of control of the situation or the feeling of not being able to act is a problem for the person,
- Other phobias unrelated to the plane, but which prevent you from taking it. We then speak of claustrophobia, fear of heights, fear of germs ...
How to avoid panic attacks and flashes of anxiety?
All the unpleasant symptoms of anxiety, such as a racing heart or feeling like you can't contain yourself can be controlled with breathing techniques. During the “Ready to take off” course, we use a computer assisted relaxation technique to see in real time how good breathing can prevent these situations.
If you recognize yourself in one or more of the first three dimensions of fear (fear of the accident, need for control, difficulty in managing anxiety), then the “Ready to take off” course is adapted to your situation and can help you. to help. On the contrary, if you only suffer from a specific phobia, it is better to go directly to a psychologist who can do individual work on you.
How to stop having dark thoughts?
First, you must find all the answers to your questions and anxieties:
- How is an engine failure managed?
- How can pilots land in fog?
- Is turbulence dangerous?
The simulator can totally answer your anxieties and questions, because you will not only have answers from a technical point of view. Indeed, you will be able to see with your own eyes what happens in an airplane. Visual information is therefore directly processed by the part of the brain that deals with emotions and in the same way that a horror movie can scare you, the flight simulator can leave a positive memory there that will remain engraved for them. next flights.
It is almost impossible to be reassured with technical answers when you fear a plane crash, because this information is only rational, that is to say it is less powerful for the brain than your personal unpleasant experiences. or as the images you may have seen in the media.
It is for this reason that the statistics are not reassuring. It is first necessary to appease the emotions related to aviation that are stored in your brain. Breathing plays a key role in this process. Ideally, the breathing that naturally slows down the heart rate would be equal to a rhythm of 6 inhales and 6 exhales per minute. In addition to helping you keep your thoughts clear and reducing the concentration of stress hormones secreted by the brain, this rhythm will keep your heart from racing and suppress any unpleasant symptoms related to anxiety.
- If focusing on your breathing is not your strong suit, then regularly expose yourself to aviation in preparation for your trip.
- Go to the airport, watch documentaries on aeronautics, watch planes take off ... By repeating a situation, the brain assimilates it as if it were a normal situation. The day you actually have to fly, these different situations will be less difficult to live with.
- When you are on the plane, don't try to run away from it, because we always imagine things to be much worse than they actually are.
- Look out the window, the acceleration is smooth and gradual, the plane's climb angle is not that hard as you might think, the feelings of falling are mostly wrong, like when you arrive on the right floor after a lift.
- Above all, do not try to have sleepless nights hoping to be tired and sleep on board the plane, the effect will be the opposite. When the brain is fatigued, the knowledge and rational aspects of flight are even less readily available.
- The drugs have no effect for over 90% of people who have used it in flight, because they do not affect thinking. Alcohol speeds up the heart rate, increases blood pressure, and can trigger or worsen a panic attack or a rush of anxiety.
- Prefer breathing exercises. They give much better results than drugs.
- On the day of your trip, don't focus on the weather. Indeed, the meteorological forecasts which are available to the general public relate only to the situation on the ground and have nothing to do with what can happen at the cruising altitude of an airplane.
- Moreover, reliable weather information is only available 18 hours in advance, so there is no need to scrutinize the force of the wind or the presence of thunderstorms 15 days before your flight.